Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Scenic Cruise along Taohua River (船游桃花江) - Part of the Compulsory Additional Tour @ Guilin [China]

Are you still counting the number of boat rides / cruises i made in my recent trip to China? I have honestly lost count even though i don't really mind so long motion sickness doesn't get to me!

To get to the pier, we had to cut through Village Lu that i had posted earlier for its beancurd products! There were quite a number of villages according to this directional signpost and that included a cave that's two kilometers away.

Our glass covered vessel that shall allow us a better view of the surrounding while keeping us protected from unfavourable weather conditions.

A pity it doesn't really benefit trigger happy folks like myself as glass has reflection and i had to decide between taking better quality photos (like the one appended above) and absorbing knowledge from the guide who was seated right in front!

I opted for the great outdoors (photo-taking that is) as i figured most of the things she would be saying might likely touch on imagination. I did manage to catch snippets of her commentary; some of which i would share in this post.

The scenery - Taohua means peach blossom and many of us were expecting thousands of peach blossom trees lining on the riverbanks; a river named after peach blossom should rightfully have them right?!


Shen Fei, our guide for the China trip, informed us after the cruise that it was as per our expectation a long time ago but many peach blossom trees have since been cut down. :(


Nevertheless, it wasn't the right season to catch any blossoms and to be fair, i wouldn't be able to recognise a peach blossom tree anyway! 

Aside from the scenery, i did notice many people were fishing! As mentioned many times, fishing bores me and i would have that exact expression as one of the gentlemen in the above picture. 

Getting to the second jetty where the vessel took in more passengers.

Continuing our way after the seats were all filled up; with a reduced ability to move in and out, i decided to just stay outside and enjoy the breeze. 

Wah kaoz, serious boh - two ladies in traditional Chinese garb were playing Chinese instruments like guzheng (古筝) and yangqin (扬琴)! 

The melodious music were extremely soothing in the quiet environment even though i wonder if the residents of the private housing right behind them would have gotten sick of it. 

Trudging along.

Riding past a vehicle bridge; i was getting bored at this time (no thanks to the relaxed environment) and would love to lie down on the small deck to have a snooze. 

Someone was doing her laundry! This would have been quite a sight in Singapore even though such activities were common about thirty years ago when many of us lived in villages (known as kampongs).

Yawns again.

Quiz time - what does this remind you of? 
Answer: a seated 弥勒佛 (Maitreya). 

At this point, the boat made a U-turn and i was thinking if this would be the halfway leg and we would be looping back to Village Lu! I was excited as i would love to get another serving of the fried tofu

Postcard-pretty bridge that should be quite popular for wedding shots; there's only one slight problem. You need the photographer to take a boat and it must be a significantly big one to reduce the rocking. 

Blossoming flowers! Not sure what kind though.

Going back and anticipating the delicious taste of fried tofu in a short while! 

I kid you not; some had dozed off and it's kind of expected as we were literally enveloped by various patterns of the signature Guilin terrain in the past few days of our journey.

Since i have the tendency to drool (excessively) when i sleep, i didn't have any choice but to continue moving my eyes for photo opportunity like the quaint little pavilion overlooking the river.

Or the standalone house that's connected by a single path that's a few meters above the water. Without proper railing along the path, this would be one house you wouldn't find me entering.

No idea why i took this.

About to reach Village Lu; almost thirty minutes had passed since we departed from the embarkation pier and i was all ready to disembark.

However, the boat continued its way and went under the pedestrian cum motor vehicle bridge of Village Lu. Disappointment set in even though i was as equally curious on where we were bound for.

I only knew that the river was dammed with the rubber tubing on the right and wasn't aware of the blue enclosure on the left! What the heck was that?

The answer had been published here. To enable smaller boats to traverse the river, the sluice gate is a necessity to make up for the shortfall in water level (differing about 1.8 meters).

My first experience with a sluice gate by the way! 

Getting further and further away from Village Lu; a clear indication that god was answering my prayers to have a thinner waist by disallowing me the fried tofu

Can you spot the rubber dam and the difference in water level from here? 

Workers sprucing up the riverbank - i was hoping more peach blossom trees would be planted. A river named after peach blossom with no peach blossom trees should really have a change of name. 

You can check the photographs here

Magnificent mountain in front of us; what does this remind you of? Personally, i think it was a tortoise with a human face! Don't you think so? Oh well, to each his / her own imagination. 

More cormorants although they were not doing any "job". With their skill, i should import one to Singapore for my mom who is a fish lover! By fish lover, i mean she loves to eat them.  

After close to an hour on the boat, it's time to disembark! 

Broken fender - now that doesn't look too safe; you just need a small knock and this could have resulted in the boat sinking. Okay, maybe i am too paranoid. If accidents happen, it can happen in any form and shape. 

Price list for the cruise of which there were four types; ours should be the cheapest at RMB100 for an adult with a duration of about 50 minutes. 

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Do check out the posting for the summarised itinerary of Chan Brother's tour package (guaranteed no shopping stops) to Guilin; it would give you a better overview of my trip. :) 

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