This was probably one of the coolest things I'd ever done in my life... After traveling almost four hours in total all the way from Guilin to get to the little village of Xingping, I got off the bus and, almost without hesitating, rented a bike from a bike shop. As soon as I got directions to a few places I wanted to find, I peddled my bike to a few spots along Lijiang for a few photos before switching plans to do something I never thought of doing, which was heading away from the village on a reconnaissance to find the ultimate picture to take. My plan was to head out to some kind of closed-off location and climb one of the karst mountains to take a panoramic shot of one of Guangxi's beautiful villages.
It took me almost 15km to bike to this village, which was maybe the fourth village on my route. I had realized that the sun was already going down quite a bit and hurried to take some sort of panoramic photo since this was my only chance and I was already leaving the next day. I rode through the village without much difficulty and then found my way up this little track that led up to where I stood to take this photo. Behind me, a little to the left, was a decent-sized reservoir that I had originally planned to photograph along with this village after climbing all the way to the top of the mountain behind me, but I was already running out of time. I got a few dozens shots with my camera's exposure-bracketing function on and then went back down the trail, only to find another hidden track up the mountain where I got this shot. My problem was trying to avoid all the power lines in my line of sight and the large house on the bottom right of the image that would have blocked most of the mountains on the right had I not found higher ground. Not long after, a boy and his mother walked by singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in Chinese and looked at me for a bit before walking past below. I nearly slipped on my way down the path with my boots that seemed to be wearing out from all the places I'd gone to in them. After avoiding an accident and breaking my back, my foot then finally found the ground. I was already sweating pretty heavily from the bike riding and climbing, so I took off my red scarf that I got in Lijiang city a year ago, along with my Fudan jacket and camera bag, and placed them in the little basket at the front of my bike and was eventually on my way down the mountain.
I don't think I could say that I necessarily took the amazing photo that I was so eager to shoot that day, but I, nonetheless, caught a photo to help remind me of the adventures and few accomplishments I made that day. I ventured out into the unknown and was able to even meet a few friends who helped me out tremendously later that evening when I found myself stranded in Xingping village upon returning from my bike ride. I'm reminded from that day that I do tend to make better decisions when my time is limited and I know that there isn't any room for error. Because of my successful adventures traveling around China and photographing some of the most beautiful things I'll ever see, I now know that there's so much more to do out there in my life. I'm glad that I have this trophy of a photo to help remind me of the adventures I will have next in my future.