After we had noisily rafted along a portion of the Li River, we decided to raft along the Yulong River to see how it compared. This is the river that ran right past our resort and maintained a steady flow of boat traffic, though this was much quieter than the Li River boat traffic. For one thing, there were no motors! We chose late in the afternoon, when most (but not all – obviously) rafters had packed up for the day. It was also threatening rain – and rain it did once we were on the raft – so that could have driven away other tourists.
We got the retreat to arrange the trip for us – they called a taxi which took us to a drop in point 10 minutes drive upstream and a couple (I think) of hours raft downstream. We paid the cost of the taxi and raft to the taxi driver, as the resort had advised us to, and this saved us haggling a fair price, as well as having the punter (is that what they are? he was punting…) ask for more money at the end of the trip (this happened to some other people staying at the retreat who organised their trip themselves). All we had to do was show up with our camera, a bottle of wine and a couple of wine glasses.
Rafts at the drop-in point.
Along the river
The resort in the distance
Relaxing – and eating the video camera!
Yes, it was touristy, particularly when we’d go down a little weir and then we’d have to stop at a nearby pontoon while someone tried to sell us a photo they had taken of us – this happened at least three times before the punter realised we weren’t going to buy any. He still stopped at each pontoon selling food (deep fried fish) and beer. We didn’t buy any fish and they could see we were drinking wine, so kept telling us to buy our punter a beer. We decided that since it was the end of the day he might appreciate a beer (and we figured that could be his tip – is that being tight?). So at one pontoon I asked him if he wanted a beer and he just nodded as though to say, “finally, you’re doing what is expected!” He did mumble a xiè xie when I handed it to him. And then when he dropped us off back at the retreat he asked for a tip. But apart from the grumpy punter, it was such a perfect, relaxing trip, and a great end to a chilled out day.
There will be even more Yangshuo stuff to come in the next few days.