The Cycling Tour

Shane is a mad keen cyclist who spends around two hours each day cycling around Shaowu, so over the last six months he has found a few nice routes around the fields surrounding Shaowu. On one Saturday he took us North to an almost abandoned temple, and on one day after school we went with Joyce and Candy North-West to a newly built dam. Each of the rides took us through the thin outskirts of the city into the farming areas surrounding Shaowu.

The agricultural countryside is dotted with small villages. Because of the lack of cars, people tend to live very close to where they work. The rural area is very different to those in Australia as they have no fences. Chickens and ducks are the most commonly seen farm animals and they are free to wander around as they see fit. Obviously theft is not common and the animals return to their homes each night. A highlight of the rides was coming across a man herding a flock of ducks across the fields.

The countryside here is very beautiful, primarily due to the high rainfall which makes everything lush and green. The area is quite mountainous and the terrain is more varied than in Yangshuo where, other than the magnificent limestone peaks, the land is surprisingly flat.

Our first ride brought us to a large deserted Buddhist temple in an unlikely spot, seemingly the middle of nowhere. The temple must have once been important, as photos inside showed hundreds of monks lined up in front. Now only a couple of people live there and it appears very few people come to worship if any. Many of the buildings and idols are beginning to fall into disrepair.

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