Our first stop was at a scenic spot near Yangshuo called "Da Rong Shu" or "Big Banyan Tree". Before we toured the Big Banyan scenic area, we went to a temple just across the street from the entrance to Big Banyan Tree area.
As I went into the temple, I got a chance to pick my fortune sticks from one of those bamboo holders. Once I got my fortune, I then went to a monk on the side who hands out these pink sheets that describe your fortune according to the fortune stick you received. Then I was directed toward the opposite side of the temple, where there are 4 monks who explain the meaning of your fortunes. They told me to pick a monk that "you feel connected to"... Well, I just randomly went to one of them, and the monk briefly explained my fortune to me.
Inside the temple, they also have a "donation" bin where you can donate (minimum $100yuan) to have prayer candles lit for you to pray for good fortunes. I "donated" $100yuan to have a candle lit for me for 100 days. After you make a donation, they put your name on a candle and will keep it lit for the number of days you donated for.
Yangshuo Big Banyan Tree Tour
The Big Banyan Tree (Da Rong Shu) is about 6km away from Yangshuo county. You will see a towering Big Banya tree there that was planted during the Sui Dynasty (581-518). This spot is also famous because the popular Chinese movie "Liu San Jie (3rd sister Liu)" had some scenes filmed here.
Scenery around the Big Banyan Tree in Yangshuo.
The scenery around Da Rong Shu area is beautiful. Near the entrance, there is a large patch of lotus flowers, and all around the entire area are tall mountain peaks, Banyan trees, and small lakes.
More beautiful scenery.
My favorite part of it all was taking photos with monkeys. Nearby, there was a little photo stand where you can pay $5 yuan to take photos with monkeys. These monkeys are dressed like Sun Wu Kong - the main character monkey in a famous Chinese story called "Journey to the West". There are 3 monkeys that you can take photos with. The older monkey is 5years old, and the younger one is about 1 year old.
Photo of me holding 3 monkeys. The one in the middle is the youngest one that's only several months old.
The two older monkeys on my two sides knows to pose when a photo is being taken. When the camera is about to go off, they hold their bows in a pose.