Sunday, August 07, 2005

A view of the rice fields of Longsheng.

Katharina wearing the local clothes at our hosts house in Longsheng

Our lunch cooking at Longsheng. The bamboo is filled with rice and chicken and takes almost an hour to cook.

The area is prone to landslides. This house just barely survived...

Here we are with the local woman who cooked us our lunch and took us on a tour around the fields. She and I chatted and she told me when she was young she'd walk 4 hours to school. She did not like her town and wanted to leave. working on the steep rice fields was hard on her back which is not strong. Since tourism to the town has picked up alot, she has been able to open a restaurant and inn, and is now one of the more wealthy people in town. In her minority culture men and women are considered about equal, and a male child is not neccessary to carry on the family name. Interestingly I saw her giving all the orders to her husband rather than the other way around. The trip here was a reminder on how poor and hard life can be in the country in China, and how tourism and foreign guests can impact a local economy so drastically. I wonder what will happen to their social structure as contact with the outside world goes on.

Not far from Guilin and the beautiful Li river scenery, these are the terraced rice fields of Longsheng.

A hike up moonhill outside of Yangshuo gave us this panoramic view of jade dragon river, the karst hills, farm feelds and a few houses.

The Li river was lined by tall stands of bamboo. As it was early in the morning people were out on the rocky river banks washing clothes and catching fish.

We took an illegal private motor boat tour down the Li river and thus left early in the morning before any officials come out to patrol. Thus we got to see the last wisps of mist before the sun got too high

Katharina, myself and even our boatsman did plenty of swimming in the clean water as we drifted leisurely down the river.

Our favourite outing was taking the bamboo raft down the jade dragon river outside of Yangshuo and then taking a bike ride back to town. (the bikes were stored on the raft as we went down the river).

A statue of a General overlooking the ocean from the island Gulangyu just a few minutes ferry ride from Xiamen.

In Xiamen we went swimming which we enjoyed thoroughly.

Me in a park in Xiamen

My Sister Katharina under some decorated trees in Xiamen (a town on the coast south of Fuzhou and opposite Taiwan)