Short Guanxi trip – caves and cooking

With so many Karsts littering the landscape, it isn’t surprising that there are many caves near Yangshuo. We went to the Golden Cave which had been inexpensively rebranded from the old Buddha Cave. I say inexpensive, because somebody had merely stuck “Gold” in English and Chinese over a red banner. It had been called Buddha because one of the stalagmites looked something like a Buddha ….(but only if someone told you).

The stalactites and mites were splendid. I recall some others near Taxco in Mexico which were impressive because of the size of the cavern (which was, er, cavernous), but these caves were amongst the best I have seen.

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The other thing that made this cave stick out was its extras. Another cave nearby offered mud baths and hot spa, so this one did too. I strongly suspect that the mud was imported into the cave and the hot water merely a feed from the hot tap. As we were the only visitors that morning, we enjoyed wallowing in cold mud and lounging in the warm bath (sorry, spa). We were outnumbered by photographers and – if Lorna ever gives me reason – I will upload an example of their work on the Internet.

We also went on a cookery course. It started in a wet market in Yangshuo, a grim place for a vegetarian. There was livestock everywhere and lots of recent livestock. I’m sure you could buy everything here. Nancy admired the five bunnies in a small cage until she saw two being put into a shopper’s bag. We heard a dog being slaughtered and the smell was memorable.

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Set overlooking the banks of the River Li and the countryside beyond, there could surely have been no better view from a kitchen. We had to prepare the dishes at our workstations. The chef then showed us how to cook five dishes with our cleavers and woks. It was exceptional.

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