Monday, August 4, 2014


From August 1-4 was our first vacation! We were surprised but happy to have a vacation so early into the semester! Originally we wanted to go to an island, Hainan. But a typhoon hit that area, so we had to figure out Plan B (we're still planning on going to Hainan in a couple months though!:)

Plan B was Yangshuo, a small area located North of here in a city called Guilin. Yangshuo has an old history and rich landscape. And it's beautiful! It was a perfect first getaway.

Our group of 5 girls, and the 6 girls from the Changsha group, left Thursday night. Our coordinator purchased the bus tickets for us, and she told us that we were going on a sleeper bus. We were glad that we'd have beds, since it's a 10 hour drive. But come to find out, as we boarded the big bus, we'd be sitting in seats. Flexibility is a virtue!

A couple hours into our journey, the bus made a stop somewhere along the road. It was a small place with a restaurant, chickens in a pen, bathrooms, and lots of trash everywhere on the ground (aka, not the nicest of places.) A few of us had to go to the bathroom, and we had a feeling what we were in for. Squatters. Except these weren't just regular squatter potties. It resembled an animal trough: one long ditch, with no stalls, just a few dividing walls about 3 feet high. Classic China. :)

We finally made it into Yangshuo around 3am. After figuring out the direction of our hostel, we set off. We kept getting lost (it's hard to find things in the dark at 4am), so our group sleepily hunkered down in some random hotels lobby to steal wifi and try to get better directions from Google Maps. :) Eventually around 6:30am we finally came upon our hostel!

Our hostel was located just off of West street (or the "tourist street") and up a somewhat-sketchy alley. :) West street is lined with old buildings that have different shops and restaurants, and there are also lots of street vendors and booths with everything you can imagine! At night though, it turns into party central with clubs/bars blasting music.

Here are some pictures of the highlights of our trip!

Walking to our hostel

Me in front of West Street

On our way to the Mud Caves

Inside the caves
Here we are in the pool of mud! Also, something strange
occurred: we could literally float with no effort---a.k.a., sinking
was impossible. Anyone know why this is?
Posing outside of the mud caves 
Shiqi represent!
West Street at night---so crowded!

The alley to get to our hostel, lol.
Ladies trying to sell water and other merchandise
on top of Moon Hill
Ally, me, Kelita, & Clara (+ Regan) hiked
 to "Moon Hill"
The view! 

Fish pedicures!

 Bamboo rafting down the Yulong river

Kelita & I after rafting
Another thing I didn't get any pictures of (but was a blast) was biking! We rented bikes for 15 Yuan and rode them to where the bamboo rafting was located. Traffic was backed up and crazy and we were swerving in and out it, dodging buses and mopeds and the like! But biking was my favorite because we were able to ride thru the beautiful countryside and admire the mountains while the (humid) wind whistled thru our hair.
Yangshuo was hot, humid, crazy, beautiful, and awesome--all wrapped into one! Such a fun trip and I'm so glad we were able to go. :)
That's all the reporting I can do now,


  1. I love hearing about your adventures Meg I love you hope you are having a blast

  2. Dear Maegan: I am again printing out your blogs as I get them. I am also storing your pictures in your file in my computer. I have been working on my mother's genealogy which was a mess. I now have a genealogy tree on the site; have been working on it for the last six weeks. I would give you a guest invite to the site but I figure you have your hands full right now. You can view it when you get home. Love, Grandma Rogers