Yangshuo to Kunming

The last eight days I was travelling from Yangshuo to Kunming in the Yunnan province, the most southern west one in China. After having met Jacqueline from Holland five times along my trip we decided to travel together for a while. This part we travelled mostly on small daytime buses through the countryside.
After a stop in the provincial capitcal Guilin, we spend two days up in what is known as the "Dragon's backbone Rice terraces', a hilly region in northern Guangxi province. Many hills are set up as terraces to grow rice and other vegetables. It's a beatiful landscape and the mountain villages are very sleepy and quiet but is was cold and even rained on the first day. The guest houses we stayed at were nice but had no heating. They were all made of wood and the families always leave windows and doors open, so even around the stove it never got really warm. The hot shower was powered by a small gas burner with a gas barrel right next to it. It always ran out of gas when you were in the middle of a shower. We met people from Austria, Serbia and France and hiked for a day with a local guide. She was part of the Zhuang minority and most of the older woman have thick long hair up to two meters long. Most of the time however they wear it folded on their head. The only English words she spoke were 'beeeutifuul and phoooto'
We then spend nearly two days on buses to get two a town called Kaili. We originally planned more stopps, but it was cold because the whole area is high up. The bus rides itself were nice going mostly along rivers or over mountain passes. On the way we stayed in hotels because there are no hostels in the area, but sharing a double room was nearly as cheap as dorm beds. But even in these town hotel the heating didn't always work.
From Kaili we did a day trip to another small remote mountain village called Xijiang where another ethnic minority the Miao live. Again there were lots of rice terraces and wooden houses built on the slopes of the hills. The bus back to Kaili took so long that we missed the night train to Kunming and had to stay a night in Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province and just another big modern Chinese city.