Li-River Cruise

Alrighty. My first China vacation post with pictures! These pictures were taken on the Li River, located in Guilin, which was our third stop on the trip. This was my favorite part of China...basically because it felt quaint more than anything else. We had a fantastic guide (with a fantastic name, Sandy Song. Song is also one of the Dynasties in China).

Our second day there, we went on a lunch cruise. The river itself is 437km, but our tour was about four hours long and 80km.

It all felt kind of surreal to me until I saw the Chinese flag. I'm not sure why.

 I totally thought "grotesque" meant disgusting or hideous. I just looked it up on-line. I was wrong. Jokes on me. Correct Translation in China: 1; Incorrect Translation in China 192,658,364.
 It was super foggy out, but we were pretty used to that coming from Shanghai and Xi'an (which I learned is pronouched Shee-an). But the fog was actually fog and not pollution! A first!

To me the scenery reminded me of Jurassic Park?
We went on board with our guide, but there was also another guide explaining the sights around us. Unfortunately, we don't speak Mandarin.
Pretty quick there were some street vendors water vendors chasing after us. I thought this was a dragon fruit but it looked too bright. Maybe some kind of variety of dragon fruit.
These guys actually made a few sales.
 And then they were off to the next boat. I'm impressed with their balancing skills on this tiny bamboo boat.
I had a cold and I had a fever and I was feeling LIKE CRAP. But I started my morning pretending not to be sick and I was committed to keeping that up. I thought I could "trick" my cold.

I went and walked around the boat. One problem. Big feet vs. small, slippery stairs. Somehow I didn't fall, but I was verrrrrrrrrry careful!
I also made sure to pay attention to the warnings.

Caption should read, "This IS my smile!". I can't count the number of times I saw people taking pictures looking like they were attending a funeral. Although...I can't really talk since I have the world's fakest smile. A photographer once told me, Ok, now try to smile less like a weather woman!
After walking around, I went inside to rest. I was losing the sick battle...and thought since it was so foggy, I could try to chill out and sleep a bit.
The Li River is a very popular tourist you can see, we almost had a traffic pile up!
 Something about these grotesque hills and the fog made it look eerie.
Slowly, the sun started to come out.
This looks like the party Li-River cruise boat!
See the little boat with the small chairs? I thought we were doing that kind of river cruise. To be honest...I was kind of disappointed we weren't. It was nice being in a comfortable boat, but given the scenery (and the crazy city days of Beijing and Xi'an), I wanted a rustic boat ride.
Some of the mountains almost look transparent. They look like a painting. Actually, the Li-River is on the 20 Yuan note.
And I've written about the snake wine party. Here's some pics just in case you forgot. :)
It was kind of funny to see everyone's reactions as we were supposed to sip it. Man, if I'm drinking that stuff, I'm downing it right away....not savouring it's snakey, yummy flavor.

We had the option to order additional dishes and we picked a fish that was good for longevity or something. They caught them while we were on the boat.
Yeah. Looks awesome, hey? I had been struggling to really eat anything until this point, so this fish wasn't really up my alley. But I have to admit, this is probably one of the best lunches we had?
Of course I become fixated on something gross. I wanted someone to eat it.
And then I poked the eye until it fell on the table. It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye!!!!!!! (I had to. I really, really had to).
We also had fried toffee water chestnuts, which are abundant in this area.
And then an mandarin orange! I lived a sheltered life and was fascinated by the leaves on the orange. I thought they grew in green tissue paper! (:P)
After lunch we kept seeing these bushes covered. I think they were lotus?
Just before we got off the boat, we saw these animals that we couldn't really figure out what they were.
A family of water buffaloes!
Thankfully the sun really came out and the fog lifted completely.
This picture makes me think of the song that goes, So we go sailing, sailing, down the white water....

Although I slept a bit, and felt like crap, I think this is one of the highlights of my trip! I loved this cruise and I especially loved Guilin. (Also...just an FYI  - none of my other China pictures include the color green or blue (unless it's neon signs).
After four hours, we arrived at Yangshow....which I'll have to save for another post!

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