Indigo Lodge, Shuitou Zhai, Qinghe, Guizhou
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Jumping off a foot bridge for a swim after hiking along the river
A couple of times each year the Peace Corps Volunteers in Guizhou, China, gather in the tiny village of Shuitou (水头) near the town of Qinghe (青禾) about an hour and a half north of Guizhou's biggest city Guiyang by bus. (The map marker is correct, but I'm not sure about Machang street. You can find the exact location by looking up "Indigo Lodge Guizhou" or look up "Shui Tou" on GoGuizhou.) The landscape is gorgeous, and the place startlingly quiet for those used to the typical Chinese city. From the Lodge, take a right and walk along the river until you reach a small rickety pedestrian foot bridge. Soak in the quiet, take your turn walking across the bridge, which is an adventure in itself, and on a hot day jump from the bridge into the river for a swim. From the center of the bridge, facing back toward the Lodge, the water is deep enough and there's even a small beach to your right. If the river is high, you'll have to take the paved road at the top of the hill above the Lodge, and then follow it until you see the bridge. A path down to the bridge will be just ahead. Watch out for cars, motorbikes, and villagers taking their cows and horses for a walk. The Lodge serves a delicious bowl of noodles for 7CNY (just over 1USD), and there are several authentic local restaurants in the village. While you can get food, beer, snacks, etc., at a village shop, this place is remote, so bring what you need with you.
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