A Non-polluted Li River In Guilin - China Travel Story

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A Non-polluted Li River In Guilin

Guilin is well-known for the breath-taking scenery on the banks of the Li River. But few realised that the beauty of the river itself lies in its non-polluted state with its crystal-clear water that shows the fish swimming and the moss-covered round stones on its river-bed. That explains the joy of taking a ride on a ferry to Yangsao, a town where the trip ends.

Guilin is famous for its peaked mountains and scenery. It is located 350 km to the north-west of Guangzhou, a southern city near Shenzhen. It is the capital city of Guangdong Province where the ancestors of thousands of overseas Chinese came from. It must not be forgotten that Guilin is also well-known for its caves with stalactites and stalagmites as well as elephant-shaped stone mountain. However, the focus is always on the scenery on the bank of the Li River. It is always depicted in travel magazines and travel brochures.

There was always a flurry of activities at the ferry terminal and an air of festivities exuded at the scene. Colorful banners fluttered in the wind on the bank and more than ten ferries were waiting at the terminal to pick up the tourists. But the tourists found it hard to board the ferries. They had to meandered their way through the crowd and walked precariously on the gangway to board the ferries. Once they had settled in their seats, they heaved a sign of relief and they were on their way to a memorable trip.

The Li River is more than 250 km in length and 500 meters in width. But in some places, it is too shallow for the ferries to go through, it has to be pushed with long poles. This is especially true during the dry season. When the ferry glided slowly along, one can see the moss-covered stones through the crystal-clear water and breath-taking peaked mountains and bamboo clusters rolled by. It is unbelievable that a river with thousands of years of history behind it could still remain in this non-polluted state. With a few mudhouses at the foothills of the mountains, it looked like a Chinese painting which we are very familiar with.

As the ferry glided along, I caught glimpses of life in rural Guilin. Farmers were seen fetching water from the river to water their vegetable plots and villagers crossing the river on bamboo rafts. There were also fishermen catching fish with the help of trained birds. Living in such a scenic environment, they led a simple life.

As the evening drew near, the sun set behind the jagged peaks and the bamboo clusters and the sky became crimson red. It was a perfect scene for landscape photography.

Despite hundred of ferries plying the Li River daily as a waterway and some agricultural activities on the bank, it is incredible the river could remained pollution-free. Rubbish and plastic bottles were rare sightings on the surface of the water. Fishes from the river were still edible. If the fish is from a polluted river, the fish would be highly toxic and the fish is bred to live with pollutants.

The trip down the Li River is worth taking.

Story Courtesy to Jason Chan

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