Mud Bath, Cooking and a Light Show

We went to 7th Heaven cafe for breakfast on October 19, 2008.  Ivan and Jennifer had omelets.  I had a banana pancake.  We were going to rent a moped for the day.  The place to rent mopeds and bicycles was right next to the cafe.  We ate outside.  Ivan and Jennifer kept getting bugged by ladies trying to sell books or jewelry.  Jennifer was getting annoyed since she wanted to eat in peace.  There was a lady named Kelly who wanted to be our tour guide.  She was pointing out places we could go on her map.  Ivan really wanted to check out the Magical Cave.  Inside the cave, you can have a mud bath.  Jennifer didn’t look too keen on the idea of a mud bath.  Ivan got a moped for 4 hours.  Kelly was going to be our guide for the 4 hours.  We went back to the hostel to get our bathing suits.  Ivan, Jennifer and I were on one moped.  I was in the front.  Then, it was Ivan and Jennifer.  Ivan was driving the moped.  I was taking pictures throughout the day.  We followed Kelly, who was also on a moped to the outskirts of Yangshuo.  Our first stop was the Magical Cave.  Kelly was going to watch our moped while we stepped inside and had our mud bath.  We walked through the cave.  It wasn’t anything fabulous.  I think the Reed Flute Cave will be hard to top.  Our guide was a girl named Lu who didn’t speak too much English.  We kept seeing different rocks that were named something.  It gets a bit old after awhile.

glow

There was a turtle that actually did look like a turtle though.  The mud bath area is at the end of the cave.  It’s pretty dark in there.  I was going to watch.  Monkeys and mud do not mix.  My hair would have been muddy for days.  Ivan and Jennifer went into the mud.  Jennifer felt gross about the whole thing.  They said it was really cold in there.  Jennifer said you can feel small bits of mud.

jen

The mud certainly gets everywhere.  Jennifer felt mud all in her bottom half of her swim suit.  There was a cool slide.  You go down it and then you end up in the mud.  Ivan and Jen really liked the slide.  Jennifer seemed to like the slide so much that she went on it three times.

muddy

It seems that she was actually enjoying the mud bath now.  There’s showers right by the mud bath area.  They don’t provide towels though.  So, Ivan and Jennifer were just hanging out waiting to dry.  We walked back to the entrance of the cave.

We drove around the mopeds more.

scene

Kelly took us around the countryside to little villages.  We were thinking of seeing the Big Banyan Tree.  But, they were charging for that.  The Chinese seem to charge for everything.  We saw an old lady and a baby.

lady

We took a few pictures and then she asked for money.  It was great being driven around town.  It was a great seeing the countryside.

We checked in to the Yangshuo Culture House.  We had a good day, but we were so tired.  I think it’s the heat here.  The Culture House provides you with accommodation, free culture lessons and three meals a day.  We met the other people staying at the hostel at dinner.

food

The dinner is a family-style Chinese dinner.  It’s a buffet of various Chinese dishes.  I had to special order my dishes.  I had banana cashew, chicken and bananas and a banana and chocolate pancake.   The food was quite good!

We were picked up early on October 20, 2008.  We were going to be cooking today at the Yangshuo Cooking School.  It was a small class with four people total and a monkey.  We headed to the market first.  Here you can buy fresh ingredients.

frogs

I saw frogs, eels, rabbit, chickens and dog for sale.  I’m glad I didn’t see monkeys for sale.  I would have been out of there quick!  Our instructor Sally told us about the different things used for Chinese cooking.  We drove to the Cooking School.  Our first dish was steamed stuffed vegetables.  My dishes were changed slightly so they included bananas.  Ivan stuffed chicken and chives into his vegetables.

stuffed

Jennifer had pork and chives.  I liked stuffing the bananas and chives into the vegetables.  Jennifer doesn’t really know how to cook.  She was doing good though.  She was usually the last to finish.  Sally was very friendly.  She helped Jennifer out a lot.  We made Eggplant Yangshuo Style.

eggplant

I made Banana Yangshuo Style.  This was a little spicy.  Ivan loved the eggplant dish.  We made the famous Yangshuo dish Beer Fish.  My dish was Banana Beer Fish.  The next dish was Chicken with Cashew Nuts.

chickn

I liked mine better since it was Bananas with Cashew Nuts.  The last dish was Green Vegetables with Garlic.  I made Green Bananas with Garlic.  All the dishes were simple to make and tasted great.  It was a fun class!  Now, I can make some great banana dishes.

Ivan, Jennifer and I rented bicycles from the Yangshuo Culture House on October 21, 2008.  We were going to go on the bamboo river rafts on the river.  We followed a guy on a motorcycle.  He told us the direction to the river.  Then, he caught up with us later and told us to follow another guy.  Neither of them spoke English.  The guy took our bikes and put them in the back of a truck.  We went on the raft and sat down.

raft

It’s a 2 hour ride.  It was really great scenery around the lake.  Ivan brought his speakers and played music on his iPod.  It was relaxing just floating around on a bamboo raft.

hills

I wanted to steer the boat.  But, the guy who was guiding our boat didn’t think monkeys should do it.  Well, that’s the message I got from his Chinese anyway.  There’s parts where you go down a small rapid.  Also, sometimes there’s a stone barrier.  Then, you stand on the barrier while the guy pushes the raft over it.  It was a nice raft ride.

Bamboo Raft Ride

We biked back into Yangshuo.  We were all hungry.  We were going to lock our bikes.  Jennifer thought she should lock it in the square to this sign.  There was a bike locked to it already.  A lady was talking to her in Chinese.  She didn’t understand what she was saying.  Ivan locked his bike to a wood railing.  We had a woodfired pizza.  They were a little pricey and tasted okay.  I’ve had better banana pizzas.  We walked back to the bikes.  Jennifer’s bike was gone.  Ivan asked around about locking bikes to the sign in the square.  A local told him that it’s forbidden to lock it there.  So, the police took the bike to a bus area.  Ivan was nice enough to let Jennifer bike back to the Culture House while he walked.  He walks really fast.  Jennifer felt bad about  the bike.  We got back to the hostel.  Ivan told Wei (the guy who owns the Culture House) about what happened.  So, Ivan and Wei drove to the place.  They had to pay a fine and it was higher since it was on West Street.

We were trying to learn calligraphy from Wei.  It’s really hard to do.  There were other people from the hostel learning as well.  There are 60 characters to learn in Chinese calligraphy.

call

I don’t think anybody really mastered it.  It was fun trying to do it though.

That night, we were going to see the Impression Sanjie Liu light show.  We bought tickets through the hostel.  It included transportation to the show and back.  I sat on Jennifer’s shoulders.  I wanted to sit on her head, but I don’t think she’d like that at all.  The show was an hour long.  It was really amazing.  It was done on a river and the background are the beautiful hills.  There’s over 600 performers and some are fishermen from the villages.  We tried to take pictures but none of the pictures came out good.  I can’t even explain it.  It was just a beautiful show with singing and lights.  It’s a must see show if you’re in Yangshuo.

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