Photo Diary: Guilin 2019

We are just back from our annual Guilin photography tour and wow, what a city. Despite having been so many times already, its tranquility and natural beauty never fails to impress. It’s reputation as one of the most beautiful places on earth is legit – just check out these photos.

The Lijiang River bathed in sunset’s gold

It is this scenery that draw millions of tourists (us included!) from around the world every year. Guilin is located in southern China and sits on the banks of the Lijiang River. Further downstream, meandering its was around emerald limestone karsts and fishing villages is the Yangshuo river – a source of income for the residents.

A cormorant fisherman

In the nearby town of Xingping (where our tour always heads to) is where we find the famed cormorant fishermen. In ancient times, this town was the largest and most prosperous along the Li River, and also one of the most beautiful, thanks to the seemingly never-ending backdrop of emerald karats.

The fishing village of Xingping has a history that dates back to more than 500 years, and was founded during the Ming Dynasty. Much of this history is actually still visible, with 48 traditional residences extremely well preserved against the ravages of time. Visiting Guilin always feels like you’re stepping back into a calmer time, and we often feel “guilty” for using our high tech, 21st century gear in this space!

What we love witnessing here though, is the art of cormorant fishing. A method that is as old as the village itself, this unique fishing technique utilises local cormorants instead of rods, and the nimble fishermen perch impressively on flimsy-looking bamboo rafts instead of boats. A noose is tied around the birds’ neck to prevent them from swallowing the prey, although we are told they are occasionally allowed to eat some of the fish they catch. It is this amazing harmony between man animal, a co-dependance if you will, that we believe is what make our photos come alive on this tour.

Miss this tour? Don’t sweat, we still have plenty more before the year is up! Check out our full list of tours here.