Postcards from Guangxi

A bridge in Guilin.

A bridge in Guilin, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

A street performer in Guilin. The sign on the left says: "Don't eat cats and dogs. Don't eat friends." The other one says, "With global warming comes smog/haze. The country (government) should ban firecrackers."

A woman I passed on the way to my hostel in Guilin. The sign on the left says, “Don’t eat cats and dogs. Don’t eat friends.” The other one says, “With global warming comes smog/haze. The country (government) should ban firecrackers.” Fireworks are commonly used to celebrate Chinese New Year, but some people have called for a ban on them to curb air pollution.

In a cab, somewhere between Guilin and Yangshuo.

In a cab, somewhere between Guilin and Yangshuo county.

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Yangshuo county, one of the most popular tourist destinations in China.

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Biking through an old town outside Yangshuo county.

Man on the Moon Hill

To get a birds-eye view of Yangshuo’s picturesque scenery, I hiked up a hill a few miles south of the county’s bustling center.

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Moon Hill.

The hill is known for its natural arch, and the Chinese call it Yueliang shan (月亮山), which literally translates into moon mountain. Sections of the 1,250-foot hike to the arch are steep, but the trail is paved with concrete steps. Continue reading

Scenery unforgettable; the camera bag, not so much

I’ve traveled enough that preparing for a trip has become routine. The night before I leave, I make sure essential items have already been packed. Plenty of clean underwear. Passport. Cellphone charger. ATM card. Digital SLR camera.

I sleep easier knowing that when I wake up the following morning, all I have to worry about is brushing my teeth (never optional) and showering (sometimes optional).

For Chinese New Year, I traveled to Yangshuo (阳朔), a county in southern China’s Guangxi (广西)Zhuang Autonomous Region. Because of its unique landscape, Guangxi is a place I’d been wanting to visit ever since I moved to China. The province’s karst peaks give it an otherworldly feel. Continue reading