Thursday, January 8, 2009

Travel Thursday: Yangshuo, China

Boat Reflected

Yangshuo is a resort area in southern China, near the larger and better-known town of Guilin, famous for its abrupt limestone and dolomite topography (called "karst") and cormorant fishing on the Lijiang River. For many years, the area was mainly for vacationing Chinese nationals, but more recently it has become very popular with Westerners attracted to the beautiful scenery, the climbing and spelunking and other activities that Yangshuo and its environs offer.



Sally purchases a garland of flowers from a local entrepreneur along the Jade Dragon River.

Bamboo Rafts

Bamboo rafts are the way to travel down the gentle Jade Dragon River.

Cormorant Fisherman

A cormorant fisherman on the Lijiang River. Check out some video of the ancient practice on YouTube.

Li River Reflection

Dramatic hills cast dramatic reflections.

Yangshuo Rice Paddy

Besides tourism and fishing, much of the area is used for growing rice.

Fish Heads

Fish heads and other goodies are available on West Street, the main shopping drag in Yangshuo. There is quite the nightlife on West Street, with lots of cafes, restaurants, shops and bars open fairly late. And though you can find cuisine from all over the world there -- pizza, burritos, sushi, you name it -- we saw no McDonalds or KFCs or Pizza Huts, which we considered a very good thing.

Tour Boats

These are the officially-sanctioned tour boats, and visitors -- especially Westerners -- are forbidden by law from taking river tours on unlicensed boats...

Sam & Sally

...However, Sam, who was our guide, chauffeur and hotel-procurer in Yangshuo, arranged for us to take a private river tour on a much smaller boat. When some of the local authorities appeared in a boat of their own, we had to get inside the cabin and duck down below the windows, lest the owners get fined for giving an unauthorized tour.

Yangshuo Gazebo

This little pavilion, where you could sit and drink tea and watch the river, was just outside the front door of our hotel. I wish I was there right now.