Tag Archives: Yangshuo

Guangxi Province – Cormorant Fishing

On this evening, we headed back to Yangshuo to experience Cormorant Fishing on the Li River. Cormorant fishing is an old-time method of fishing in many parts of China. It’s particularly associated with the west and especially with Guangxi Province. The birds are excellent hunters and the fishermen use them to their advantage. Their necks are constricted with rope so they can’t swallow any fish and each time they catch a fish, they return to the boat for the fisherman to collect. About every seventh fish caught, the birds are awarded one fish to eat. The birds are prized possessions and fishermen select the eggs before hatching and they nurture, rear and train them – a process that takes years.

We really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into as we came into the city. All we knew was it just was not measuring up: Fishing and it’s getting dark. How do you see birds fish at night? One thing we have learned traveling in a country where our language is not #1, is to stay calm and wait; as it always works out. It may not be exactly as we thought it would work out to be, but that adds to the adventure and typically we find the end result turns out better than hoped. With this, the driver just took us into town dropped us off at some hotel front and gave us a hand signal that said, “Wait.” Then he left.

We were across the street from the Li River, so we figured it had to be okay. After about 15 minutes a young gal and her young son, about age 3, came around the corner and signaled for us to follow. No English, but we figured why not. She led us down to the dock and directed us to get on a raft/boat had five rows of four person benches. We managed to have all of us on one.

Thinking I was so smart, I put us all in the back… Ha! Not so smart on my part. In little time, I was getting razzed by the family because I put us right over the diesel engine. A very loud diesel engine… Thank goodness for always carrying toilet paper. We quickly made ear plugs. (It helped drown out the razzing too. 🙂 ) Now it was dark and we were wondering how can we see anything? But in little time, up the river, a fisherman came out from the shallows on his raft with his cormorants leading the way. With a light on the end of his raft, the birds began fishing…

To our surprise after following him for 15 minutes or so, we pulled over in the shallows, got off our boat and we all had the opportunity to hold a bird and have it immortalized in a photo. We all agree this was a pretty darn cool thing to do, as you can see from our newly, sunburned faces as we held the birds.


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Guangxi Province – Light Show on the Li River

In the Pudong, Shanghai airport, on the way to Chengdu, we came across a lady who told us about a nighttime show she saw in Yangshuo. She shared with us, it was the most memorable show she had ever seen. She was brought to tears with it all. Liu Sanjie, is choreographed by the master movie-maker and cinematographer, Zhang Yimou, who also oversaw the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The entire show, performed at 8pm, was acted out on the river and features bamboo rafts, cormorant fishermen and dramatic lighting. The show easily employed over 300 actors alone. Even though we understood the story line, but it was still very hard to follow. But the sights were flashy and we are glad we went…

Here was another part of the show…

I did manage to get a few shots. They are not the best, but I still wanted to share the experience with you.


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Guangxi Province – Cross Country Walkabout

background-6Being out in the country, Mike could not wait to go for a walk. He wanted to see how far we could get away from any road without getting lost. Luna, the manager, had told us to follow the water up, take paths around the second mountain to the left and then come back. She told Mike, when there is no path just push through and you will get there. Mike was thrilled with the vague directions, so we filled the camelbak up with water and a bit a food and off we went. Go get a cup of coffee for this one. Lots of photos.


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Guangxi Province – Hotel

Yangshou Phoenix Pagoda Fonglou Retreat, the Best Hotel Ever! Using our trusted, favorite website www.tripadvisor.com, we located this little gem in the middle of a tiny village called the Yangshou Phoenix Pagoda Fonglou Retreat. We were at least 15 minutes from Yangshou County, the major tourist city located on the Li River. At night, the sounds were full of crickets, frogs and the mornings were full of unusual bird calls. We arrived before the mosquito season and there was not much other insects, so we slept with our patio doors open each night. We loved this place because we were close enough to do all the tourist stuff, but out enough that the nights were dark and not full of man-made sounds.


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