Yangshuo – First impressions
We were not leaving the Karst mountains behind or even the Li River, they are both an integral part of Yangshuo landscape and surrounding countryside. Arriving at Yangshuo wharf our first sight is of a Chinese women striding along the wharf carrying two cormorants balanced either side of a shoulder pole.
Fisherman and Cormorant Fishing
Fishing with cormorants is an ancient Chinese tradition, the technique used for thousands of years. The cormorant fisherman go out at night on light bamboo rafts, the cormorants wearing collars to prevent them from swallowing the catch. There is a lantern at the front of the raft, the cormorant swims just below the surface towards the light. When a bird catches a fish, the fisherman pulls the bird from the water then takes the fish from its beak. This process is repeated many time until the fisherman has enough fish for daily needs.
Most hotels in Yangshuo can arrange an hour-long viewing trip with a cormorant fisherman during the summer months. I would have enjoyed a viewing trip to watch the cormorant fisherman at work, but alas, this is not summer!
Paradesa Yangshuo Motel
Yangshuo, pretty countryside, a friendly town surrounded by lush green rice paddies and rugged Karst Mountains. Our tour group stayed at the Paradesa Yangshuo Motel. The motel very comfortable set in an attractive Chinese garden landscape; a lake complete with bamboo raft and cormorants,white arched stone bridge, lovely pagoda, green manicured lawns and garden; a very relaxing atmosphere.
West-Street (Xi-Jie)- Main Street,Yangshuo
Once settled in our motel we opted to wander down the main street and look around, see if we could find a Dr Lily Li, for some traditional Chinese Healing or massage. Too many souvenirs, luggage getting heavier by the day so I opted for a relaxation massage. It was a really good work-over and just what I needed at this stage of the trip.
Exploring the countryside
There is much more to see and do around Yangshuo by hiring a bicycle and exploring the countryside. The landscape is pretty incredible with the many small villages surrounded by karst peaks,the river and lush green rice paddies. There is kayaking on the river, caves in the area where you can have a ‘mud bath’ or swim in crystal clear pools; more recently rock climbing has become popular. Take a guided tour, or buy a good area map and hike to Moon Hill. A distinctive karst cliff with a moon-shaped arch, spectacular views of karst pinnacles on the trek up, and views of the landscape across the Yulong Valley from the arch of Moon Hill. We were only in Yangshuo overnight so didn’t have time to do the climb, but I believe it is very worthwhile viewing from the top.
We dined at Drifters, apparently a popular spot with Aussie’s, enjoyed the local specialty “beer fish”, followed by banana pancakes with ice cream, all delicious. The guy serving was friendly and quite funny to talk to as well.
In the morning we are scheduled for a Tai Chi class held beside the lake with a local teacher, a nice setting for an early morning lesson.
Tonight so much anticipation. The famous Impression Sanjie Liu Outdoor light show performed on the Li River, the karst mountains as a backdrop.
See my next post….
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