One of the most spectacular landscapes in China is the section along the Li River near Guilin. It contains mountains of limestone formations that rise dramatically from the flat ground along the river, many with unusual shapes. The city has been settled for over 2300 years, and it is the home of thousands of fragrant Sweet Osmanthus trees, for which it is known.
Quoting one website:
“A boat trip on the peaceful Li River is the absolute high point of any visit to Guilin. A cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo, visitors will experience the winding and twisting Li River, goes past the many bizarre mountains whose shapes have inspired and fired the Chinese imagination, the Elephant Trunk Mountain, Old Man Mountain, Pagoda Mountain and Hole Mountain. Cormorant fishermen in narrow bamboo boats, bathing children, water buffaloes, small settlement and women doing their washing on the banks of the river can be seen along the way. Yangshuo, at the end of the boat journey is today a developed village that thrives mainly on tourism and seems to have nothing but tourist shops. “
We had less than a day to explore, but by booking a private tour with a guide and a speedboat, we were able to pack in three hours along the river and lunch in Yangshuo, taking pictures all the way, before flying back to Hong Kong that afternoon. The outline of the dark mountains, looming behind the vegetation along the river, reminded me of some stock price charts I have seen. Sometimes the reflection of those shapes on the quiet stretches of water brought to mind the patterns of audio files which embody the terms “plus and minus X dB” with their symmetry. Samples are below, and the full website of our photos is here.