Winter Holiday in Guilin and Yangshuo, China with the Nikon D600

First post in 2013, my family vacation in Guilin and Yangshuo in China. It was the coldest time to visit Yangshuo, the temperature was between 1 to 4 degrees Celcius, it took us about 1 day to get used to the chilly weather. We spent only 1 night in Guilin, as the main attraction was really Yangshuo. The first highlight was the boat cruise down the Li River, from Guilin to Yangshuo. My newly acquired Nikon D600 was put to the test here, and came through with flying colors.

Spectacular karst peaks surrounded us, shrouded in mist and rain. I can imagine how much better the scenery would have been if it was spring or summer.

A fruit hawker parking his bamboo raft next to our cruise boat.

The view from Tea Cozy, where we stayed in Yangshuo. The Nikon D600 showed tremendous dynamic range in the shadows, this shot was exposed for the landscape outside and yet was able to retain so much shadow detail.

Dinner was at Cloud 9 in West Street. This is the famous beer fish of Yangshuo.

Bought Jamie the giraffe at West Street.

It was so cold that this bonfire scene was quite common throughout our trip.

Fuli Market, where the locals shop. Market days are every 3 days, and the schedule is planned in such a way that market days in different towns don’t overlap. (eg. Fuli market days are 2nd, 5th, 8th while Xingping market days are 3rd, 6th, 9th and so on).

Open air barber at Fuli Market.

We visited the local market in Fuli Town (not to be confused with the similar-sounding Fuli Bridge which is located in an entirely different area) for breakfast and some groceries, from which our guide Curry Chen masterfully prepared lunch at the home of an old lady who lives alone in Longtan countryside village, near the Moon Hill.

Longtan Village.

One of the dishes that Curry cooked was ‘hui guo rou’ which is a very tasty pork dish with capsicum. It was so cold that the food turned cold before we had even finished eating. The oil used to stir-fry had also turned solid in the wok.

It was an eye opener to witness the tough conditions the old lady lived in, especially in the cold of winter.

A light show directed by Zhang Yimou, the Impression Liu Sanjie was quite a feast for the eyes. Powerful and boldly colored spotlights cut through the fine droplets of rain to illuminate performers dressed in traditional minority Chinese costumes, who seemed to dance effortlessly on the lake.

The final day of our stay looked promising, with clearer skies and no rain. This is Fuli Bridge, a stone bridge from the Ming Dynasty.

Bamboo rafts lying idle during winter.

Village life in the Yangshuo countryside. Evidence of tourism can be seen in the ‘WC’ words next to the Chinese words.

Common sight of elderly folk carrying very young children on their back, here at the QingLongQiao bridge.

Children playing in winter at the Yulong bridge.

Dried persimmon cake being prepared for the shops.

A kumquat farm near Xiatang village.

The good weather on the last day of our trip gave us a chance to do a short bicycle tour of the countryside, from Xiatang to Jiuxian ancient village.

Yangshuo rice field in winter.

An authentic Ming Dynasty home in Jiuxian. We chanced upon one that recently had a wedding celebration, hence the firecracker leftovers strewn on the floor.

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