Saturday, February 06, 2016

Enjoying Guilin Scenery Via the Trusty Bamboo Raft & Surrounded by Local Folk Songs along Yulong River (遇龙河) @ Guangxi Province [China]

The stopover right after our visit to the Green Lotus Peak wasn't a toilet break as initially thought should i be any less observant; oh well, i needed to release some pressure from my bladder anyway.

Right in front was where our next item on the itinerary shall begin. Known as Yulong River (遇龙河) with the first two characters 遇龙 translated as Meet the Dragon, we will be taking a short cruise on the traditional bamboo raft!

Singaporeans can never stop to look whenever there are stalls; even when the scale isn't comparable to Yang Shuo West Street or Xing Ping Ancient Town

I was more enchanted by the pretty exotic birds. Bet i have to pay a sum of money to take pictures with them even though no one stopped me for taking pictures OF them.

Breakwaters were built along the river as it was prone to flooding and the water on the surface didn't deter the motor vehicles from crossing! It's quite a frightening sight as there wasn't any barrier and one wrong step would mean damage to the vehicles, injuries or even death!

The quieter side; according to an information panel, there were some mentions on drift tourism safety management. Hence, i am unsure if river drifting is also one of the river's tourism draws.

Nevertheless, dad was as excited as me since i was complaining that the best way to marvel Guilin's scenery was to take a non-machine bamboo raft rather than the motorised boat for the President's Cruise along Li River.

Guess my wish had come true!

With more than fifteen of us in the tour group, we had to take two separate rafts and it made perfect sense for my dad and i to split up; can take photos for each other mah.

Tea was available yet none of us had a sip for two reasons; it didn't appear to be exceptionally hot and we were an obedient bunch. The tour guide didn't inform us if it would be chargeable.

The "kind" rules for those on the raft; our of the three rules, we flouted the first one as there wasn't any life jacket on board for us to wear!

Dad on the other raft and as expected, he can "arrow" me to pose for him. I didn't know he has taken so many photos of me and they didn't show a "slim" side of me!

Elderly boatman navigating the raft with just one long bamboo pole!

River depth was at a maximum of about five meters and this section was shallow; enabling the boatman to use lesser effort to push /stop the raft. Hard work indeed!

Another person i should give credit to was the lady (belong to the Zhuang minority) on our raft. Equipped with a loudspeaker, her presence was instrumental in making the cruise memorable.

Time to start the cruise!

Relentless effort by the boatman and we had a much bigger load! A 20-minute cruise should not be too tiring for him but imagine he has to do this quite a few times a day!

Other groups - maybe because they didn't have the boisterous local lady we had, their expressions seemed to infer boredom! Haha.

Not a flattering picture yet her voice was a power to reckon with. And she's undeterred in answering our questions and encouraging us to partake in a competition between the two bamboo rafts. 

Video as above for your viewing pleasure. 

Continuing our way - the distance we covered wasn't long and our Zhuang lady serenaded us with our Singapore classic; Rasa Sayang and even the hokkien song 爱拼才会赢! 

The happy expression said it all. 

Aside from the fantastic singing and our peals of laughter, we totally soaked in the atmosphere surrounding by towering cliffs and a cow grazing by the riverbank.

Not my fault; they gamely looked towards my direction when i shot the photo.

A higher stone bridge for those who didn't want to risk their motor vehicles getting damaged or anyone injured / dead. Yulong river has a bridge that's about 400-hundred years ago; pity we didn't have the chance to marvel at its glory. 

Taking a breather; in life, we should always stop at certain junctures, throw out all the thoughts in the mind and re-calibrate their importance and priorities! 

Photographs of the surroundings - i used to think i would die early and hence, has absolutely no plans for retirement. Now that i am about half past retirement age, i think this is the kind of place to retire to. My first choice, however, is still Dali at Yunnan! 

Going back! 

Our Zhuang lady took up the microphone again although this time, we persuaded her to leave the loudspeaker alone as the volume can be piercing! She agreed and boy was her natural voice even more endearing! 

View the video to find out! 

Pretty wasn't it? I am so hoping to get my hands on a full frame DSLR next time; as i have insisted, my camera has capabilities to make up for my lack of skill. 

Last up - seeing with my own eyes the fishing power of the cormorants! Click the link here to read further.

Time to disembark and bid goodbye to the Zhuang lady who has given us not just laughter but also lasting memory of this item on our itinerary. To think that i was thinking it would be just another boring cruise. 

Once again, photo taking opportunity with the cormorants for a small fee. 


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