Where We Be
Hills rise up with astonishing abruptness from flat fields, reflecting in half-drowned rice paddies
Yangshuo Bike Ride
We're ready for an adventure: we want to get
off the beaten path and do something on our
own, so we decide to go on a bike ride into the
gorgeous countryside surrounding Yangshuo.
We rent bikes for 10 yuan each ($1.25) for the
whole afternoon. Navigating through town is a
bit of a challenge, but once we reach the side
road shown on the map at the bike shop, the
trip turns instantly serene. The road is flat and
clear of all traffic except for other bikes and an
occasional bus. We see country folk loaded
down with vegetables on their way to market,
or working in the fields hoeing by hand or pull-
ing heavy carts. Women sell fresh flower leis by
the side of the road; I buy one for a dollar and
Robin gamely wears it the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, the scenery around us has turned
stunning. Karst limestone hills rise up around
us, reflected in the half-drowned rice paddies
stretching out on either side of the road. This is
exactly what we were looking for -- a day out in
the delightful Chinese countryside. The rest of
the afternoon is a jubilant celebration of photo
taking and pledges to return again someday to
this part of China.
It feels good to be exploring on our own through the Chinese countryside
We buy a fresh lei headband from this roadside vendor for about a dollar
We pass this local farmer leading a water buffalo by the nose, then can't resist stopping for a photo of this cute calf a minute later
These water buffalo have plenty of fresh grass to munch on at this time of year
This woman is loaded down with vegetables and is probably on her way to market in Yangshuo, accompanied by her adorable son in his blue wader boots
This is a wholly different landscape from anything we've seen before, and we love it
Tending these fields must be hard, messy work, but at least the views are inspiring
May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back
Fun juxtaposition of a basketball hoop with a pagoda-style roof
"Enjoy English, Enjoy Yourself" -- We get a kick out of this roadside billboard