Yangshuo: Day 1

Our first day in Yangshuo was very busy. We woke up extra early to watch game 6 of the NBA Finals. I hadn’t been able to watch any of it because we had been traveling. And because of the time difference I had to wake up at 6:30 am.  Thank God it was a good game and worth waking up for.

Many of you might know the Jewish children’s song Amsterdam, Disneyland, Tel Aviv. The song starts off “Wherever you go, there’s always someone Jewish…” Well the song couldn’t be any truer. Just as the game ended guess who comes in, two Israelis. And according to rule #5 of the Members of the Tribe Handbook, we introduced ourselves to our fellow Jews. It turned out that they were two brothers, Nimrod and Omer, doing some traveling before Omer had to go to the army.

Jennifer and I wanted to do a bike trip, so we decided to meet up with the Israelis later on and rented two bikes. We chose to bike out to the Yulong Bridge (Dragon’s Bridge), about 2 hours away. We were told that you can jump off the bridge into the water. So we thought that would be a cool idea and set out.

We were told to take the back roads to get there because it would be more scenic. This caused us to bike through these small villages along the way.


It was a hot day so when we arrived at the bridge I was ready to jump in. Before we left for Yulong Bridge I was told that it was 10 meters high. Not being a master of the metric system, I wasn’t quite sure how high that was. When I stood at the top of the bridge and looked down, I realized that it was actually pretty high. Because of my bungee jumping experience I was too scared to jump off. So I wussed out, and didn’t jump.


Although I didn’t jump off the Yulong Bridge the area around it was still very beautiful. It was in the middle of a rice field so Jennifer and I decided to walk through the fields and see what was going on. We ended up seeing these farmers and their water buffalo grazing. It was cool to see.


While we were wondering about in the rice fields we saw this guy fishing. What was interesting was that he was fishing with birds. We found out that it was called cormorant fishing. Cormorant fishing is a traditional fishing method in which fishermen use trained cormorants to fish in rivers.  What they do is put rings around the birds’ necks so that when they catch a fish, they won’t swallow it.


We headed back to town and met up with the two Israelis once again. We biked out to another spot along the river and just chatted and enjoyed the scenery. When we arrived back at our hostel I realized that my camera had a big crack in it. I didn’t know how it happened but I really wasn’t that upset. I was happy to have had it for as long as I did and for it to have cracked on one of my last days in China, it couldn’t have worked out any better.


That night we went out drinking. We went to a hostel with a rooftop bar called Monkey Janes. They had a beer pong table set up. So of course Jennifer and I challenged Omer and Nimrod; USA vs. Israel. Thank God we won. It brought me back to my glory days at College Park.

The way it works at Monkey Janes is that winner stays and challenger buys the beers. So of course Jen and I stayed to play another game. These two Chinese challenged us. A middle aged man and a young girl (who was clearly out of his league but he was clearly drunk and you could tell he was trying to get some).The guy didn’t even shoot the ball, all he did was drink the beer and try to psych us out. The guy was psycho and freaked us out. I don’t know how it happened but we lost.

We spent the rest of the night drinking with the Israelis and a couple of local Chinese guys (who creeped Jen out). It was a fun day and a fun night.


Finally, Jennifer and I went back to our hostel to get ready for our final day in China together in which we were going to go rock climbing.


About JoelS

Spending a year teaching English and saving the world in China
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