Thursday, May 12, 2005

Hong Kong, Yangshuo

Well, here we go with the long awaited update.
First I must send out a huge "Thank You" to Sandra for meeting us in Hong Kong and being a most excellent host and guide for the 3 days we were there.
Hong Kong is a very cool city and we totally enjoyed it. We went all over and hit many of the main sites: Stanley Market, Avenue of Stars, Temple Street, Cheung Chau Island and spent one of the days in Macau. It is a very busy place, and quite amazing that it operates on so many layers, literally. The sidewalks are above the road, the highways above that, and the buildings so tall..... Stuff like that. The coolest thing was seeing the laser light show with fireworks where the buildings downtown are involved and actually change all their lights and shoot fireworks off the top. Quite the sight to see!
After the 3 days in Hong Kong we crossed the border into Shenzhen where we spent the day wandering around (much of it lost) before catching an overnight bus to Yangshuo, where we are now. Had never been on a bus with beds until then and I must say it was much better than reclining seats, even though I'm just a little too big for them.
Yangshuo is a quieter town of 300,000 people just south of Guilin and is well known as a backpacker hangout because of all the amazing scenery surrounding it. It has all the Karst peaks sticking up our of nowhere along a nice river valley. I say quieter town but it is all relative as China is a total mad house. I don't think any of us have figured it all out yet. I am having a lot of south east asia flashbacks though. Anyway, we took the lazy way out and booked tours for the area over 3 days. The first day we did a little boat trip along the river, and yesterday we did some biking, bamboo rafting and went into the best cave ever. It is a very wet cave with lots of formations, with quite small spaces to squeeze through as you follow the underground river through it. Bats flying around added to the effect. It even had a mud pool that the girls jumped in and got totally covered with a thick clay mud. I hope we can get the pictures up some day for you to see. Today was our day off so we went to a middle school with a guy that works with our hotel here. He is an english teacher at the school so we went and had a surprise guest lecture. We had a lot of fun with that. The kids are so shy and well behaved. Most of them are 14 like Savannah so they were quite shocked to see how much bigger than them she was. We did 2 classes of close to an hour each and just talked with the 50 or so kids in each class. Such a different set up from home. Hopefully we can do it again somewhere.
Tomorrow we are going for a ride 2 hours away to see minority villages and some impressive rice terraces. The following day it will be 24 hours on the train west to Kunming where some other adventure awaits us.
We are all doing well though our health is somewhat questionable. Bre had a cold just before we left so Mom and Savannah are now getting over it and it looks like I am finally succumbing to it now. We have had rain and overcast skys with a lot of haze every day except today which is sunny. The humidity is insane and the pollution a killer, I think my lungs are going to fail......
Mom is loving all of this,
Bre is having a good time though I suspect she has no idea where we are, she has spent more time reading than any of the rest of us, which if you know Bre, proves that we are on the other side of the world.....
Savannah still refuses to admit that she is having a good time and she is conquering her fear of um, foreign toilets.
Yeah, things are pretty good here.
I hope this finds you all well,


At 9:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, sounds like you are having a great time! Keep the info coming!!


BTW; How's the TP supply holding out???

At 10:13 AM , Blogger Brittany said...

Hey sounds beautiful down there but i am sure the pollution is a killer. I have a exactly are you guys gonna get thoses pics on the site???? I wanna see them!

lol, Brittany

At 4:03 AM , Blogger Sandra said...

Sounds you are having fun in China.. do people there speak Sandrish? For Breanna and Savannah: I got the grey " Never say never" thing for both you guys and myself ..
I miss you guys and take care!
"Happy pre-birthday to Margaret" ( I guess I won't have chance to write before I head back to Vancouver) I am heading to Korea in 3 days!


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