Oh no, I can’t believe it; we wake up to the sound of torrential rain. What a nightmare. It seems like crappy weather is following us around China. We have breakfast in bed and spend the morning checking a few emails and generally catching up on stuff on the internet. By midday the rain has stopped and we set off along the Li River for Xiangbi Shan Park. (Elephant Trunk Hill Park) It’s lovely in there, with lots of cute and picturesque bridges over the river and some gorgeous flowers in the gardens.
As expected the kids aren’t too impressed, but that all changes when we reach the giant water bubbles. Perfect, we didn’t have a go in Happy Valley in Beijing due to the combination of cost and long queues but there isn’t anyone waiting and its only Y20 each. What a laugh, this has to be one of the more bizarre things we have seen in China and the kids love it. Scarily though when they are pulled in from the water they both said they were starting to have trouble breathing in their bubbles. I guess the health and safety law in England wouldn’t allow these! Probably for good reason!
We walk all along the river, I see a sign saying the river is called The Peach Blossom River which is really pretty but actually although fairly scenic it’s not as wonderful as all that. There are some great little floating restaurants though, the crabsticks here are whole small crabs speared onto skewers and barbequed rather than the pink and white rubbery things we get in England.
We have seen and experienced some strange and interesting sights whilst in China. One thing we have noticed is that babies don’t seem to wear nappies. Instead their trousers are split from bum to crutch with all their bits on display and ready to pee wherever the mood takes them! So strange! Next is the Chinese obsession with photography, many of the Chinese people we have met have asked us if they can take our photograph. On occasion we have felt like tourist attractions ourselves and it is a bit hard to understand why they are so interested in us when after all, wherever we have been in China we have seen quite a few other Westerners. (We’re not that rare!)
It seems that the prostitution rates are high here. Simon has been approached by pimps touting for business much more frequently in China than in the other Asian countries we have visited. It also turns out that the “wrong number” telephone calls we have received in our hotel rooms are in fact sex workers and this is very common here.
We climbed Elephant Trunk Hill and had our photo taken in the curve of the trunk. In the afternoon we did some science revision with the kids. We have almost covered the entire science curriculum for the year now which is good.
In the evening we go out for dinner and have some great food. The food in the south has undoubtedly been more to our tastes than in the Northern provinces. Much less greasy and more vegetables available. The kids are so good and will more or less give anything a go although they draw the line at duck heads on sticks.
Off to bed now, we are going on a trip tomorrow joining a Chinese tour group. God help us.