I'm finally past the Great Firewall after receiving some help from a fellow hosteller. I'm currently in Xīngpíng, a small city 25 km north of Yángshuò, where I'll be staying for a couple days.
|Xīngpíng looking toward the image printed on the 20 yuan|
Getting here has been an interesting journey mostly attributed to my inability to read, speak or understand Chinese. I've been trying to spend some time practicing pīnyīn whenever I can and just starting delving into the grammar but it hasn't really helped in any situation yet. When push comes to shove, I degenerate to hand motions and single Chinese words repeated several times with some English mixed in as if it will help the situation. It doesn't help that I'm Korean since the first thing everyone thinks when they approach me is that I'm Chinese so they start speaking in Chinese to me. It also doesn't help that my Korean is terrible. There was one situation where I was trying to get directions to a place from a Chinese person. We couldn't understand each other. However, she told me to wait a moment. After a couple minutes, she brought a Korean person over to me. The conversation started off okay but after the questions got a bit more complicated, I couldn't understand. Sad times.
Here's a great way to get to Xīngpíng from Hong Kong:
- 2-hour train from Hong Kong to Guǎngzhōu
- 10-hour bus from Guǎngzhōu to Guìlín
- 1-hour bus from Guìlín to Yángshuò
- 1-hour bus from Yángshuò to Yangdi
- 1-hour boat from Yangdi to Xīngpíng
Of course, this wasn't all in one sitting. It's good to take your time in this area.