We left the cold north, as well as the international vibe of Shanghai, and headed into rural, southern china. It is vastly different from the north here. It is warmer, more humid, and the landscape consists of rice paddies, water buffalo, and green foothills.

Unfortunately, I have been pretty sick, so I am taking it easy. Looking at it optimistically, Yangshou is a slower pace on the tour so it is a good place to rest, and get a little glimpse into chinese medicine.

First, I went to a doctor on the street. She had a store front amongst the regular shops – no door, just a few chairs where patients would sit and receive IV treatments. I looked at the filth (including fresh poo) on the sidewalk in front of the shop and opted just for packaged medicine. No Chinese herbal remedy here though – the doctor handed me a box of Tylenol Cold

The next day we went to a massage center run by a doctor. I recieved a nice massage and facial and the doctor sent me home with an herbal drink for my cold. It tasted like the water in the creek behind my house in Southampton (yes, I’ve accidentally tasted that water as a child. Haven’t we all?) After two bottles of the liquid remedy and lots of sleep, I’m starting to feel much better (although I still have a nasty cough).

I did manage to get out yesterday for a gentle bamboo raft ride down the river. The limestone scenery was lovely, and it was nice to get some fresh air.

Overall China has been quite the experience, and I think everyone should visit here once. There are many differences: the food, the clothing, the crowds, the toilets, the customs, etc. However, I’ve learned that regardless of being eastern or western, little girls still scream and laugh and little boys still play in the mud. Young people dance in the sun and old people rest in the shade. In many ways, being human is the same everywhere.

Good-bye China!

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