The Yangshuo area seemed to have two fruit specialities. One was the Pomelo. It is similar to a grapefruit-perhaps a bit sweeter.
The other is the persimmon which is sold as a fairly flat dried fruit. We saw lots of these drying out in the sun especially near the highway.
Another local favourite is sugar cane- you will see lots of vendors selling them. They look like sticks in a carrier(see photo).
To eat them tear off the hard outer skin and bite in the white bit. Suck out the juice and discard the husks.
They cost less than 1 Yuan and actually are less sweet than processed sugar.
My favorite thing about Yanghuo was to rent a bike and go biking in the mountains through the villages, just to ride around looking at the people and their way of life. You can see this down anyroad near Yanghuo as there are many villages.
If you take a bike ride anywhere near Yanghuo on the trails or little roads then you will see young kids playing all by themselves in the middle of nowhere. Some will come up to you and touch your bike, grab your leg or something like that, all are very nice.
There are plenty of women you will see near Yanghuo on the bikerides or hikes that are washing clothes, motorcycles, and food. I saw a few motorcycles and other things from their home and aswell as the lady with the potatoes. They dont mind if you take a picture, but one woman wanted like 2 rmb for a picture.
There are many paths near Yanghuo to bike or walk down and see many rice fields, people spend all day working there and you can see it all around Yanghuo. To get more information on where to go to see this you can pick up a map from your hotel/hostel or ask around the town. Or you can go with a tour group for a couple hour trip and see the really nice rice fields ( you can also do this your self, just have to know where to go ) You should get bikes and try to make these trips your self, the tour groups will be much more as well.
In Southern China fishing with the help of cormorants is quite popular. In Yangshuo most of the fishermen now show their bird to the tourists, earning some money, when the tourists take their photos.
Since ancient times in China, cormorants have been tamed and trained to catch and bring back fish to their owners. Training starts when the young birds are fully grown and feathered. One is tied by a string to a stake at the water's edge. At a whistle signal it is pushed into the water and tossed a bit of fish. Then, after a different whistle, it is pulled back and rewarded again. As soon as the bird gets the idea, live fish is used. Then it is graduated to a boat or raft and a string tied around its neck so that it cannot swallow the fish it caught.
I had the oppurtunity so watch a funeral procession going on just beneath my window!
Chinese people consider watching a funeral as bad luck. I did not experience any bad luck after I had seen this funeral parade.
For more please see my travelogue!
The market place in Yangshuo is a nice place to stroll. Buy some fruit and take it along on your bike-tour through the countryside.
I remember we took lots of Chinese pears with us, they are very juicy and in the hot summers they are refreshing, and because they are usualy quite large, they also fill you up. Don't forget to peel the fruit!
I guess you can never be too ready but...
Here when someone gets on in years they buy and store a coffin for them in the back room of their house. For them it brings comfort to know they are ready for me it would be un-nerving to see my last travel arrangement!!
The landscape is fabulous, but locals have no time to enjoy it: agriculture is a very hard life, and the use of ancient techniques turn it harder.
Rice is the main product, and buffaloes the great help. But men have to struggle!
Most of the eatery shops, you will find that the tables are lower than the normal tables and the seats provided are little stools. They are usually made of wood. If you are small sized, you will find it quite easy to adjust yourself but if you are of a bigger frame and have longer legs ..... well, ha..ha.ha.., suggest you stand and eat :)
In several places we noticed that some people use long special sleeves to drive.
I never saw it anywhere, and don't know the idea.
Even the electric car that took us from yhe hotel in Yangshuo to the farming area, was driven by a lady wearing... long sleeves.
The famous past time over here seems to be gambling - playing cards. You can see the locals gathered around, anytime of the day, when they are not busy with the activities, engrossed in a game of cards. Many of the street tour- operator pedlars, ferry/rafts operators will either sit around, under a tree or any shade betting on the game. The local police seems oblivious to this activity - I guess it is legal after all....
When we were at East Street going towards the village of Mushan during our bicycle ride, we saw an entrance of a new hotel carpeted with the remnants of the burnt red fire crackers. At the entrance too, there was a red piece of cloth being hung on the top of the door. Congratulatory flower stands of bright colours were displayed at the main entrance.
For the Chinese, the colour red denotes luck, happiness and good fortune. Therefore, it is customary to see all things "red"