|After a marathon trip, we settled into Yangshuo, a small town about
70 km south of Guilin. Over the last 10 years, Yangshuo has become a haven
for Western visitors, from backpackers to businessmen on excursion. We
saw many white-faced foreigners, a startling site after being surrounded
by only Chinese faces during the past weeks. Because there is such a strong
Western influence in Yangshuo, we wouldn't recommend starting a China
trip here, unless you want to slowly break into Chinese culture. However,
the scenery makes Yangshuo a must-see on any itinerary (just do it at
the trip's end). Since every cafe caters to Western food and taste, we
gladly ordered pizza and burritos after 2 1/2 weeks of Chinese food. Later
in the day we swam and then rested on a bamboo raft as it drifted down
Yangshuo's Li river. At night, we fished with cormorant birds. The fishermen
tie a rope collar around the neck of the cormorants. The birds dive for
fish and the rope collar prevents them from swallowing anything they catch.
It's a good deal for the fishermen, who keep most of the fish.