we wanted to get away for a weekend without spending too much, so we found a package deal to guilin for the weekend. for those of you who don’t know, guilin is an hour’s flight northwest of hong kong in southern china.

it is known as a beautiful place of spiny mountains – limestone karsts that jut out of a river valley. you can imagine wispy clouds of mist encircling them while an emerald green river winds through whispering bamboo thickets…water buffaloes meander through rice paddies and people float around doing kung fu in the air…. anyway, i digress.

we moved on quickly from the city of guilin down the li river (by bus) to the small backpacker town of yangshuo. much more pleasant, much less polluted and “neon lighted up”, yangshuo is a great base from which to explore the surrounding countryside.

we got a tandem bicycle, so that alicia could rest on the back while rick pedaled around the little paths that wound around the river and through the surrounding villages. we followed our guide karen (+86 134 5736 8098 for anyone going up) who sweetly took us through some of the sites.

we explained that she was guiding two and a half people, so she made sure to take us on the smoothest paths.

after a while we got back to the river and onto a bamboo raft with some bamboo lounge chairs, maneuvered by a guy with a bamboo pole down the bamboo fringed yulong river – you get the picture. bamboo goes a long way in these parts.

it was really peaceful, the two of us relaxing and talking for a couple of hours while floating down a lazy river and taking in the beautiful scenery. just what the doctor ordered as a cure for the fastpaced lifestylemia we were suffering in hong kong.

occasionally the quiet was interrupted by another group of mainland tourists, or a guide singing some great chinese songs (i say great as compared to cantonese opera, for instance).

on the way back we caught some of the sunset and remembered how beautiful different parts of this world are and how lucky we are to get to see some of that beauty at various times in our lives.

and with that, it’s already december! we heard lots of christmas music on our way back to hong kong and we’re looking forward to the season – sorry we won’t see most of you, but until then, keep in touch!