Confession: I've professed my love for a lot of things, people and places so far on this blog, among them— flat whites, hand-cut noodles, kiwi hospitality, Western-style cafes with grafitti'd Mao Zedongs, Will Price, the town of Wanaka, adorable Chinese children wearing funny hats...
I'm beginning to feel like a fickle traveler. Always swooning.
This has become especially apparent, because with each day that we spend in Yangshuo I feel more and more like this is the best place in China. (Especially if you're really interested in Chinese culture and can't speak but a few words of Mandarin).
I mean what other place in China do you know where you can order a fantastic cappuccino in the morning, eat delicious, authentic Chinese food for every meal (unless you want Western-style food, which is also available and excellent) and bike from a charming, quiet town into a countryside of rice paddies and water buffalo in about twenty minutes? I'm in love. And I don't care who knows it. My claims of the past were but a passing phase of fleeting whimsy...
At least until we go to Kunming. Or Bangkok. Or Penang, Malaysia. Or Singapore.
It's been unseasonably chilly in Yangshuo (although perhaps "unseasonably" is the wrong word since it is technically winter... it's been uncharacteristically cold here) and in turn, Will and I have been saving the various bike tours, bamboo raft adventures & other outdoor activities for Friday (tomorrow) and beyond, when the weather should heat up again.
So today, we did what any backpacking couple in an unusually chilly town in China might do. We shopped.
There was a little bit of everything for sale, including a paint brush whose size rivaled that of a small animal. I considered buying it for my dad but was concerned that someone at US customs might mistake it for a weapon or drug-carrying device and detain me forever.
And behold! There were also these... ancient Chinese wall masks?
Full disclosure: this conversation just happened.
Me: Will, what are these exactly?
Will: Er, random mask thingys for hanging on walls... to be specific.
There was a man selling caricatures of everyone from Bin Laden to famous Chinese pop stars.
And I went on a bit of a scarf binge. Not buying per say, but just generally touching each one that we passed and commenting on how pretty it was. (We passed a lot of scarves).
The plethora of scarves in the market was partially thanks to this woman, who was cranking them out left and right.
In the end, I only purchased one (for myself). It's lovely and black and turquoise and I bought it from this lady on the left, who I unsuccessfully tried to haggle with in English (bad idea) before Will came and saved me.
It was a great day at the market, and another wonderful day in Yangshuo. Tomorrow we're going to tour some of the surrounding countryside on bikes, so the pictures should be just beautiful. Be sure to come back and check it out!
PS: Sir Will took all the photos in this entry !