Bamboo Boats

The day after our trip to the rice terraces we woke up early to go to Yangshuo. The way we decided to travel to Yangshuo (which is only a two hour bus ride away) was by taking bamboo boats down the Lijiang River.

We had to take a bus ride 20 minutes outside of Guilin to a place in the river where we were going to get on the rafts. As the rafts pulled up we saw that they weren’t made from bamboo but from PVC pipes. Jennifer and I got on first and took the best seat right in the front. After everyone got onto the boats we took off.


The views were absolutely breath taking. Along both sides of the river were these spectacular mountains that are so unique to this region. The closer we got to them, the more we realized how big they really were.


Half way down the river, it started to rain. And by rain I mean pour. Luckily we stopped for lunch. But being under a tent with no walls we still got wet. For the first time during our trip we were with other Westerners. So it was nice being able to talk to them and hear about their adventures.

On the back of the 20 yuan bill is a picture of the river and mountains we were rafting down. At one point during our ride down, the driver of the raft told us that this was the place where there photo on the bill was taken. So I pulled out a 20 yuan bill to compare. While I don’t think it was a direct match, it was close enough.

Towards the end of the boat trip we came to Nine Horses Mountain. Nine Horses Mountain is a face of a mountain that due to the discoloration of the rock looks like there are nine horses. In ancient times, Buddhist or Confucius or Daoist monks (I can’t remember which one) would come and stare at this mountain. If they were able to see nine horses then they would be considered masters.

The Chinese have a running joke that you only need to find three to be the President of the United States because when Bill Clinton came to China he was only able to find three. You have to use your imagination to see them. I was able to find six. See how many you can find.

It took most of the day to get down the river, but we finally arrived in Yangshuo which is a very small city located along the river and nestled in between these gorgeous mountains. This marked the beginning of the last leg of our trip.



About JoelS

Spending a year teaching English and saving the world in China
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