Guilin en route to Yangshuo

Before getting off the train in Guilin, I had been warned by Chinese people and Westerners to be wary, because apparently it has one of the highest crime rates in China: "Many thieves," Elke said.

Fortunately Elke, Amand and a French guy I met that morning, were all going to the same place as me. So we avoided the hustlers and quickly hopped on a bus to Yangshuo: ¥18 RMB, which I think is a bit less than $3 USD for the nearly 90-minute ride. Guilin itself was busy, with bicycles and scooters crisscrossing the intersections like insects, but quickly we hit the countryside, where besides the concrete strip of road there wasn't much besides trees and the occasional sign of life, or former life: police station, abandoned petrol station, empty garage with sleeping dog, dirt driveways leading to who knows where.

Guilin (Gui Lin) Railway Station in China.