China’s Southwest – Part I

Part IPart IIPart III
View Album: Guìlín

The first half of our recent Christmas trip was spent mostly in the southwest of China, a province called Guangxi. We flew into the town of Guìlín, which would serve as the base of operations for our travels over the next seven days.

Although only a one-hour flight from Hong Kong, this area was a whole different China. Despite visiting in the off season, we enjoyed our day trip out to the minority rice farming villages near Lóngshèng.

The main attraction out near Lóngshèng are the famed Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces: layer upon layer of winding rice terraces sculpted into the hills over hundreds of years.

View Album: Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces

As a quick flickr search will reveal, the scenery here is spectacular in the spring, summer, or fall (i.e. any season other than the one we went in). So while we didn’t get a scene as pretty as this, we were still awarded with some pretty awesome views.

Guìlín also offered its own cultural sights. Shown below are Wind Cave, full of ancient carvings and Buddhist sculptures, followed by the Sun and Moon Twin Pagodas (world’s tallest copper pagoda).

And most impressive of Guìlín’s geological sights was this underground pool in Reed Flute Cave:

We also got to watch the iconic cormorant fisherman in action on the Li River.

Fishing by lamp light, his trained cormorant fishing birds would dive into the depths and occasionally return with the bounty sticking out of their throats. Very cool birds!

It was this same Li River upon which we would later float into the heart of China’s southwest (in part 2). But first, check out the other photos of Guìlín and the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces.

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