Have you always been looking for some place quiet?
After a successful self-finding-slash-self-indulging-solo-travel in the end quarter of 2012, I found myself starting a tradition.
That is, to take a trip once a year, on my own, to collect memories, try new adventures, and meeting inspiring people.
In 2013, I last-minute-ly picked, Yangshuo, China!
I was supposed to go to Vietnam for this trip but my renewal of Chinese visa got delayed, so Frenchie suggested that (somehow) Yangshuo is close to Vietnam.
Well, I'm not really sure about that because...
- He's never been to Vietnam at that time.
- Spending three weeks on his part in Yangshuo is not exactly a good comparison to a country that is Vietnam.
- How should I know?!?
So the moment I got my new Chinese visa at hand, specifically making me a legal alien yet again in this country, I booked a flight to Yangshuo and flew early morning the next day.
I love airports.
Or perhaps the swarm of people I see around me--having different routes to take.
My secret desire for a career was to be a flight stewardess.
I tend to pretend that I can hear their personal stories in my head, as to why they wanted to take a journey, wherever there is they’re going…
“Who’s going to pick me up when I reached arrival?”
“I miss my daughter so much I can’t wait to hug her.”
“I wonder if I had her smell in my shirt, I hope my wife is not home yet.”
“Another airport again, I’m sooo exhausted!!!”
Almost six hours later—3.5 by air and 1.5 by land, and .5 by lake, I was welcomed by a magnificent view of Li River.
Now, I have to tell you that in spite of consulting Frenchie and tripadvisor and an additional friend called Brian, I did not entirely plan or knew what I should be doing in this part of the mainland.
Heck, I didn't even know that the inn-- Xingping Our Inn, I booked was two hours away from Guilin!
But you see, that’s the good thing of traveling alone, when this shit happens, you have no one to blame except yourself.
I did not do the blaming.
After all, the sight can make up to what I was really looking for.
The trip was also my ME time. Early that year, the work has just been crazy and I literally needed a break and a real vacation, which for normal people like me, means doing nothing.
Which probably explains why I didn't exactly plan plan the whole trip.
All I know is I needed a new scenery…a far cry from high rise buildings and smog.
And oh boy, Frenchie is very well right to say that it'll be like Vietnam (but then again, how should I know?!)
Little did I know that the small town of Xingping was a big reminder of what I missed most about home...
- It was very quiet and peaceful. Business stop at exactly 6:30 PM.
- I love how old people are living without qualms in such a touristy environment.
- The ancient place is like a time capsule (at least for me) when it stood the test of modernity.
- The natural beauty and wonder of nature was truly a sight to behold.
- This little town of Xingping is popularly known to Chinese as the place of the 20 renminbi bill.
For five days, I was treated to a beautiful scenery, good food (I highly recommend the beer fish) and the awesome and inspiring company of the travelers I've met.
Biking became like an afternoon hobby. You can rent a bike for RMB25/day.
And hiking was my new exercise.
I had a fabulous, lovely time, and very quiet ME time so to speak...