Magical Lijiang, One of the World’s Top 10 Watery Wonders (Photos)

    Enjoy the view of the majestic mountains from the river! (Image: Konggu Youlan)Stone arch bridge over the Li River. (Image: Konggu Youlan)Perfect reflections in the tranquil waters. (Image: Konggu Youlan)The archway frames the mountains beautifully. (Image: Konggu Youlan)The hills rise up through the misty clouds in the background. (Image: Konggu Youlan)Locals and tourists enjoy going for a cruise on the river. (Image: Konggu Youlan)The valley is lush and fertile. (Image: Konggu Youlan)Going for a relaxing jaunt on a bamboo raft. (Image: Konggu Youlan)Life is lovely and peaceful on the Li River. (Image: Konggu Youlan)The river widens in this section of the mountains. (Image: Konggu Youlan)Here the water is more turbulent and muddy. (Image: Konggu Youlan)A farmer resting in the Li River valley. (Image: Konggu Youlan)

    The Li River or Lijiang stretches from Guilin to Yangshuo in Guanxi Province, winding between mystical karst mountains and lush green fields.

    It flows for 52 miles, starting in the Mao’er Mountains, and ending in Pingle where it meets the Lipu and Gongcheng Rivers, forming the Gui River.

    This popular poem describes the landscape:

    The river is a green silk ribbon, and the hills are jade hairpins

    You can take a trip on a bamboo raft or motor boat to enjoy the breathtaking views, and tranquil pace of life in rural China. This is also one of the few places where you can see the ancient art of cormorant fishing.

    There are over 150 rock hills, 21 major caves, such as Reed Flute Cave and Guanyan Cave, and hundreds of smaller ones.

    Other attractions include Seven-Star Park, the Mountain of Splendid Hues, and Elephant Trunk Hill.

    The area is known as the Guilin Scenic Zone, and covers over 1,100 square miles. It has been occupied for at least 7,000 years.

    China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang of the Qin Dynasty, set up Guilin Prefecture, and ordered the creation of the Lingqu Canal in 214 B.C. to link the Li River to the Xiangjiang River, forming the world’s oldest remaining canal.

    Later, during the Song Dynasty, the city gained its reputation for beauty and uniqueness: “Among all the mountains and waters, Guilin is the best.”

    Research by Ming Yue

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