Pig's Pizzle and Buddha's Ears
As soon as I can get chance to catch up with my writing, you can read more (over on EAT MY GLOBE) about my few days in Yangshuo where, amongst other things, I have been attending one of the local cookery schools
In the meantime, I thought some people may be interested in a few of the other bits and bobs I have been shovelling down my throat on this part of the trip including Roast Dog , Cane Rat, some pig pizzle (my, er schnizzle) and some of the best dumplings I have tried.
Yangshuo is a thriving tourist town on the Li River and attracts large numbers of visitors from both the West and increasingly, now, from all parts of China primarily because of the stunning scenery of Karst mountains.
It is pretty easy access China with the main drag being littered with “Western” restaurants offering a strange hybrid of dishes from the local dish of carp cooked in beer and “egg drop” dumplings to full fry ups and apple pie for the long term traveller wanting a taste of home.
For all that, once you get off the main streets, the local stalls and store fronts offer up great food and prices that range from about 50p-£1.50 for a meal including bottles of the local Li Quan beer (for about 20p a bottle)
Hand pulled soup noodles for breakfast, fresh chicken dumplings for lunch and, despite the hot weather, even a rather splendid hot pot for supper.
The local people, given the large number of tourists, all have a bit of a hustle going on, but it is done with a degree of amiability you don’t see in many tourist towns and, outside of “Western St” there is little or no feeling that you are being ripped off with most people just pleased that you want to try the local dishes.
In six days here, I have spent about £60 with well over half of that going to pay for the tourist activities like cycling, rafting down the Yulong River and the unlikely sight of me caving deep below one of the hills in little more than a pair of swimming trunks ( at the strong request of my fellow travellers, I put away my urge to wear a tiny little pair of Speedo's and went for some big baggy shorts), flip flops and a Tonka Toy Helmet.
The Wankelong Shopping Centre is, obviously a source of endless amusement as is the wide use of Chinglish, my favourite of which (no photo unfortunately) is “ Please Fall Carefully” in the slippery environs of the caves.
The other wonderful thing is that, in a society where large ears are a sign of potential good fortune, closeness to The Buddha and longevity, I am obviously a god. I have had more than one person come up and start rubbing my lobes, something for which I normally have to pay good money.
Great fun and some great food