Xingping, Guangxi Province; southeastern China

Xingping, like Yangshuo and Gui Lin, is in China's Guangxi Province. I arrived in Xingping today after a two-hour bamboo-raft ride on the the Li River (also known as Lijiang River), which is known for its cormorant fishing. The boat, from Yangdi to Xingping, was only ¥130 RMB ($20 USD). To reach Yangdi from Yangshuo is one hour by bus. So, in short: one hour by bus, two hours by boat, five minutes by local taxi; throw that all together and you'll find yourself in Xingping.

Typical street in Xingping.

What I imagine is the main gate, or village entrance, to this small riverside town.

Local taxi in Xingping. I paid ¥10 RMB ($1.50 USD) for the five-minute ride into town. It was probably three, five or even 10 times the local rate, but I don't want to end up like some of the travelers I've met: bitter about being "ripped off," despite the fact that paying $1.50 for a lift is pretty reasonable. Besides, haggling for even three minutes isn't worth saving fifty cents?

Do you want peasant family food? Or perhaps Orthodox school earth chicken?

Typical shopping street in Xingping, where you'll find clothes, cards and games, local artwork and jewelry. Between the market stalls are entrances to family homes, the insides of which have concrete floors and, from those I saw, wooden ladders to the upper floors. The foyer areas of these homes were mostly full of older people smoking cigarettes and gambling.