A runner with an appetite for adventure!

Yangshuo: The Beauty Up Close May 14, 2014

Filed under: China,Travel,Yangshuo — Kelocity @ 4:48 am
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I’m aware that I have posted an insane amount of China pictures recently. And not enough Adele pictures, according to my family. But I’m just trying to get them all up so they live on the interwebs. Feel free to skip the captions and just look at the pretty pictures. Especially the ones in this post. These pictures really do make my heart skip a beat. I feel so lucky to have visited such a beautiful place.

Our last day in Yangshuo started with more breakfast. And more watermelon. (And always served with tea!)


Our expedition of the day was a bike ride through the country roads to Moon Hill. Along the way, we stopped to take pictures. Everything is just so beautiful in a way I’d never seen before anywhere else. These little rock mountains were adorable. IMG_2104

Ha! Adorable. A word I use to describe my daughter… and moss covered rocks. But they are though, look how cute!IMG_2106




Oh, and in case you were wondering, it was raining on our bike ride. Just a drizzle, but still. Come on, rain! Stop it!IMG_2111





These bikes weren’t your average cruisers where you can pedal for a few minutes and then coast for a little bit… no. If you weren’t pedaling, you weren’t moving. And that meant pedaling a lot! My legs were tired!IMG_2122

But all the effort was worth it when we got to Moon Hill! (It looks like a crescent moon!) On a good day, you can actually hike to it, but we settled for taking pictures in front of it instead.

Our brave group of bicyclists! IMG_2127



On the way back, we got a close up view of some rice patties. IMG_2137

Those farmers work so hard! This man was literally moving rocks out of the way to clear the land or build a wall or something.IMG_2139

I mapped the route later and it came out to be 10.8 miles of biking total! But these legs weren’t done yet. Oh no, siree. It was time to hike up a mountain when we got back! To the top of the town Pagoda! I had watermelon for breakfast, I was ready to go!

It was a lot of steps, but didn’t take too long, and the views from the top were totally worth it! IMG_2143

How cool to see a little town nestled in the adorable rocks!IMG_2147



Lots. Of. Stairs. I wonder if there’s a Chinese proverb somewhere that says something like “No great view can be seen without stairs”. If not, I just made one up. Because its true!IMG_2155

(Oh, hi Hotel down below! That’s where we stayed!)IMG_2159


We reached the top!IMG_2163








Once we made it back down to the bottom, we met back up with our group to head back to the Guilin airport. This was our local guide during our time here in Yangshuo. IMG_2194

On the bus ride to the airport, our driver kindly stopped at this bridge to let us out to take pictures. We missed it on the way in and wanted a chance to photograph the boats!IMG_2198








Most of our group!

And then our time in the countryside was over and it was time to head to HONG KONG!!!



But before we get there, I’ll let you listen to this song that our tour guide, Alex introduced us to. Warning, it WILL get stuck in your head:



Yangshuo: The Cooking School May 13, 2014

Filed under: China,Cooking,Food,Travel,Yangshuo — Kelocity @ 2:57 pm
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I don’t like to cook. I like to eat. This is a fact. I hate everything about cooking… which is why I was excited to go to Cooking School! Maybe I’d learn a thing or two and make it seem more fun! And you know what, it was awesome. I loved the class and now I’m excited to be home so I can try out some of these recipes again!

The class was taught by a very talented chef who spoke in perfect English. She was very nice and even catered to my vegetarian preference.

The first part of our class was visiting a local market and seeing the ingredients we’d be cooking with. Lots of great looking produce and then everything else you’d expect to find including all kinds of fish and fresh meat. We had to the option to visit the meat side of the market, but Irving and I decided against it…. for those who are interested, yes, there were dogs and cats in there. But we chose not to see them.IMG_2015


After the market, we had a short walk back to the school to begin our class! (I loved this Billboard because as much as it looked like propaganda, we actually found it to be true! “The Police Community Relationship is Harmonious”. =)IMG_2021


And then it was time to start cooking! Each of us got our own cooking station, complete with all the ingredients we would need to create a delicious meal!IMG_2023


And we all got huge, awesome knives to dice those veggies with! I need to get one of those, you wouldn’t believe how easy it was to crush garlic with that thing!IMG_2030






Look at these dumplings I made! We learned how to fold them two different ways. I was so proud of myself! They looked almost professional!IMG_2051

Irving’s were looking quite dapper as well!IMG_2052


Everyone else made Kung Pao Chicken, but since I chose the vegetarian option I made pan fried noodles. HECK YES! IMG_2057

The best part was being able to eat them all when we were done! Everything smelled so good!

The final products! Here was Irving’s Dish:IMG_2059


And my dish! You had to roll us out of there at the the end of the meal, we were stuffed! That was a TON of food! All that on my plate PLUS seven dumplings!IMG_2062


The view out of the window during the class was beautiful Yangshuo… and a McDonalds. We thought it was funny in comparison. But I’ll take that delicious authentic Chinese food over fast food any day. Healthy food for the win!IMG_2031
If anyone is interested, I have all the recipes if you would like a copy. Send me an email (kelocity at gmail dot com).

Anyone want to come over for dinner soon? I’m dying to make this all again!



Yangshuo: The Chinese Countryside

Filed under: China,Travel,Yangshou — Kelocity @ 6:38 am
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We slept well in Yangshuo and woke up to the sound of rain outside. Sigh. That seems to be the theme of the trip. We were a little bummed, but fueled up for a fun day regardless. More watermelon. Yes!

We loved that even in this small Chinese town (basically a village) they had a HUGE jumbotron in the center. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it almost took up a whole block!IMG_1943

Rain.. we won’t let you get us down! We’re forging on! Broken umbrella and all! (Fun side story… we had to put a deposit down to borrow an umbrella from the hotel.. and once we got outside, we realized it was actually broken. The whole day we were paranoid they would think we broke it and we came up with all kinds of scheming ways to return it quickly, get our deposit back, and basically run away before they noticed. Whew, it worked!) haha

We walked to the edge of the town, to the Li River to see how pretty it was in person. Even in the fog and drizzle, it was really special.

Around 10am, we paid a visit to Dr. Lilyli. She’s famous in the town for having the best massages and acupuncture around. I think everyone on the tour got a massage or some kind of treatment while we were there. Irving and I both got 60 minute foot massages for a mere $17 US Dollars. IMG_1930


Our view during the massage! (haha) But all laughs aside, after traveling for more than a week, our legs were tired and the massage felt real good! And the $17 price tag felt even better!IMG_1955

Feeling refreshed after our hour of relaxation, we explored the town a little bit more. I found this store called “Retro Mail” and they had a concept I’ve never seen before… you can mail a postcard to the future!

You all know how much I LOVE the post office, I couldn’t resist. After visiting the store twice, and asking a few different people how it worked, we finally figured out how it worked… you buy a postcard and a stamp, and write a letter to yourself — or in our case, to Adele.





Then you look at the giant wall behind you. It’s actually a calendar… twelve rows, one for each month, and 31 slots across, one for each day. You put the letter in any box you want, and on that day next year, they will mail it for you.It’s kind of a social experiment because you’re banking on no one moving your envelope around. I placed mine in a box a couple of days earlier so it will be mailed almost exactly a year from now. I’ll let you know if it ever arrives!IMG_1974
Ponds of glass. So picturesque! I actually think the weather made it feel more dramatic. The colors popped more against the grey sky.IMG_1981


For lunch, we decided to check out another Western restaurant. We almost got some German food, but in the end, settled on Italian. 


We split three plates: Pasta, Garlic Bread and a Pizza. IMG_1991



Then we walked off all those carbs and went back to the river. Irving climbed down to the shoreline to snap a few pictures from down below. 

Then we joined back up with our group for an amazing afternoon… a class a Chinese Cooking School! (That will get it’s own post, next!)IMG_2009


After a few hours of cooking (and eating) we jumped on the bus to catch the Impression show in a nearby town. This was one of the optional excursions on the trip and it was– interesting. They handed out ponchos since it was still raining a bit and the show was outside. IMG_2066

The performance was choreographed by the same guy who designed the Beijing Olympic Opening ceremonies. The entire show takes place in a bay surrounded by the towering mountains around it.(Here’s an idea of what it looked like, even though my camera didn’t pick it up):

liusanjie 10027643tm

There were hundreds of performers who used light, fire, rafts, boats and silk to tell folk stories. Apparently it’s in a dialect that even the locals don’t understand, so really, it’s about the imagery.

I was skeptical going in, especially because Trip Advisor had hilarious reviews such as this:

It felt like a 5th grade concert you promised your friend you would attend.








This was my favorite part, when all of the performers, lit up with LED lights on their clothes, walked out on platforms across the water. There were so many of them, it was neat to watch live. IMG_2100


I wasn’t sure I’d really recommend this show, however looking back, I’m really glad we decided to go.


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