Dennis Goodboy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 August, 2011, 12:00am


Ahoy, fellow travel lovers! I hope some of you have been on exciting holidays this summer, or at least been reading about great places to visit!

Last week, I was all excited about the green efforts made by some hotels in the stunning county of Yangshuo in Guangxi. It's great to know that people care so much about preserving the splendour.

The best way to appreciate that beauty is from the Li River - and that means getting on a boat!

We decided to travel along the Yulong River, a tributary of the Li. The most popular way of seeing the famous mountains is from a raft. They're just like something from a story about being shipwrecked - bamboo poles tied together, with a chair tied on top.

It was pretty scary getting on board. For a moment I was sure the deputy ed was going to overbalance and we'd both end up in the water - but our raft guide, Bob, leapt aboard without fear, not even hesitating when the raft tipped dangerously on its edge! Luckily (for my nerves) there was a life jacket ... I tried it on, just in case.

As we waited to set off, I started to relax a bit. It was impossible not to feel calm when surrounded by the beautiful, famous mountains of the region. (And Bob proved to be an excellent captain. I tried to have a go, but the pole was a tad too awkward for my delicate paws.)

The mountains are known as 'karst peaks'. They are formed when rock dissolves, leaving these amazing shapes. Some of them are tall and rounded. Some have more than one lump. There is even Moon Hill (bottom picture). Can you guess why it has this name?

Although hundreds of other rafts and tourists were sailing down the river (most of them apparently having water fights with complete strangers), it never really felt busy or stressful. There may not have been pirates or massive waves, but it was a wonderful journey. It felt so good to be able to get back to nature, and only two hours, air and road time, from Hong Kong! Yawwwooooo!