Li River – Tourism

Waiting for the next tour group.

Waiting for the next tour group.

Taking foreign and Chinese tourists on the lovely River Li is a booming business for the town of Yangshuo and the neighbouring city of Guilin; the name of Guilin is probably more familiar to westerners than Yangshuo. Our boat was bigger (and uglier) than the colourful boats pictured here. There were about 40 of us (a combination of buses 2 and 3 from the Sinorama 21-day tours) so the smaller boats would not have been big enough.

Looking back towards the village of Yangshuo.

Looking back towards the village of Yangshuo.

Chinese tourists always waved at us.

Chinese tourists always waved at us.

A private boat, and photographer.

A private boat, and photographer.

Some boats put in to shop at vendors on the riverside. Ours did not!

Some boats put in to shop at vendors on the riverside. Ours did not!

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Life on the River Li #2

These are the types of boats from which fishing is done by leashed cormorants. I didn’t see fishing with cormorants but it was a theme of the light show we saw later that night – and which will be featured in two posts in about two weeks.

Harvesting greens? weeds? fish food?

Harvesting greens? weeds? fish food?

These small boats looked so quiet and peaceful, but the life must be hard. At least they would not have to contend with ice.

Net fishing.

Net fishing.

Under powe

Under power.

Was this the origin of standup paddle boards?

Was this the origin of standup paddle boards?

Next post: Water Buffalo

Life on the River Li

Part I
Fish Pens.

They look a bit like smelt shacks that we put on the river ice in the Canadian Maritimes. But not. It was only when I got really close to one and saw the fish jumping inside that I realized they were fish pens. I’m guessing they might catch fish and feed them within the pens to fatten them up(?)

Fish pens in the morning haze.

Fish pens in the morning haze.

Fish pens (with a lot of fiddling in Lightroom to make them come more alive.)

Fish pens (with a lot of fiddling in Lightroom to make them come more alive.)

You can see some people working with the river vegetation on the left of the photo.

You can see some people working with the river vegetation on the left of the photo.

Close up of a fish pen.  You can see the fish splashing on the left of the pen.

Close up of a fish pen. You can see the fish splashing on the left of the pen.

Stay tuned for more life on the River Li.

Wushan: Living by the Yangtze

Wushan. A brand new cityscape - since 1997.

Wushan. A brand new cityscape – since 1997.

The port of departure for our tour of the Three Little Gorges was Wushan.   If  you look online for images of Wushan, you will see some amazing ‘before’ photos, before the Three Gorges Dam raised the water level and required the removal of hundreds of buildings.

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High rise accommodation on steep hills.

High rise accommodation on steep hills.

Tours up the Three Little Gorges are an important economic feature of Wushan.

Tours up the Three Little Gorges are an important economic feature of Wushan.

As we docked, returning from our tour of the three little gorges, we were greeted with a huge sign and very dirty water.

Another delightful Chinese sign.

Another delightful Chinese sign.

The Yangtze River at Wushan  polluted by plastic and much more.

The Yangtze River at Wushan polluted by plastic and much more.

I only took one or two photos of other towns on the river, both from further downstream.

Just above Yichang.

Just above Yichang.

Somewhere on the Yangtze between the dam and Wushan.

Somewhere on the Yangtze between the dam and Wushan.

Next post: Community Theatre.

Chinese Bridges

A beautiful bridge spanning one of the gorges upriver from the Yangtze.

A beautiful bridge spanning one of the gorges upriver from the Yangtze.

China has a long history in bridge construction. The oldest bridge still in existence in China is the Anji Bridge constructed during the years between 595 and 605. Everywhere you go in China you see beautiful, functional, and often very new bridges.  The Yangpu Bridge in Shanghai was featured in an earlier post.

I first began to appreciate Chinese bridge building when reading Simon Winchester’s marvellous book about Joseph Needham. called ‘The Man who Loved China.’   Needham was one of the first westerners to recognize China’s scientific and engineering discoveries, most of which preceded western science by decades or even centuries.

When we travelled up the ‘three little gorges’ we passed under a very modern bridge (above and below.)

A closer view

A closer view

Structural detail.

Structural detail.

In Wushan, where our tour of the Three Little Gorges began, was another modern structure.

Another style of bridge, again with red as a prominent design feature.

Another style of bridge, again with red as a prominent design feature.

Bridge on-ramp and tour boats.

Bridge on-ramp and tour boats.

Structural detail.

Structural detail.

Lower down the Yangtze we passed this massive structure. The scale can be appreciated when you realize that there are people in the lower right foreground!

Is this a bridge? Well the overpass behind the orange structure is a type of bridge.

Is this a bridge? Well the overpass behind the orange structure is a type of bridge.

Recently China has been constructed many record breaking bridges.
China is currently home to the Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge, the world’s longest bridge measuring over 164 kilometres (102 mi).
The Xihoumen Bridge bridge in Zhejiang province is the second longest suspension bridge span.
The Sutong Bridge in the Jiangsu province is the second longest cable-stayed span.
The Sidu River Bridge is the highest bridge in the world.
The Chaotianmen Bridge bridge is the longest arch bridge span.
The longest sea bridge in the world is currently under construction between Macau and Hong Kong.  

A list of China’s bridges is here.

Next post: Urban development above the Three Gorges Dam.

San Francisco – Pacifica

Pacifica under low clouds and with a few intrepid surfers.

Pacifica under low clouds and with a few intrepid surfers.

Pacifica is a city in San Mateo County, California, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay.

I visited with family, including the triplets, on a brisk and cloudy day at the end of February.

A wind sculpted tree at the start of our walk.

A wind sculpted tree at the start of our walk.

Even in February there are flowers on the Pacific Coast.

Even in February there are flowers on the Pacific Coast.

A bit of a surf, yellow and orange flowers.

A bit of a surf, yellow and orange flowers.

The hillside was covered in brightly coloured foliage and some flowers giving the impression of a carpet.

The hillside was covered in brightly coloured foliage and some flowers giving the impression of a carpet.

View of Pacifica as we climbed the path heading north.

View of Pacifica as we climbed the path heading north.

A broad and, today, not very inviting beach.

A broad and, today, not very inviting beach.

When we reached the summit of the path before heading down to see the next community - there were sobering signs.

When we reached the summit of the path before heading down to see the next community – there were sobering signs.

A bike and pedestrian path down the steep slope to the next beach

A bike and pedestrian path down the steep slope to the next beach.

The same wind-sculpted tree at the end of our walk.

The same wind-sculpted tree at the end of our walk.

Are asking yourself, “did she write ‘triplets’ at the start of this post?” – the answer is: yes, I did.  We were in the Bay area to visit them; they are now 13 months old.  Pop is pushing a stroller with the girl and the parents took turns pushing the boys in a tandem stroller.

 

Next posts: Back to the tour of China, then a visit to Toronto, Canada.

Big Boats on the Yangtze

Hundreds of big boats passed us in both directions on the Yangtze River cruise.

Cruise ships….

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Up close and personal with a cruise ship tied up next to us.  Despite the moderate humidity, laundry did dry in 18-24 hours.

Up close and personal with a cruise ship tied up next to us. Despite the moderate humidity, laundry did dry in 18-24 hours.

Barges with cargo that wasn’t always identifiable….

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Mid-sized brightly painted tour/cruise ships….

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There were ships acting as gangways between the land and the cruise ships – as was this one, otherwise a bit of a wreck.

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Next post: a change-up: San Francisco.