Day 2, 7th January 2010, Thursday
We were given 7 am morning call. Today, we would be making our way to Yangshou, the smaller town outside Guilin and stay there for a night. Breakfast consisted of stir fried kueh teow, some cold noodles, plain porridge, steamed potatos, dumplings, mini meat paos and yao char kuai. That’s about it. No egg, rice or lap cheong. Si beh sien!
Yangshuo is about an hour bus ride away from Guilin. I was about to fall asleep the moment I got on the bus as the tour guide was super boring! But, I tried to keep my eyes opened and it was worth it because there was beautiful landscape of rocky mountains along the way! Slowly lulled by the chilling wind, most of us slept in the bus.
We were rudely awakened by emergency brake. The driver stopped for a group of water buffaloes to cross the road. Since it’s about 30 minutes more before reaching our destination, we tried to catch some sleep again. It was then, 3 hooligans in the family group of 8, sitting behind me spoke at the top of their voices in Klang hokkien, with total disregard for other people. We learned about who she was going out with, who she’s fucking and then, ended with one bitch with very badly colored ah lian hair laughing hysterically like a bloody witch. May, Lil and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. Sibeh tulan! The witchy bitch then complained that, the tour guide didn’t do her job properly by talking throughout the journey to Yangshuo. I was very tempted to tell her, who needs the tour guide when we could listen to your bed stories? But I kept my mouth shut.
The moment we got off the bus at Yangshuo, we went to use the washroom. To our horror, the four toilet cubicles do not have doors!! The ladies were apprehensive to go but then, rather than holding our pee throughout the 30 minutes ride, we might as well go. We took turns to shield each other to avoid baring our asses. Everybody was amused. Macam free show!
Cruising on Li River
The cruise on the two rivers and four lakes was not very inspiring because the lakes and connected rivers were very small indeed. It looked like some big longkang only. Well, it’s because January is the driest month with the least rainfall. However, the water was clear and shallow. I guess the view would be much better in spring. We sat on a bamboo made raft with roof. We were served cold tea and groundnuts. I didn’t touch the tea because it was too cold and the groundnuts didn’t look appetizing at all.
The fisherman and his birds.. LOL
Then, we were “entertained” by fish-catching show by the fishing birds. The bird’s neck was tied with a rope so that, as soon as the bird catches a fish, the fish would not be able to pass through its throat and the fisherman would harvest the fish. If the fishes caught were small, then the bird could eat the fish. It was somewhat an inhumane exploitation. I seriously hope that no one would sign up for this thing anymore even if it was indeed a dying “art”.
Actually, we didn’t plan to go to this place as we opted to watch only the “Impression of Liu San Jie” but then was told by KL’s travel agent that, this show is NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION. What a dumb fuck! It’s always there! Just that, usually the show is closed for a month during Chinese New Year as most performers would take the month off to return to their respective hometowns. So, the travel agent in KL is totally fucking irresponsible to tell me – no longer in production!! They could have told me to sign up for the package when we reached Guilin instead. If you want to know which travel agent I am talking about, please write to me. I don’t want to be sued for libel or defamation, even if they are such pricks and dumb fucks.
Colorful “Silver” Cave
Anyway, after the fish-catching show, we were hurried to go over to the Silver Cave for a look see. To me, it was not really impressive. It’s typical China’s way of trying too hard to impress tourists with their “natural wonder” further enhanced by artificial lighting in the cave. I’ve seen the similar thing in Halong Bay before, so I was not impressed. Further the cave is so warm – about 20°C compared to the outside temperature of 2°C. So imagine how my camera “sweated” in both cold and hot area at the same time.
As soon as we were out from the cave, we were rushed to have dinner. The tour guide kept reminding us to eat faster as we were running out of time. In the first place, you should have cut short the visit to the cave, or maybe don’t force us to sign up for this nonsense. Then, she came by to our table as soon as we wanted to get a second helping and said, you have 3 minutes. I was fucking pissed having to gobble up the dinner and most of us ended eating half way – especially those slow eaters. Damn fucking tu kao lan!
Impression of Liu San Jie
We ran like mad to the bus and then, when they dropped us at the Impression of Liu San Jie’s area, we brisk walked in the rain to the show. The show already started when we reached our seats. It was a good thing that they provided us with plastic rain coats. Thank goodness I wore my long john that night. Otherwise, I would have frozen to death. Since it was raining, it’s very cumbersome to snap photos. I didn’t want to my camera to get wet! Anyway, it was quite an impressive show. Our jaws practically dropped and touched the ground! Haha! There were so many people performing on the lake, overlooking picturesque rocky mountains. They were skilled boat men and women. There were fires, lights, flowing cloth, full costumes, etc. It’s very “Zhang Yimou”-ish. Poise, grace and artsy-fartsy. We enjoyed it. The one hour show seemed to end too early. Never mind even when we were at the verge of hypothermia.
When we got back to the hotel, it was already almost 10.00 pm. Even though it rained and it was super cold, we took baths as we couldn’t stand not taking a shower entire day. We got out from the hotel around 10.45 pm to visit West Street and most shops were already closed. We ended having McDonald’s pork burgers! Perhaps it was a Malaysian thing. Haha.
Not so nice pork burger
When we got to McDonald’s, there is no pork listed on the menu so we asked the cashier. She took out a separate menu and showed us two value meals of the pork burger. I chose the pork burger with two fried chicken drumlets and orange juice. Then, both May and I went to find a seat.
Mana tau… we waited and waited and both Ah B and Lil were still stuck at the counter. May went over to check what was going on. The cashier keyed in ala carte prices for the burgers and she said she couldn’t cancel it. If we want the drumlets or chocolate pie, we had to buy it separately. This is so damn fucking stupid. They talked till the manager came out and he also insisted they cannot cancel the order. The thing is, it’s the cashier’s mistake and not ours. We specifically wanted 4 value meals and she ended keying in 4 pork burgers only. My gawd. Sometimes, I really don’t understand what is wrong with these people? Can’t even understand simple instruction.. Is our mandarin that bad meh?? Ah B is Chinese-ed mah!
Anyway, we went on ordering fries and drinks. We ended the night walking a short distance along West Street. Some of the pubs were also closed already and it was not even midnight! Since we were already tired with whole day of rushing up and down, we called it a night. Oh.. I forgot to mention the horror that, most (all!) hotels in Yangshuo do not have elevators.. so get ready to move your things up yourself!