While traveling though China we have been on numerous country rice field hikes putting us smack-dab in the remote country side. I was itchy to get on a bike and Yangshuo was the perfect town for us to jump on a scooter. Most days were sunny, so weather was not an issue, we just never found the right time and place but this was it.Our guesthouse provided the rental and gave us a map that showed the different routes we could take depending on how long we wanted to ride. We picked an all day ride that would give us the option to maybe find somewhere to grab some lunch if we could. Once we nailed out all of the info we jumped on our scooter and headed out not knowing what we would find.
The day was one of those summer days you could be outside all day. Our drive started off heading down this windy road with limestone cliffs scatted across the landscape. There's no wonder why many rock climbers call this home. We quickly pulled off to the side of the road to snap a few photos while taking in the surroundings so while I was driving I could keep concentrated on the road. This proved difficult still though as the landscape is amazing in this part of the country.
While cruising on the country roads, one noise that's different from the natural noises you may hear is the loud, slow, ugly homemade generator farmer trucks. These trucks are everywhere, it would be like if my dad hooked up his garden tiller and added a rusted out dump truck bed from the back forty to it and decided to go into town for supply's with my mom.
They are always friendly though, greeting us with waves and smiles as we pass them. We encountered many that were broken down on the side of the road overheating or with busted belts where the farmer was working hard at fixing them to make it home.
We passed through many little farmers villages where the locals were sitting out front taking in the nice summer day or drying out corn they had just recently picked, which they spread across any concrete they could find, including the road. Chickens scatter from the roads as you pass though, many of them eying up the displays of corn, while dogs just give you a sleepy stare as they are sunning themselves on the road or curled up on someone's door step.
Cow crossing signs are not posted but we encountered cows eating on the side of the road grazing on what ever they could finf. Many took up the whole road and just looked at us like 'who are you to make me move' so we needed to take our time and wait for the cows to move on. Horns and the scooter did not seem to faze these cows at all.
We knew we would be out for a while so we packed water, but we thought we would find some little hole in the wall where we could have a snack at some point during the day. However, that was not the case, we did not find any places that were open for tourists. Luckily we pulled into a larger town that had a market and we were able to find some snacks.We sat on curve in front of our scooter eating our new found goodies as people looked at us like we didn't belong there.
Once we finished, Lina took control and decided to drive. It's always funny for me to be on the back of the bike, I would rather drive then ride but the endless windy country roads were the best roads to build up experience. The locals had a hoot when they saw a guy hugging a girl who was driving.
The roads were not marked very well and we missed our turn by the rice field and ended up in another city where kids just got off from school. Some we would honk to get them to wave and some would not even be fazed by the horn honking, while others would yell out hello to us while smiling and waving to us. Once we cleared the schoolyard antics of kids and parents picking up their kids, we switched back to me driving so we could rocket home and get some dinner.
The roads can be hectic, crowded and slightly unsafe in China if you aren't familiar with their traffic manners. If you're looking to get on a scooter to enjoy some of China's countryside, then Yangshuo is certainly the place to give this a try. While there's still lots of people driving, you will find yourself virtually alone as you explore the area around this popular city in South China.