Savoring Yangshuo, a jewel under threat

By James Whitehead ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-08-15 07:24:19

Savoring Yangshuo, a jewel under threat


Savoring Yangshuo, a jewel under threat

Chinese turn out for distant World Cup

Savoring Yangshuo, a jewel under threat


Local flavors, local friends 

On a Beijing morning at 5:35, cracks of light begin to simmer through the hazy skies. Two hours later, the plane lands in the southern city of Guilin, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, a place that lies in southern China, bordering Vietnam. Through the window I can make out the vague outline of the karst countryside in the morning haze. Its gray complexion is almost see-through, like a pencil sketch that someone tried to erase, leaving the smudges of graphite on the paper.

At noon, I catch a bus heading farther south, past villages and through the countryside. On the road to Yangdi, a village that hugs the Lijiang River, the lanes are swept with dust, softly driving south alongside the bus. We drive past makeshift stalls spilling  with watermelons on both sides of the road. It is 38 C and the people on the pavement carry umbrellas, wear raincoats and duck for shade. Bikes and buses, cars and trucks, all weave impulsively along the long road paved with potholes, a tarmacked slalom heading south to the village. All the while the karst limestone mountains, cloaked in green, color the countryside that is sweating from the heat.

Later in the day, I loosen the rope, disconnecting an anchor, and the raft I've jumped on starts to rock gaily on the Lijiang River before the motor kicks in and begins to push downstream, carving through the waters. 

The scenery is art at its most natural: vertical mountains flow down the Lijiang River, rolling alongside the riverbank and beyond the horizon, each one cloaked in organic green. The waters are calm, with occasional gentle choppy waves.

People come here to escape urban China, to swap the chaos of the concrete jungle for tranquility among the mountains. The river carries a steady stream of tourists on rafts and larger cruise liners. The sound of the water is drowned by the humming of motors.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular