Xingping Journals

China: Xingping

A March 2001 trip to Xingping by kylebarber

On the bus to Yangshuo Photo, Xingping, China More Photos
Quote: The trials and tribulations of chartering a cruise down the Li River floated away after witnessing the amazing karst hills up close

China: Xingping

Overview

Cruising the Li River Photo, Xingping, China
Quote:
While most visitors to this region are part of a package tour that has already arranged the booking of a cruise down the nearby Li River, I was on my own. The side trip to Guilin was a last minute idea, and unfortunately I was not well-informed or prepared to wheel and deal a bargain cruise during the slow off-season. But some cunning, a great deal of patience and American cash rewarded me with a satisfying experience I won't soon forget.

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The Setup

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Story/Tip

On the bus to Yangshuo Photo, Xingping, China
Quote:
During my stay in Guilin I had planned on embarking on a cruise down the Li River, the major attraction in the Guangxi region of China. But perhaps due to the low season or the heavy rains there was only one trip planned for the day, and it had already embarked on its journey. The travel desk worker at the Holiday Inn said she might be able to help me find an alternate solution, so I went to pack.When I came down fifteen minutes later she had found Jerry, who said he’d work out a deal for obtaining a private boat for $70 American cash. That amount seemed out of the question, particularly since there was to be no English speaking guide, no lunch, and the proposed trip was one fourth of the length...Read More

The Cruise

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Minibike transport Photo, Xingping, China
Quote:
The tour representative hired a minibike with trailer attached as a coach for me and my skipper and off we went down muddy back roads. We stopped at a gravel pit along the river’s shore where we boarded a long flat boat that seemed more suited for commercial uses like fishing. My seat was apparently going to be a short stool which he placed unceremoniously on the bow of the boat. He didn’t speak a word of English so I had to signal to give me one of the preschool chairs from inside the cabin. Though ridiculously small it was still higher than the munchkin footstool.Taking off I was surprised to find the river much calmer than I expected. I wasn’t immediately wowed by the hills as I had been ob...Read More

The Landing

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The return trip home Photo, Xingping, China
Quote:
I knew the driver wanted to abbreviate the trip, but I was surprised when he claimed a deserted bank was a "village", our point of turning around. He dropped me off at the shore and indicated that I should be back in a half hour. I didn’t know where to head, so I started climbing the steepest path up. Five minutes later I had a great view of the rice fields and river below. Fifteen minutes later and the view was nearly panoramic. The Guangxi countryside is amazing with its dramatic scenery, and the absence of other folks made it easy to soak up the unusual yet peaceful sounds of exotic bird calls and the steady breeze whistling between the towering peaks.A few minutes later in the climb and pi...Read More