Last month I travelled to China for a 2 week trip. I flew into Beijing: one of the most impressive airports I had ever seen, then onto Yangshuo, with its spectacular beauty and remarkable karsts, but also it's unexpected cafe society.
Having settled in my guide took me to the mountains to visit the famous rice terraces and where the only way to the top was on foot or on a donkey. My guide took me to a wonderful log cabin. We ate at a local restaurant. I had a rice dish cooked in bamboo over an open fire. It was truly delicious. The next day my guide took me for long hike through the rice terraces where her knowledge of the area and local people was formidable. In the absence of signposts I was I was astonished at her sense of direction. We stopped for a meal (no restaurants) at the house of local rice pickers where they picked fresh vegetables straight from the garden and cooked them on a fire pit in the middle of the room. The Ritz could not match taste or freshness and would come nowhere near matching the experience. On we travelled my guide led us through magnificent scenery (truly the top of the world experience) and regaled me with more information about the origins of the rice terraces. I was dazzled.
Back to Yangzhou then to a cookery class enjoying the spoils of our labour again overlooking a wonderful landscape . The next day we cycled out into the countryside where water buffalo were parked outside farmers modest homes. We stopped for an impromptu game of netball with some local children organised by my guide. Over the course of my stay we travelled down the Li river on a bamboo raft and had to stop during a spectacular thunderstorm . Stopping at a small village for lunch. Then went onto a light show the likes of which I had never seen.
My guide organise a tai chi class on the banks of theLli river. We visited unbelievable caves set in the karsts . My guide give us the best advice on everything from shopping street food to local markets. We experienced a wonderful foot massage to rest our weary. Feet that had done so much. Having travelled fairly extensively in my life nothing had compared and that guide was my daughter who had gone for a gap year and had just completed her program with Karstaway.
Had I worried ....unbelievably so. My daughter had only just finished sixth form and I wasn't sure if she was too young but I was so impressed. Thank you Karstaway for looking after her so well and for providing us both with the experience of a lifetime!