Friday, 14 December 2007


Up until now everywhere in China has pretty much exceeded expectations. A cynic might say that that's partly cause I didn't have such great expectations to begin with. But nevertheless, I've been very impressed with almost everywhere. But I arrived in Yangshou and felt a little underwhelmed. I don't know if it was the cloudy weather hiding the scenery, the constant sound of jackhammers and angle grinders or the thumping Chinese discos, but I felt a bit let down. It was the one place in China I was going to make a real effort to get to. Perhaps it's cause I expected a lot that I was inevitably disappointed.

A few days here and the place is starting to grow on me a bit though. I've found a couple of good bars serving reasonably priced beer and a decent bunch of people frequenting them. Staying out till the discos close is a good way of getting a good nights sleep too.
And the locals are very friendly and really keen to practice their (pretty good) English, offering some Chinese lessons and even plying us with free beer in return. This English teaching is easy! Apparently I'm welcome back on a longer, more formal stint at any stage.
Although the cloud cover is pretty constant, I did have a decent day visiting Moon hill on a bike. The views were decent but lacking the beauty that a really clear day would give, but it was nice just to get out of town for a while. Yangshou also has some pretty decent climbing so I spent a great day with the guys at Blacrock Climbing on the local karsts. Consequently I'm pretty wrecked today and have spent a pleasant day doing absolutely nothing.

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