A Kingdom of Karsts

Greetings from Yangshuo, a small town nestled along the banks of the Li River in the Guangxi province. Nestled is certainly the key word here, as Yangshu0 is tightly surrounded by towering karsts. Many friends back home have asked me just what karsts are. Well this is not my first run in with them…Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay is famous for its karsts. It’s probably easiest to just let the photos of Yangshuo speak for themselves.

Beautiful, isn’t it?

My incredibly bumpy overnight bus dropped me off here just after 7am. Since I had received so little sleep, I wandered over to West Street (which, ironically, is in the east side of town…its west for western[er]), which is where all the accommodations are located and found myself a room at half of what it cost me in Guangzhou! I slept for the better part of the day.

Once I arose, I began to explore. West Street is somewhat reminiscent of Bangkok’s Khao San Road, just on a (thankfully) much less crowded scale. It is totally and completely catered to tourists, with vendors and touts every which way. Solely a pedestrian walkway, it does have a bit of charm to it if you can ignore the touristy aspects.

A quick walk in any direction from West Street takes you to much quieter and calmer parts of town. Yanghsuo is also quite popular with Chinese tourists, who stay in a different section of the city.

The one neat place I did come across was Yangshuo Park, which was quite lit up with lanterns for Chinese New Year in a very beautiful fashion. Kids ran around playing, adults wandered with joy and couples danced to Chinese folk music (the tune of which sounded identical to “Home on the Range”). It was a nice break from tourist haven.

On the agenda for today is renting a bike and exploring the beautiful countryside!

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2 Responses to A Kingdom of Karsts

  1. kathleen zbylut February 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Hi – looks great, hope you are going GREAT! how r u feeling? this is an exciting adveture.

    • Aaron March 1, 2010 at 3:38 am #

      I’m doing great and feeling great! And it is an exciting adventure (and to think, I’ve still got 9 weeks to go)! I’m especially glad to be here where its in the mid 60s/low 70s, as opposed to the blizzard-like weather you guys seem to have been experiencing! Hope you are well!

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