Sunday, January 13, 2008


China came and went so fast, where do I begin! We flew into Guilin and met some fellow couchsurfers. The first night we actually all went out to dinner together. 4 Americans, 1 Aussie, 1 Belgian, 1 Japanese, 2 Chinese, 2 Koreans and a Canadian! It was so fun to hang out with so many different people. We actually ended up traveling around with the Americans and the 2 Koreans for the whole week! They all spoke Chinese so it made traveling much easier, because barely any of the Chinese speak English.

We headed south and out of the city and we took a sunset boat cruise on the Li river. The following day, we rented bicycles and cuised through the countryside among the hills and along the river, winding in and out of the small villages. There were times where we crossed the river on a bamboo boat with our bikes. We ate sugarcane from street vendors, shopped in the local markets, and ate super good food. It was quite the day.

After a long bus ride north, we landed in a small village inhabited by a Dong minority group. This village was surrounded by 8 other minorities. The crumbling brick walls deteriorate to dust toward the street and all the fractured wooden structures stack on top of each other. Roofs held together by cemented newspaper shingles with a dusty stone floor do little to keep out the elements. There are clothes in every window ceil and each alley has its our garden. Wild chickens and ducks roam the streets and rice paddies, each one up for the taking. We stayed at a family run hostel just outside the village and were greeted with a warm welcome and a very fresh meal. All of the veggies were from their garden and we had ordered chicken and some other things. I saw the owner of the hostel start to leave on a bike, and I said (jokingly) “He’s going out hunt down our chicken!” haha and sure enough 10 minutes later, he came back with a chicken squawking on a rope from the handle bars.

The people in the village were wonderful. Everywhere you look there are babies and elderly people. All the children yell “hello” or “hello bye” and they love to see their pictures on the back of the camera.

An old women followed us forever trying to sell us these decorative balls on a string. At the end of the trip we bought one (all of about 50 cents), out of guilt from her persistence!

A million photos in no particular order!


Anonymous said...

Beth and Blaine:
Well, I guess this means that you guys made it to Vietnam o.k. I have never had chicken quite that fresh. The photos are really exciting too. My favorite is the one with the two women. Their faces are expressive. Love, Michigan Dad

Anonymous said...

Mom here,
The children are wonderful. Makes me want you to bring them home!
All the pics are fantastic. See you soon. Dad said it is almost 90% I'm comming!!!! yea!!!!

David said...


Holy crap.

A. June said...

ummm...pretty much what david said. :)

I have a website now, but as always your images put mine to serious shame.