22.12.2016 Yangshou to Yangshou Tai Chi School, Jima

I signed us both up for a 5 day Tai Chi course for Xmas. Last time we were travelling it was weird having a Christmas Day with no family, friends or special food. So this time we decided to do something completely different and keep fit and healthy at the same time, something which we are unable to achieve at home this time of year!

We were starting the course tomorrow. After a local lunch we make our way to the next village to Yangshuo, our hostel arranged a taxi for us, taking a nice slice of commission as well. We are definitely still in China but much closer to South East Asia in terms of the many touts that are around and being charged more for being a tourist.

We arrived at the school and were greeted by 5 or 6 people putting up Christmas decorations, along with the obligatory Christmas music, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everyone was really friendly and welcoming, some are here for 3 to 6 months, having never done Tai Chi before and decided they needed a change, signed up and here they are! Some have been before and doing a few months, there is another lass doing a one week course the same as us. 

As we have a free afternoon we get some washing done and go for a walk around the surrounding areas, the sun is shining and the karst landscape is stunning. 

As usual there are brides and grooms taking advantage of the scenery, lying down for that all important wedding photo shot.

We pass huge clumps of bamboo which are creaking audibly as they grow, I could sit and listen to them for hours, it is mesmerising. 

The fields are full of crops sewn in neat rows, mainly chinese greens, bok choy, lettuces, peas, pak choi and a fair few weeds in between, we see a couple of old ‘aunties’ pricking on their bok choy, I am tempted to ask to help but leave it.

We arrive back in time for tea, which is 8 dishes of various meats and vegetables, with rice. The tripe tricked Guy into thinking it was chewy mushroom. The rest was all simple and delicious. 

We sat around having chinese tea brewed by a Kazakhstan lass, chatted, and politely declined the offer of an English pub quiz.  Guy was still not 100% and we didn’t want to turn up hungover on our first day, plus this was supposed to be a clean and healthy Christmas! It was really hard to say no.

As it was cold, we snuggled up and read our books throughout an electricity outage, thank goodness for kindles!

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