After I arrived by morning train in Guilin, I tried to buy my train ticket from Nanning to Hanoi both at the train station and at the CITS travel agency with no luck. Since it was about lunch time I decided to stop at local restaurant. Nothing was in English, so I pulled out the Lonely Planet phrase book and ordered. I should have ordered just one thing because the portions were enormous. I got some beef swimming in some spicy sauce with lots of very long bean sprouts, cooked cucumber and red pepper, and a big sausage with a sunny side egg on top along with rice chased down with some beer.
After that I headed back to the train station and spotted a bus bound for Yangshuo. I have learned to read the Chinese script and match it up with the city name shown in the Lonely Planet. However, the Lonely Planet said the cost was 10 RMB----my 2009 guidebook--and it is now 20 RMB. No matter I was on my way for an 1 1/2 hour scenic bus ride.
It turned out they had moved the bus station in Yangshuo about 2 km outside town where before it was right at the West Street, walking street. After an hour sweaty walk with moto taxi drivers offering to give me a ride, I finally got to the walking street. My rain jacket works well, but I felt that I was walking in a sauna it was so humid despite the rain and clouds.
The weather dashed my dreams of bicycling in the country side and floating down the Yulong River on a bamboo raft. Instead, I checked out all of the vendors, many selling similar items. I also was able to get all of my laundry cleaned and got in a few massages that cost about 138 RMB---$20USD--for 90 minutes. I thought about getting a fish spa treatment where you stick your feet into an aquarium full of little fish that like to eat off your dead skin. I tested it, but the little nips were too ticklish for me to handle.
While I was down by the Li River a group of young Chinese invited me to share their 3 liter draft beer while watching the boats float by.