Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Taking Pictures with the Cormorants (跟鱼鹰拍照) @ Guilin [China]

My poor grasp of the English language has never been more pronounced when i realised i didn't even know what a cormorant was until i checked it out on dictionary.com; those as clueless as me just need to remember it is a bird species!

Duck-sized with emerald green eyes, a sharp beak and webbed feet, this bird was of importance to the families living along the Li River (漓江) at Guilin as it can bring in food to feed the entire family! For the tourists, it serves another practical purpose. 

As a tool for photo-taking! Of course, anything that goes against the flow of nature can be debated at length and i am not surprised if some of you would tell me it's cruel, there's a blatant disregard of animal welfare for the sake of capitalism and self satisfaction etc etc. 

I get it, really. 

But i can't stop the dozens of people on the ferry who were scrambling to take photographs with the cormorants. Never one to impose my values on others, i respect the culture of others and even if i disagree, i would just refrain from doing the activity; for example, digging into a pot of dog meat. 

Aside from satisfying humans' desire to portray themselves as a native with the natural backdrop of the breathtaking Guilin scenery, the very activity of fishing by the cormorants can sound pretty inhumane as it requires a string to be tied around the neck of the bird to prevent the fish it caught to be swallowed. 

Ranging from RMB 2 to RMB 15 per session (short one, that is with many people waiting in queue), the taking of numerous pictures with the cormorants is a lucrative business, especially when it's your virgin encounter with the capable birds. Just to make things clear, dad is a guilty contributor while i am an unwilling abettor. 

p.s. there's no hurry to take pictures with the cormorants in Gulin as there were ample opportunities at places of attractions near the river; I counted no less than four places. 

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For the itinerary of my tour package (guaranteed no shopping stops) to Guilin via Chan Brothers, please check out the link here.

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