We’re currently sat in our tiny Hong Kong room, taking shelter from Typhoon Usagi. It is being described as potentially the biggest typhoon to hit the city in over 30 years, so it’s nice to be here for that! Really it isn’t that bad – we’ve had a pretty good day being touristy and are just taking a break from the rain.
After leaving Guilin, we travelled down the Li River by bamboo raft (as you do) on the way to Yangshuo. Despite the river being quite busy with other tourists, it was a really nice journey and the scenery is just amazing – the giant karst limestone peaks shoot up on all sides. We even saw the spot that is famous for being on the back of the 20 yuan note.
We arrived at a small town called Xingping, from where we had to catch a bus to Yangshuo. The journey was something of an experience, with the driver determined to pack as many people onto the bus as possible. Without anywhere to put our bags, this was interesting. And when we did arrive at Yangshuo, it was so nice to be able to stretch our legs that I decided the 2.5k walk to the hostel would be infinitely preferable to a taxi. It was, however, so damn hot!
Our hostel was amazing, more like a hotel, about 20 minutes outside of the town in a tiny village. Yangshuo itself is a real tourist town, so being outside it was nice. Whilst we didn’t do a huge amount in Yangshuo, we didn’t really need to; the landscape is beautiful wherever you look, and the town and the river make wandering around and chilling out the ideal pastime. We did hire bikes one day, which is a great way to get and see more countryside, as well as to work up a sweat in the 34 degree heat! We also took a cooking class, but Mrs H wants to write more about that…
We left Yangshuo on Friday, to catch the sleeper bus to Shenzhen on the Hong Kong border. It was, quite simply, the worst journey I’ve ever been on. Considering we’ve spent a lot of nights on trains so far on this trip, I wasn’t prepared for this bus! Instead of seats, there were 3 rows of bunk beds across the bus. It was packed and we were last on, so Law ended at the very back on the ground, on what was essentially one big bed for 5, sharing with three Belgian guys and an Israeli! I was the level up on the side in a bunk designed by a twisted sadist. It was like they knew how tall and wide I was, so made the thing about a foot too small in every way. Too short to stretch out, but with a shelf over my legs so I couldn’t bend my knees; too narrow to lie down without one side either over the edge or against the window.
When we got to Shenzhen and left China to cross over to Hong Kong I did feel pretty wrecked, but whilst our room in the infamous Chunking Mansions is tiny, the bed is amazing! So, we will sit here while the typhoon does its thing, safe in the knowledge that we won’t run out of supplies thanks the ground floor of this place being like Mos Eisley space port – you can buy anything.