We spent the morning experiencing the beautiful Yu Long River (遇龙河), a long river along low-lying terrain where farmers plant rice, pomelos, and tangerines. It was a deliciously cool there and the sun was out, but it was really misty so it cast this hazy effect over everything – very magical. We went on a bamboo raft over the river, powered along by a man standing on the end with a bamboo stick. It was totally surreal – the scenery was beautiful and the river absolutely calm.
One problem? The beautiful, serene, moment completely destroyed by hustlers. These middle-aged ladies were trying to sell little bags and keychains. Which is fine and all, but they were REALLY aggressive. Their tactic was basically to find 1 person each to latch on to, and they followed them persistently, REFUSING to give up or go away, until they were given money. It was actually kinda horrific. On the one hand, you want to give the money to help them out, and on the other, you wanna scream at them in horror for harassing the absolute crap out of you. I don’t know why the local government doesn’t step in and stop it, or at least teach them that no one would ever buy a thing if they behave like that.
There was one lady though, that stepped onto our boat with her little boy. I started talking to her and she tried to sell me her stuff, but I said “no thanks” and that was it. She didn’t persist, or swear, or harass me. So I felt she was really nice and ended up buying her keychains. I figure it’s best to reward good behaviour rather than bad/rude behaviour, right? Plus, her kid was adorable :P The others pointed out that in China, it’s common to ‘rent a kid’ specifically to target soft-hearted people. I know that, but how do I know for sure he really wasn’t her kid (honestly seemed like he was)? Plus, she was nice and he was cute, so there ;)
Other than that, it was a pretty perfect experience.. and very cool to experience something like that in China :)
Going across the bridge on the way to the Yu Long River
Gorgeous views of the hills all round Guilin
A random pony
The floating bamboo rafts
The gorgeous river
Sitting on the bamboo raft
The lady and her cute kid!
There are these floating stalls selling small bbq fish and cold beer
The kid eating the bbq fish – too cute!
Dogs hanging around, we couldn’t figure out if they were wild or pets
A massive house
Enjoying our ride
The Hong Kong guys