Yangshou: Karsts and Cormorants

Barry and I are traveling again in China and have come to Yangshou, near Guilin, an area of fantastic topographical limestone karsts, the subject of many paintings since ancient times.

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From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Karsts  – a karst http://img.tfd.com/m/sound.swf (kärst) is defined as 

n.  An area of irregular limestone in which erosion has produced fissures, sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns.

Here, the karats rise up from the land in fantastic shapes.

Besides the karats, today we saw our first cormorants.  I’d see photos of these huge birds that fishermen use to catch fish.  The fisherman usually goes out at night with a lantern to lure the fish toward the surface.  He tethers the cormorant’s leg and ties off its throat, so the bird can neither fly away nor swallow the fish he’s dived in for and caught.  Fishing with cormorants must be slow and unreliable – and in November, it would be cold at night.

On this November afternoon, Barry and I came across the birds and their keeper relaxing at the edge of the Li River in Yangshou.

A "fisherman" and his comerants in Yangshou

A “fisherman” and his cormorants in Yangshou.  Notice his sign says 3 yuan.

This fisherman charges for photos.  He took a look at Barry and me and, sizing us up, charged us 5 yuan (75cent U.S.).  We laughed and gave him the money.

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We think this “modern” business person cormorant fisherman is doing well although his birds would likely prefer to be flying and diving on their own.

Zaì jiàn, Renée

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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

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