It has been a couple of days since posting. Internet is not great and many sites are blocked. (Thanks to a very helpful friend for help!).
Our hotel, Pheonix Pagoda Retreat
Yangshuo was absolutely beautiful and we were sad to leave. Our last full day there, we did a boat ride down the river, hiked through caves, biked and went out to see the cormorant fishing. The boat ride was on a bamboo raft. Its pushed and steered by someone with a bamboo pole at the back; sort of like a gondola. The scenery was amazing and we got lots of wonderful pictures. Xinya even tried her hand at piloting the boat.
At the end, the shore was busy with vendors. We got pictures taken with monkeys. I would normally never support that kind of animal use but I have to tell you, after being in a meat market here, I think the little guys are getting off easy wearing costumes and posing for pictures.
We walked from there to our most important stop in our search for dragons…the dragon cave! The trip through the cave is a combination of walk and boat and I think we spotted a few dragons hiding in the stalagmites and stalagtites!
Further down the road was the buddha caves with its hot springs and mud baths. It was less developed (commercial) than the dragon caves and we liked that.
We then walked home and went for a bike ride around the village. The points of interest seemed to be the children and the dogs. Xinya was very happy to see a small gray cat.
We had a great dinner at the hotel before heading to town to watch the cormorant fishing. We were in a boat going through the water beside the fishing raft. The cormorant birds dive for the fish but have a tie on their neck so they can’t swallow them and the fisherman picks them out of the water and squeezes their jaw to empty the fish into his bucket. I expected more fish and a more traditional setting but we had a fun time. The highlight was getting to hold a cormorant on our arm.
Aside from our day of travel yesterday, that is pretty much up to date. I will have to download pictures later. They really are the highlight but I don’t think I will be able to do it now. (added!)
Today we drive 4 hours to get to the orphanage. We can’t wait to visit!