Friday, November 6, 2015

A weekend getaway to Guilin

Everyone has always raved how beautiful Guilin is. Peyton went back when he lived in Hong Kong and it was always his top favorite place in China. I needed to check it out! You have probably heard of it, or seen it in pictures. It has the rolling hills nestled around a river. It's so picturesque it looks fake. But, I assure you, it is real. And amazing.


We decided this would be a good opportunity to take a long weekend vacation right after the October holiday. It would be less packed with Chinese tourists than it was the week before. Our plane was still packed with Chinese people (go figure) so we decided to take them up on some free babysitting. Sometimes everyone loving Samantha can have its advantages. I hate flying with a toddler, Let's just pass this kid around! This is when having an overly trusting and friendly child is a good thing.




We ended up staying at a resort in Yangshuo called The Yangshuo Mountain Retreat. You can find more info on it here. It was placed right next to the river so you could hear the relaxing water your whole stay. The view from our room was amazingly beautiful. We got in late at night and headed straight to bed. You couldn't really tell where we were cause it was dark when we arrived but in the morning I got a big surprise! Hello, gorgeous!





I am pretty obsessed with this place. We decided to rent bicycles to go everywhere. Our hotel had a baby seat attached to these awesome beach cruisers. We were in heaven. We have rented bikes on a few of our vacations and it is always the best way to see the location. You see so much more than sitting in a car.






That night after our long but beautiful bike ride we tag teamed watching Samantha and got foot massages in front of the river during sunset. Our hotel offers them, cheap cheap cheap. It could not have been more perfect. That night we put Sam to bed and sat outside our patio reading and listening to the river.


The next morning we woke up early and decided to ride our bikes to a mountain called Moon Hill that we would hike. It was pretty much 98% stairs.  87 flights of them, in fact. Thanks to my Fitbit. It was a strenuous hike but the view was beautiful. Peyton is a trooper for carrying Samantha in the carrier during our hike. This girl loves that thing. We realize she's now big enough for a backpack one. We definitely wanna get one for our next trip. There was a sherpa climbing it that we stopped to talk to. She was 89 years old and she climbs it everyday with cold drinks in her pouch. She will fan you and offer you a drink, for a tip! She is brilliant.







We then rode our bikes back to our resort, took a nap and then decided to go ride into this small village in the outskirts of the city. We stuck out like sore thumbs. It was definitely eye opening to see how some people live. It was very sad to see the kids running around in the dirt without shoes on and houses without roofs.







The next day we woke up and wanted to do a sunrise float down the river on a bamboo raft. This is THE activity to do when you visit. I was so excited for it. Of course I bought a flower crown to celebrate our boat ride. Because, why not!? The river ride on our raft was very relaxing. I could have taken the 6 hour ride (yes that exists) but Samantha kept trying to dive in for a swim, so... maybe next time. Our little gondola man loved splashing water on her. Of course she loved it just as much.










That afternoon we rode our bikes to this small village to eat a pizza lunch. It was actually quite delicious. We toured a natural cave that is in the city. The Chinese people had it all pimped out like a club with so many multicolored lights. It was like a rave in there! We joked that it reminded us a little of Pirates of the Caribbean.



We had a very late flight at about midnight and then arrived back in Shanghai. It was a very short and fun trip. I am glad we saw one of the most beautiful places in China. I would definitely go back.