|From Samantha's Pics|
We woke up this morning at 4:30 to get up before the sunrise. Mom and Dad had graciously agreed to pay for us all to take a hot air balloon ride over the amazingly beautiful karst landscape of Yangshuo. Again, it is difficult to describe the beauty, but we had 4 cameras going and taking pictures. The ride lasted about and hour and floated up and over the mountains and hills and over the rice fields. We saw the workers working their fields as well as other hot air balloons taking off. The sharp contrast between the colorful balloons and the landscape was striking.
We actually returned to inn at about 7:30 and had time for breakfast, Skyping with family, and rest. Jamie, Mom, and Samantha then went to a cooking class in the local village we were staying. They went to the market to buy their fresh ingredients, then went to the village to cook 5 dishes. You'll have to ask them for details, but they said it was a great time and they learned so much. They all bought the local cookbook as both a souvenir and hopefully they'll be making some dishes for us. Ask them about it!
Dad and I rest and I uploaded our 2800+ pictures online. After Jamie, Mom, and Samantha returned from cooking, Mom, Samantha and I went down to the Yulong River or a swim. The walk over to the river was well worth it. If you'll take a look at Dad's photo album, then you can see the amazing pictures taken of just this area. The colors of the fields, water, and mountains are gorgeous.
After dinner in Yangshuo at the Pure Lotus, this great little vegetarian restaurant recommended by our hosts at the inn, we were transported the the Impressions light show. Here is what a website has to say about the performance:
"The premiere of the Yangshuo Light Show was on March 20th, 2004 at the Sanjie Liu Sing fair, about a mile from West Street . The performance utilizes the natural surroundings to create a spectacular outdoor theatre which is the largest of its kind. The Li River itself is the stage and twelve mountains serve as the backdrop.
The audience sits on specially designed terraces. The sound equipment is kept hidden from view as the theatre is designed to blend, merge and work with the natural environment. The changing weather and seasons bring something different to each performance and the fantastic lighting effects highlight the beauty of the setting.
The show was directed by Zhang Yimou who also directed the famous 2002 movie 'Hero' [as well at the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing]. It has received many awards and is included within most tours of the area.
Impressions Light Show in Yangshuo
The show also includes modern and classical music composed by famous musicians in China. There are also over 600 performers who are all local people.
The show gives us impressions of the life of those people living around the river. It also gives us an insight into the dress and music of the ethnic minorities of the area."
It was different, but very beautiful and great way to end the day that started with such a great hot air balloon ride. None of my pictures turned out good enough for me to even keep, but perhaps you can look it up online. Google "Impressions Yangshuo" and it'll get you there.
Be sure to check out the pictures!