07.02.2012 - 07.02.2012 -2 °C
Today is an epic travel day, firstly leaving Yangshuo and am quite sad to be going, I actually love the place, views, food, hotel, and the people. Basically it's a two and a half hour bus trip back to Guilin and then another hour bus transfer to the airport and then a flight three hours to Shanghai. So will be leaving at 1.00pm and arriving tonight at 10.30 tonight, leaving time for incidentals and Chinese transportation.
So really nothing to interesting to report today, just took one last stroll around Yangshuo in the morning soaking up the last of these amazing views. Then head to the bus stations and airport. Pretty sure will be flying cattle class today, but paid for a good seat as always otherwise I have to concertina my legs.
So thought I might add some 'to do's' and 'not to do's' for anyone thinking of traveling China;
Do give yourself a good day and a half to settle into the rush of Chinese Life.
Do have flexibility in your schedule if traveling during spring festival as train tickets are hard to come by with over 250 million locals traveling.
Do learn a bit more Mandarin that I did, it definitely goes a long way.
Do search for the best prices on tours, they can be up to $15AUD difference in price.
Do try everything on a stick, it's usually incredible. Plus do eat with the locals they know what's good.
Do ask to see your room before you pay. Sometimes it could save you for a gross hostel, or a smelly one.
Do come for Chinese New Year and Spring Festival, there is so much going on for the two weeks, it's more lively even though it's freezing.
Do see, eat, and experience everything.
Do book a rest destination, I definitely needed one.
Do allow ample time to get to trains stations and airports. They ARE BUSY and everything takes longer when there are that many people.
Don't get ripped off by taxis, I have, ask the free travel advice places how much you should pay and always try and get one the meter (doesn't always work) in Xi'an all taxis quoted the same inflated prices.
Don't go crazy with the camera, I found at times I missed out because I was too busy taking pictures instead of enjoying the experience.
Don't ask for the price of stuff if you aren't keen on buying from stalls, they get really angry.
Don't eat Western food, most of the people I met have gotten sick from KFC and McDonalds or Western food in smaller restaurants, plus your in China
Don't miss out on seeing something that you walk past because it has a bleak exterior. Most of the incredible things I've seen have ordinary gates, containing incredible sights. Always go in!
Don't drink cheap local wine, it's I guess an acquired taste, so ordering a bottle of 'great wall' branded wine at dinner that's horrible and having to finish it is not fun.
Don't think about what you might be eating, it's tasty and easier if you just eat it.
Don't expect more people to speak English, they don't and/or Won't.
Anyway just about to get on the plane to Shanghai, so I'll leave this here. Tomorrow in Shanghai.