Cruising down the Li River on a powered bamboo raft

Cruising China’s Li River and exploring the historical Xingping village

Cruising down the Li River on a powered bamboo raft
Cruising down the Li River on a powered bamboo raft
Such a picturesque surrounding
Such a picturesque surrounding

While staying in Yangshuo for a couple of days we went for a cruise on the Li River. The Li River or Lijiang is a river in China ranges 83 kilometers from Guilin to Yangshuo. The scenery along the river was breathtaking. That morning all the hills were shrouded in mist and the river covered in small boats and rafts.

Cruising on a bamboo raft down the Li River felt like a scene from a movie! The bamboo rafts have outboard motors strapped on to the back and an ideal way to travel on the river from Yangshuo.

That morning there was a light monsoon rain that just added to the mystic feel of the morning. We slowly drifted past the picturesque karst peaks, vivid green rice paddies and water buffalo on the banks of the river. We were all mesmerized by the unique natural landscape and I feel that my photos do not even come close to showing how beautiful it really is.

Such a peaceful mornings spent on the river
Such a peaceful mornings spent on the river
The hills were shrouded in mist
The hills were shrouded in mist

Xingping town
Xingping town

Along the way we stopped at Xingping town about 27 kilometers upstream from Yangshuo.  The town was initially settled in 265 AD, and was the regional center for Yangshuo County until Yangshuo was settled in 590 AD. Like Yangshuo, Xingping is surrounded by beautiful Karst mountains which definitely greatly enhances the charm of the town. Certainly, not as clean or developed as neighboring touristy Yangshuo, it nonetheless has a nice authentic feel to it complete with a few intact historical buildings and easy access to the Li River.

The old street is a one-kilometer long stone street lined with old brick buildings and assembly halls like those of many different provinces. Guandi (General Guan Yu) Temple which was built in the Qing Dynasty tell the long history of the town. The Guandi Temple was built in 1739 and there are surviving side halls and a theatrical stage. The theatrical stage in Guandi Temple is an architecture built in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.)

The entrance to Guandi Temple
The entrance to Guandi Temple

This village has a small paper fan workshop where we had the chance to watch a lady create one of these magnificent pieces of art. It was quite a shame that while we were in the town it was raining quite heavily so we couldn’t really explore the beautiful streets and sights that the town has to offer.

Watching a paper fan artist at work
Watching a paper fan artist at work
Walking through the streets of Xingping while the rain let up for a bit
Walking through the streets of Xingping while the rain let up for a bit
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29 comments

  1. Hi Janaline, I haven’t been to that part of China so thanks for taking me virtually with you. It looks beautiful and the mist just made it look more magical. It reminds me of Halong Bay in Vietnam. The fan workshop looks fascinating. That’s a big Buddha belly! I hope it brings you huge luck:) Thanks for a delightful post.

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  2. Lovely photos! It looks like a beautiful place to visit and explore. The hand-painted fans are gorgeous. My husband and I had one painted in Taiwan for a 1st wedding anniversary and it has a special place in our home!!! Enjoy the rest of your travels!

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  3. A beautiful account Janaline. We swapped Guilin and Yangshuo for the Chongqing region. I don’t regret that, but I do wish there was some way to include everything!

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  4. Yangshuo and a Li River cruise are definitely on my plans for a future trip to China – I hope I make it there some day! Great photos, the landscape is stunning. A shame about the rain for you, most photos I see of that area look cloudy so I guess it must be hard to get good weather there.

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