Autumn destinations: Guangxi.
Sometimes the frenetic pace of workaday life can affect us so much that we don’t notice it until we actually stop for a moment and take a step back from the white noise of the city.
That’s one of the reasons we love Guangxi, which is home to the other-worldly karst scenery found in Guilin and Yangshuo as well as the soft, mesmerizing contours of the Dragon’s Back rice terraces in the hills near Longsheng.
This past week we made tracks for Guangxi, looking for a little downtime to relax and reboot in Guilin and Yangshuo, where people are a little more laid back and life moves at the speed of the lazy Li River.
After a chilled-out afternoon taking in Guilin’s scenic parks and waterways, we boarded a slow boat down the Li River, soaking up the karst eye candy until we arrived in idyllic Yangshuo.
The next morning we hopped onto our bicycles and hit the backroads that connect the countless villages in the area. We were a bit slow, but it wasn’t our fault – between the mountains, fields, bamboo and the people there are just too many amazing photos to take outside of Yangshuo.
We eventually reached our destination: Moon Hill. This mountain is something else, even by Yangshuo standards. After hiking up to the massive hole that pierces the upper part of the mountain, we were overwhelmed by the giant stone arch above us.
On the other side of this lunar gateway, we found a vista offering breathtaking views of the lumpy green hills, fading slowly into the foggy distance. In September Yangshuo is still quite warm, and we had worked up quite a thirst. A diminutive older woman who had been following us up the hill pulled an ice-cold bottle of mineral water from the small cooler she carried – perfect.
After quickly finishing off the water, we were overcome by a feeling of refreshment and well-being. A cool breeze blew through the bamboo surrounding us, rustling the leaves.
This was the moment we had come for.
We remained there for another 20 minutes, viewing the vast landscape in silence. As we turned to head down the hill, a slight rumble of hunger began in our bellies. We felt spoiled, knowing that our next stop would be a home-cooked lunch in a nearby village.
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