Eight days in beautiful Guangxi

Eight days in beautiful Guangxi

Day  79 Quanzhou to Guilin, 135 km
Day  80 Guilin to Yangshuo, 70 km
Day  81 Yangshuo to Mengshan, 85 km
Day 83/84 Mengshan to Wuzhou, 170 km
Day 85 Wuzhou to Cenxi, 80 km
Day 86 Cenxi to Yulin , 99 km
Day 87 Yulin to Shijiaozhen 99 km
That is roughly 700 kilometers  in total. Put on the helmet, here we go!
Quanzhou seems like one of these small counties that I could stay for months. The air is humid and it is slightly raining the whole time. In the tiny alleys, people are bustling through the small shops that sell fresh chicken feet, pork and dried fish. I struggle to maneuver my bike over the wet cobblestones  with hardly any space left between me and the pedestrians. At the end of the alley is a restaurated bridge with ancient look. Grandpa’s and grandma’s singing songs accompanied by Chinese classical instruments. The perfect place for sesame noodles and steamed dumplings accompanied with a soybean milk. With a full stomach, I am on the way to the next destination: Guilin city!
I arrive in Guilin exhausted. However,I couldn’t be more excited to be here. The twin pagodas are beautiful lit up at night while the moon shines through hidden back lanes. But the most famous sight in town is directly on my way to Sanya: the county of Yangshuo. So the next day, it is 70 kilometers towards this outlandish looking but world-famous scenery.
Guangxi is, obviously, quite a mountainous region. Together with the humid climate, riding is tough. Sometimes I didn’t know whether I was soaking wet because of the rain or because of exertion. However, it is an absolutely stunning province. And it seems that apart from the tourist destination of Yangshuo and Guilin, the rest of the province is not touristy at all. From the moment I left the famous moon hill in Guilin city behind me, I had the scenery all the way to Mengshan solely to myself.
The next destinations on my list: Wuzhou, Cenxi and the city of Yulin. Frankly speaking, I’ve neither thought nor did I ever hear of these cities before. But I can tell you that it was worth riding the 350 kilometers in the humid heat. Zelda, a great soul and passionate school teacher, gave one of the warmest welcome of the whole trip, a fantastic tour through the city of Wuzhou and a great interview about her life. Unfortunately the schedule only allowed one day before leaving for Cenxi.
The last bigger city while crossing Guangxi is infamous for it’s dog meat festival – the city of Yulin. I know there are stereotypes in Western cultures thinking that everybody in Chinese eats cats and dogs. These foreigners might mistake Yulin with the rest of China. In fact, I met lots of Chinese people never dare to eat dogs meat. I did and felt sorry after. Not only that it does not feel right. And that the taste is way below good. But much worse after having found out how many dogs are tortured. I am thankful that petitions, protests and public statements against these practices have reduced the consumption of dogs that are robbed, poisened or beaten to death. By the way, same goes for French ‘foie gras’ where goose are fatten cruelly and their livers sold as a delicacy to the wealthy. But we don’t have to look that far. The same goes for animals that we consider as “normal” meat. Pigs, cows, chicken. I am not saying we all should become vegan. In fact I do eat meat myself. But we should be aware of the animals we eat and cherish their lifes for that we take it. Now that I am becoming aware of this, I will start to consume differently. Because if you could see the origin of some food, you surely would lose all appetite.
Besides this peculiarity of Yulin, the city itself is much bigger than I expected it to be. The never ending “peoples road” seems the lane line of this city that brings it to life. And speaking of life, I am feeling incredible powerful and motivated to move on. Because I knew that in less than 100 Kilometers, I will have crossed another province bringing me closer to the South China Sea.
 

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