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postcards

4 - Guilin

Hello all! :o)

Last time I wrote I was in Juizhaigou, Sichuan Province teaching English to some Chinese and Tibetan translators. From there I headed along one of the raging rivers responsible for the flooding reported in the news to Dujiangyen and taken around the impressive Irrigation System. After a lovely but brief stop in Chengdu visiting the Giant Pandas (very cute but pretty darn stupid - remind me to tell you how they give birth) I hard sleeperd to Kunming.

Kunming city is somewhat different to the rest, it appeared to follow the Burgess Model with a defined CBD etc. (some GCSE geography there, you can ask my Mum about it) and felt very western. However the people there were quite diverse with a number of prominent ethnic minorities and, as I bogged, a huge influx of little babies.

From there to Hong Kong where I discovered a sort of China Utopia. Take San Francisco, shrink it and place it over some impressive mountains, then populate it with loads of 'British Chinese' people. The thing that struck me most, and this might sound a little odd, is that people could actually use escalators! It was really impressive but a little expensive having adjusted to Chinese standards! It was also an amazing release in other ways - I met many many brothers and sisters there.

I've now returned to China after a little visa difficulty (so who forgot to tell me that even though HK is now part of China it's still not and so returning to China from there will require a second visa entry) and have reached Yangshou with its majestic limestone karsts jutting out of the landscape. More randomness has occurred and I've spent the day with some Chinese folks being fed, given accommodation for one pound(!) and going swimming in the Li River running through this karst world. Tomorrow I'm taking a bike to trek around for the day and might go for a ride on a bamboo raft.

Hope you are all well and enjoying life. I'm back on the 28th so will you see you soon.

Love Nick

P.S. 34