At last! Internet that works as normal again! 🙂
Although I downloaded a VPN I was pretty much unable to use it after the first week in China, hence why I have not updated my blog before this moment.
I did not expect to love China, but after almost three weeks in Yangshuo, I was already planning my way back again.
It is far more developed than I thought it would be. Upon arrival in Yangshuo, I was disappointed. It was a busy, noisy town, full of scooters and cars and cranes and construction sites. I had expected a small town, which I suppose by China’s standards, it is, but by mine, it felt big and hectic. It was also pouring with rain when I arrived and I found myself almost immediately wondering if I would stay as long as I had planned. It did not seem to be the super cool climber hangout I was looking forward to.
It was not long however, before I felt like I could stay forever. I came to love bombing around town on my bicycle among the chaos. The hostel owner, Jerry, where I stayed was incredibly helpful and welcoming and even cooked for me and my roommates on a number of occasions! It is possible to eat delicious Chinese food for as little as 10 yuan (£1) in a local cafe and I soon became a regular there. Unfortunately my Chinese extended to only a few poorly pronounced words, but nevertheless, it seemed to go down well.
Climbing is a great way to meet people and pretty much as soon as I arrived I was part of a small, eclectic community in Yangshuo of foreigners and locals alike. Despite unusally rainy days for this time of year, I climbed most days all around Yangshuo and when I didn’t climb, I walked up the hills instead. It is stunning scenery and cycling out to the more remote crags was a great way to explore.
Of course, it was not all about climbing. Within a few days of arriving I was happily roped into helping with a week long English Camp for Chinese University Students. It was the easiest job I have ever been paid for, and one of the most fun. We simply had to hang out with the students and speak in English with them, which was pretty easy for me, given that it is the only language I know! On a few evenings we chilled out together, drank beer and had a BBQ but my favourite day was definitely a cycle ride around the Yangshuo National Park. It was absolutely stunning.
If I could have, I would have loved to stay longer, but my visa, and the fact I am on my way to Thailand, did not allow. Instead, I plan to return in the future, and perhaps next time I can learn a little more Chinese! 🙂