Where We Be
|A great start to a great day: sailing down the Li River surrounded by natural beauty
|It takes skill and a good sense of timing to get a bamboo raft moored to a relatively fast-moving ferry in midstream
|These "pirates" pull their rafts alongside our ship and call out "Hullo! Hullo!"
as they pass things up to passengers for a look-see and hopefully a purchase
|Southwest China is definitely rich in natural beauty
|The Chinese have assigned interesting descriptive names to many of the karst formations, like Elephant Trunk Hill and Rooster Fighting Hill
|Water buffalo graze in front of some truly mind-blowing scenery
|Our Li River cruise comes to an end as we approach the small town of Yangshuo, which is surrounded by some enchanting scenery of its own
|Two men in a bamboo raft paddle along with the current in front of some spectacular scenery
This is one of our best days in China because it
combines three memorable experiences: the Li
River cruise, biking in Yangshuo, and bamboo
rafting down the Yulong River. The day is full of
both adventure and natural beauty.
We begin with a cruise down the Li River on a
misty morning -- perfect conditions for this kind
of experience since most paintings you'll see of
the Guilin area are half-shrouded in mist. As
soon as the boat starts moving, we head to the
top deck, out in the open air, to enjoy the
views. Each bend of the river brings new
delights. The karst limestone hills are so steep
in places they look like sharks' fins. The whole
cruise is 3½ hours long, from the Bamboo River
Dock near Guilin to the small town of Yangshuo.
A particularly fun aspect of the trip is watching
the “pirates” approach our ship. Two men on a
bamboo raft row out into the river, paddling
furiously, then pull their raft alongside our
ferry. It takes quite a bit of prowess to get an
unmotorized raft moored to a relatively fast-
moving ferry in midstream, and not every
attempt is successful. For those who do
succeed, they immediately begin hawking their
wares -- statuettes, fans, food, knickknacks.
“Hullo! Hullo!” they call to get our attention.
They find a fair number of buyers before cast-
ing off and rowing back to their starting point.