We set off through the bustling town of Yangshuo on bicycles rented from our hostel for £1 and headed south to the countryside. The route was well set up for cyclists and many Chinese were doing the same route. The scenery was nice along here but it certainly got better later in the day.
We headed to moon hill, a huge arch shaped hole in a mountain, and as the entrance fee was reasonable we entered for a better view, not expecting the standard Chinese stair case to heaven, goddam it! We dragged our feet up and arrived at the top standing beneath the arch. An old lady of 150 or so had learnt a few English words and relentlessly asked us to buy a postcard set. There’s been almost no touts in China which we’ve loved and I think it’s because most of them don’t speak English, give someone a few catchphrases and they won’t piss off.
There were stalactites hanging from the top of the cave and a hazy view of the mountains through the arch but that was it. Craig spent a while catching water drops in his mouth falling from the top of the cave. I couldn’t see his fascination in it but once i tried it was quite funny watching a speck of water blow in the wind and then look like a huge dollop before hitting you in the face.
We stopped for noodle soup once back on the road. In this area they serve cooked noodles with nuts and chives on top and then you add your own pickled vegetables and broth. This stall had laced everything in the most potent chilli. And of course once it was in the soup the flavouring all spread into the soup and was unbearable to eat. We looked like we’d had collagen injections in our lips afterwards.
As we detoured off the road to the Yulong River we found a new bricked path alongside the emerald waters that we followed. It was a beautiful ride with mountains all around. The further along we went the more agricultural it became and the mountains reflected in flooded paddy fields.