We reached Yangshou in 2 hours- a bustling tourist town in the heart of the karst mountains n the Li River. Our hotel was a short walk (thankfully- hauling these packs around is starting to wear thin already) from the bus station, and as we discovered that night- smack in the busiest bar and restaurant district.
|Scenic Yangshou- karst limestone mountains behind|
The room here was more spacious than in
|Beer Fish and local beer-yum yum!|
After another delicious shared Chinese meal, Chen brought us to the riverbank where we boarded a typical bamboo raft to watch the cormorant fishermen. This is mainly done for show now as most fishing is done commercially, but it was a very interesting experience and one I had on my Must See List for the trip. The fisherman has 4-5 wing-clipped cormorants leashed to his raft. As they catch fish, the fisherman quickly pulls them into the boat and squeezes the fish from their beak into his basket. The birds cannot swallow the fish due to the tight cord around their throats. If the cormorants don’t dive frequently enough, the fisherman has them trained to dive at the splash of his oar. We watched for about 30 minutes and they caught a couple pounds of small fish.
The fishermen treated the birds very gently and humanely. We all beached our boats nearby, and he there removed their leashes and fed them from the basket. The cormorants themselves were very tame and well trained- I posed with one on my shoulder. Our guide told us it takes 3-4 months to train the birds. Maybe I will look into doing this next summer from my seadoo- who’s up for a fish fry?
|Is that a cormorant on your shoulder, or are you just happy to see me?|