Last weekend we flew to southern china to a town called Yangshuo. They are known for their beautiful rivers and karst mountains. It was really very pretty - and the weather was great the whole time. We stayed at a mountain retreat right on the river, and it was very relaxing. It is still China - bathrooms were sketchy - our hotel and one other place we went had toilets - rest were squats - ugh. Other than that though was good! We did some hiking up a mountain called moon hill, went through the dragon caves, had 2 foot massages (the second was requested by the kids!!), did 2 boat rides down the river, saw the banyan tree - this HUGE tree that is hundreds of years old and went to a cooking school where we made our own chinese dinner that was super fun. They took us first to the market, where we didnt buy our things but they did earlier in the day...honestly it almost made you lose your appetite, but I went with the fact the school caters to westerners, the owner is australian, and I dont think they would be successful and in business if they were serving bad food! There were some nasty things in the market though! We also got a lot of attention - the kids especially - people stopping to take pics, watch us, etc.
We left Friday am, at least Delaney and I did, with another family. E and C flew out later as C had a field trip to the shanghai financial center, a ferry and to bargain at yu yuan gardens as part of his economics assignment he was doing at school. Logistically all went well, though we have now tested our international health insurance - SOS 2 times in the past week. Not sure how they respond in a true emergency, hopefully quicker than the 2 times we have called! C had been complaining of a stomach ache for a couple days but then seemed better, till Friday when it was hurting worse than ever. Sat he started out with a lot of pain but still wanting to go and do everything with his friends. He climbed the moon hill - about 2000 steps with a terrible stomach ache which is the point I decided to call SOS to figure out - if we had to see a dr, where would we go???
Worst case scenario was appendicitis, best case, well, that he just needed to go to the bathroom! while climbing the mountain I was able to call SOS from my cell - for a very low rate and had totally clear reception. Was able to talk to the dr who said - well yes it could be appendicitis but also could not be too. I think I see a future career opp for me - I could have fielded that call perfectly! They then said they would contact someone in beijing or hong kong and get further direction on where to go if we needed to....so 6 hours...yes 6! hours...they called me from Hong Kong to tell me they really didnt recommend any of the hospitals in the area...but if I had to ....here is a choice. Definitely didnt leave me feeling too good about things but by that time C was feeling a bit better and we just kept an eye on him. He continued to have some intermittent pain but mostly felt ok by the time we came home. Well, till today when he woke in the night to severe upset stomach. So, not sure what he had, but I do think he will be better soon. Just one think to keep in our minds around here - I dont stress too much about it in Shanghai but medical treatments and good facilities are not the norm here....it is a really lagging industry and has not caught up with the population nor today's level of skill you would find in US.
Here are a few pics for your enjoyment! The view from the retreat:
View from lake to retreat:
I will have to post the rest of the pictures separately as I am getting some strange error messages...Stay tuned and will add them as I am able!