Now for some of my favorite pictures along the Li River. Unfortunately, as you've seen throughout this whole album, the pictures aren't spectacular mostly because of the weather. Can you imagine how beautiful the shots could have been of the jagged limestone peaks in clear, sunny weather or, better yet, with a sunset behind them? Looking at these pictures almost makes you want to cry because you realize how much better they could have been had the weather cooperated and had you had more time and control over where you were and when you were there. Perhaps a trip for another time.


This picture deserves explanation: Notice the light yellow line that begins at the left center of the photo
and continues down and across by the water's edge, then descends into water and continues almost
to the edge of the picture. I know you can't make out what it is, but it was a flock of ducks. Notice
the man standing on the left (to the right of the duck line in the center). He was leading his ducks to the
water for a swim, a path they'd obviously followed many times before. This was an amazing sight to
watch. The ducks, quacking away, came running (not walking) down the path, along the top of the concrete
wall, down the steps and into the water. One continuous line, two or three abreast, for as long as we
could see them. Anne got videos of it and they're great to watch. What we found amazing is that not
one of the ducks took a shortcut to the water by jumping in from the wall. They all followed the leader
down the steps and into the water. The man just stood there and watched them pass.

Water buffalo grazing by the water's edge

Small dock with bamboo fishing rafts

Herding ducks by the river

Shoulder carrier

Single water buffalo grazing
One the highlights of any trip like this is to observe the native people as they go about their daily routines. The Li River was an exceptional place to do so. There was much people activity all along the river. Farmers tilling land, duck herders watching over their flocks, people washing laundry in the river, fishermen and much more. Another special treat was seeing so many water buffalo. Our local guide told us that the water buffalo lead charmed lives. I think he said they don't eat them and only use them for farming chores, then he added they only work ten days a year. I found that hard to believe, but they're useful only in tilling the land and not after the crop is planted.

Supplies offloaded from a boat and
ready to be carried home

Workers beautifying the riverside
Photo by John
Outside of the cities we visited there was never any evidence of machinery being used. There were no tractors on the farms, no bulldozers working on roads, and no heavy machinery at the coal processing plants. There was one exception. I saw a heavy earth mover along the Li River.

Fishing near a rock face

Cormorant fisherman
Photo by John

Cormorants waiting for their master
to go fishing (Photo by John)
About the Cormorant fishermen: Cormorants are good sized birds who, like the Anhingas found in the Everglades, enjoy diving underwater in search of fish. The Chinese have taken this a step further and conscripted them into service as their hook, line and sinker. They use the Cormorants to catch the fish and return them to the boat. In the picture above you see a typical Cormorant fisherman. He rides on a small bamboo raft barely 3 feet wide and pushes himself along the river using a bamboo pole. He also uses the pole to chase the birds into the water where they dive below the surface in search of fish. When they catch a fish they return to the boat and the fisherman removes the fish from their throat and places it in the basket. Why doesn't the Cormorant just eat the fish? They can't. The fisherman places a cord around the bird's neck to constrict it and keep the bird from swallowing the fish. We did a night excursion in Guilin to watch them fish and it was fascinating (pictures on next page).
With our excursion down the Li River now at an end the boat docked and we proceeded through the maze of "dollar people" and shops to our awaiting bus ... but not before I had a chance to take a couple of pictures.
Two fisherman with their Cormorants (Photo right by John, yes, John it's the better photo!)

Umbrellas for sale

Backs of homes along a canal

School children

School children buying toys

Water buffalo, up close and personal ... finally

Don't ask me why, but I've always wanted to get what I call that perfect shot of a water buffalo working in a field. The image is as clear in my mind as it can be without being on paper. It's something I've wanted ever since the first time Anne and I visited China (when they wouldn't let me off the bus to take the picture) back in 1984. Along the Li River we saw many water buffalo, loads of them, so I asked Mei, the tour escort, to ask the driver to stop along the road if he saw any water buffalo so I could take a few shots. Everyone who overheard my request was laughing and commenting on my request. Of course I hoped they'd be working in the fields. When the driver saw a group of water buffalo in a field next to the road he quickly stopped and I went outside to take some pictures. Oh, those that laughed followed me to take pictures also. Unfortunately they weren't as I had hoped, working a field, they were just standing there, but I was still happy.

Oh, one last thing before we go to the next page. There was an old man on the side of the road grazing two cows by the field where we took the pictures. Some took pictures of him with the cows, but I didn't want pictures of cows, I wanted water buffalo so I went into the field and took the above shot. After I took the shot I went over by the old man and the cows, and then it was time to get back on the bus. Just before we left several of us reached into our pockets and gave the old man a few RMB. He was really smiling and I can envision that he might have thought us nuts. I mean he standing on the side of the road minding his own business when this busload of tourist comes along, jumps out, takes a few pictures and then gives him money. He probably made that location a camp for the next few days hoping more tourist would do the same or, maybe, they'd done so before and he was still reaping the benefits.

Now, let's go to the last page of pictures from Guilin ...

Links to all China and Anniebee's Web site Pages
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Direct Page Links

Welcome to our China 2001 Photo Album
Planning and Getting there: Grand Circle Tours and Northwest Airlines
Beijing : Arriving in Beijing | Tiananmen Square | The Imperial (Forbidden) Palace (1) | The Imperial Palace (2) | The Nine Sons of the Dragon
The Imperial Palace Garden | The Summer Palace | Summer Palace (2) | Summer Palace (3) | Summer Palace (4) | Local Beijing Market
Local Beijing Market (2) | Hutong | Bell Tower | Hutong Family, Dinner and the Opera | Cloisonné Factory | Ming Tombs | Ming Tombs (2)
Great Wall of China at Ba Da Ling | Temple of Heaven
Shanghai : Arriving Shanghai | Yuyuan Garden | Yuyuan Garden (2) | The Temple of the Jade Buddha | The Bund | Day Excursion to Suzhou
Silk Process | The Administrator's Garden of Suzhou | Shanghai Museum of Art
Cruising the Yangtze River : Yangtze Cruise, Day 1 | Yangtze Cruise, Day 2 | The Xiling and Wu Gorge | The Lesser Three Gorges
The Lesser Three Gorges (2) | The Qutang Gorge | Wanxian | The Last Day of Cruising | Regal China Cruise Lines
Chongqing : Chongqing
Xi'an : Xi'an and Emperor Qin's Terracotta Warriors | Emperor's Qin's Terracotta Warriors (2) | Great Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi'an City Wall
Quilin : The Limestone Peaks of the Li River | The Limestone Peaks of the Li River (2) | Guilin and the Childrens Park | Children's Park (2) and Reed Flute Cave
The Hotels: Hotels, rail and air travel in China
Hong Kong : Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay and Aberdeen Fishing Village | Hong Kong at Sunset | Hong Kong Bird & Flower Market
| New Territories Fishing Village | Hong Kong Farewell Dinner
Bangkok : Jim Thompson House and Golden Buddha | The Flower Market | The Food Vendors | Grand Palace | Mystical Figures | Brightly Painted Masks on Mystical Figures
Golden Mystical Figures | Buildings of the Grand Palace | Lunching at the Shangri La Hotel | Loy Nava Rice Barge Cruise | Ayutthaya, Ancient Capital of Siam
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol and the Reclining Buddha | Bang Pa In, The Summer Palace |

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