People I envy most in this world are from a little town called Yangshuo. Living in such a scenic place is already a luxury of life, let alone doing something they are greatly enjoying. Whenever I am tired of squeezing into subway or bus, rushing in and out in daily work, those beautiful limestone peaks in Yangshuo come into my mind, waving to me, I feel that a brand-new lifestyle is right beside you. Though it might take a long time to reach, it’s at least reachable. Feeling the same way, someone brave enough to change old lifestyle come and settle here, being closer to nature, the most beautiful thing in the world.
The most beautiful picture of Yangshuo will be found where mountains, rivers and people exist in harmony. Eyes will never get tired here because each mountain has its own charm and grace, rivers are winding in a very mild way, so that you can get very close and even become part of it, just think of jumping into in a summer day than cooling off from head to toe. Humans are the creature of nature. when its growth doesn’t bother too much the neighbourhood, they are cute beings. Busy farmers working in their rice paddy add vitality to this already beautiful picture.
Apart from unique scenery, the way to show its scenery is important too. Yangshuo went relatively far in this part, with the help of tourists from other countries where tourism has already become part of life. Bamboo rafting on Yu long River, river cruise around Xing ping, rock climbing, caving and swimming, cycling to the countryside, cormorant fishing, and the impression show, moreover, the uniqueness of local cuisine, experienced hotel management, convenient transportation build up an ideal tourist attraction in south China. In a word, it’s the perfect destination for backpackers, and your stay could be packed with all different activities.
It has always been controversial to develop the economy and preserve tradition and there are too many cases in this country that money is earned at the price of losing its original image. Yangshuo faces the same problem, at the moment, tourists can still encounter its local flavour. Most farmers still rely on their farmland, so the traditional way of life remains there. Each year, besides the Chinese New Year, another big festival is still going on, that is to worship ancestors, big trees and stones. After a baby was born, based on the five elements theory, he or she will find a foster mother if the five elements are not in balance. For instance, wood deficiency results in finding a tree as a foster mother. But not a normal tree is qualified to be a foster mother, only those big, old and luxuriant trees like banyan trees are lucky to be worshipped. A 1400-year-old banyan tree has a large number of followers, due to its imposingness and romantic stories, this is where one tree can make a forest and where the folk song queen Ms Liu and her lover tied to knot.
I am always interested in a group of people, who moved from north to south and played an essential role in keeping traditions of the majority of Chinese Han people. This group is now called Hakka people, Hakka indicates they are immigrants, or guests instead of hosts, though originally they were residents or even owners of this country. After years of immigration, they are everywhere in south China including Yangshuo. Northern Chinese distinguish themselves by eating wheat a lot, dumplings and steamed buns are their favourites, so even moving to the south, they cannot live without dumplings or dumplings-like stuff. Though wheat is rare to see, a substitute is becoming popular: bean curd stuffed with minced pork and anything can be stuffed, pepper, melon, and even slim bamboo shoots are cut in the middle and stuffed with something. Besides stuffed dish, Yangshuo is proud of its beer fish. Some say this dish is invented accidentally. When several drunk drivers pour local beer into cooked fish and come to realize that it’s even more delicious. Remember in this dish fish scale remains, as a way to keep its original flavour. Since western travellers found this little town, Yangshuo started Chinese- western fusion, the food here is an example. There are restaurants where Chinese and western food is mixed in a very creative way, for instance, local water chestnuts are seen in the salad, if bean curd can be stuffed with pork, cheese can be used as a filing for mushroom.
This is Yangshuo, an unparalleled gift from nature, which we should cherish dearly instead of overusing it.