Yangshuo Day 1

Continued from Hanoi Day 4.

AAAAHHHH!!! So EARLY!


The airport is about an hour away, so we hired a car from the hotel to take us there at 5:30am. Price is $18, kind of steep. When the car shows up, it’s a taxi with a meter…Hmmm. As we are loading our luggage, I see the bellman stealthily put some money into the taxi driver’s hand. Hmmm…Well, I guess as long as it gets us to the airport, I can’t complain too much.


Saw this on the way out of town. No idea what it is.


OMG, that’s a lot of stuff on one moped.


OMG!! There are two people on it too!


Our driver drove like a maniac. He would literally race with the few other cars that passed us. This was a terrifying ride, seriously.


Our terrifying ride, fortunately, did not last too long since we drove so fucking fast. The one hour trip took less than 40 minutes. They are expanding the airport here in Hanoi.


The old terminal, where we are heading to.

When our driver dropped us off, his taxi meter had been running the whole time. The price was about $18. Cool, our prepaid price at our hotel ended up being a fair price, but the best part is not having to deal with a potentially shady taxi meter.


Since our driver drove so fast we arrived too early and the check in counters are still closed.


Our awesome hotel knew that we wouldn’t make their normal breakfast time since we are leaving so early, so they took our breakfast order the night before and packed it for us to take to the airport! Winning! Seriously, Art Trendy Hotel(I know, cheesy name) in Hanoi, you rock!


The counters open and all the foreign travelers lined up for our flight.


This short girl was a total bitch. She tried to cut everyone in line, twice. You disgust me.


Immigration and security were a breeze. I even had my water bottle half filled with water hanging on the side of my backpack pass through. They didn’t fuss about it at all. Also kind of scary how lax security is.


Leg room for days. Apparently, the Vietnamese and Chinese have not discovered the virtues of exit row seating. All the seats in the front half of the plane were already spoken for, but I was able to get the exit row seating no problem.


Food on our flight. Love the food on international flights.


Landed in Guangzhou for a 3 hour layover. It’s pouring rain over here. Speaking of rain, we looked up the weather for the next few days in Yangshuo(where we are headed), and there’s 100% chance of rain for like the next week. I guess we can finally use our rain gear that we’ve been carrying with us this whole time.


And of course, we didn’t have a gangway to disembark to, but had to go onto the payment and run through the rain onto a bus.


Well, our bags made it, albeit kind of wet.

Immigration and and customs were a breeze. No questions were asked about our visit, where we are staying, how long, where we are heading to after China, etc. etc.


Rechecking our packs for our flight to Guilin.


Free shuttles in the airport to take us around.


Weeee!!!


Got here with plenty of time to spare. Looking for a lunch spot.


While looking for lunch, we see two policemen talking to a man and a woman, separately. I overheard them talking and I think the guy hit his girlfriend/wife. Ahhh China. Haven’t even been here for an hour and already domestic violence, in the airport nonetheless!


Look, it’s POURING rain outside!


I haven’t seen rain this big for a while.


The food selection in this part of the airport sucks. The food was just ok, and very overpriced. I think I paid more than $10 just for my dish.


OK, this rain isn’t amusing anymore. I think it’s raining so hard that our flights may start getting delayed.

While we waited, we found a seat that backed up to the window(you know, the nude scenes) and we both watched a couple episodes of Game of Thrones on the laptop. This stuff is addictive!


Shit, our flight is delayed!! There are huge thunderstorms all over this area of China and they’ve grounded the planes. I guess we’ll walk around the terminal and kill some time.


Only in China would you have a fresh fruit store inside the airport. In Chinese culture you always bring a small gift when you pay people a visit, and the gift is usually fruits.


They had these crazy looking fruits!! Yeah, those are fruits. I guess they let the fruit grow into the mold. They are really expensive, over $30 for two!!


Hmm…that’s not a good sign to see.


Got so bored we decided to get something to drink. RL got a cucumber juice drink. It was gross.


Shit shit shit. We got delayed even more. In fact, everything kept on getting delayed that they stopped posting updates but just said that they’ll make the announcement over the PA when it’s time to board. 4 flights have already been cancelled…


Finally!! After waiting around for hours.


Still wet, but not as much.


JB, I took this photo for you. Thought that you might need it.


Our flight was originally scheduled to take off at 2:20pm. Delayed over 3 hours on top of the original 3 hours of layover, sigh.


In a bit over an hour, we’ve landed in Guilin.

We had arranged for our hotel to send a car to pick us up from the airport. This is looking like an excellent idea. Our other option would have been to take a bus, which would be more difficult now that it’s later in the day and less buses run at this time. But since we arranged for a car, our driver faithfully waited at the airport for 3 extra hours for us to arrive. I felt bad he had to wait so long.


Not too wet here…yet.


We paid $5 extra to use the tollway, and was it worth it. This is the best highway we’ve been on since leaving the US. I had forgotten what a smooth and well built highway feels like. It feels nice on my bottom.


The karsts that this whole region is so famous for. A bit like Halong Bay, but on land. We are not staying in Guilin, but heading to Yangshuo, a hair over an hour away by car.


It’s amazing over here. Can’t wait until the day time tomorrow…assuming it won’t rain too hard.


Off the smooth toll road, then into the second worst road(first being in Cambodia) that we’ve encountered on this trip. There was a short stretch of roads totally destroyed by all the heavy trucks driving around for a tunnel construction. Luckily, the shitty roads didn’t last very long.


We’ve reached Yangshuo, and it’s quite a bit bigger and more lively than we had thought.


Our hotel is located in an area where cars are not allowed, so we got off and walked the final stretch.


Our home for the next three nights.


While waiting to check in, we see several musicians walk by with guitars and amps.


What $38 a night gets you in Yangshuo in a very good location in town.


View outside our window. We are literally one street over from the busiest street in town, so it’s a little bit noisy here.


Out in search of dinner.


Micky D’s makes a reappearance here in China after being MIA in Vietnam.


So many tourists here, but surprisingly very few Westerners.


This shall be our dinner spot.


Local beer, very light at less than 4%.


Street musicians busking.


Feed us, we are hungry! The food here in Yangshuo is expensive! It’s like US prices. After paying so little for food for a month, we are getting quite a bit of sticker shock.


That is NOT a shrimp…RL found this little critter in her food…When we told our waitress about it, she offered to make us another bowl. No thanks, just send this one back to the kitchen and we’ll call it even.


Back at our hotel and picked up our mail, travel permit to T_b_t(I don’t want to potentially be blocked by the firewall of this country). You know, the movie where Brad Pitt spent 7 years in. We’ll need it in a few days when we travel there!! Getting this permit has been sort of a logistical nightmare that took weeks of research and weeks of teeth biting to sort out, so I was very excited that it’s finally in my hands.

To be continued at Yangshuo Day 2 Part 1.

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