Location: Yangshuo, Guangxi, China (24° 47′ 0″ N, 110° 30′ 0″ E)
Date: 30 April 2002, 12.40pm
Camera: Canon G1
This scenery was taken from the bridge across YuLong He, south of Yangshuo on the way to Gaotian- I am not sure of its name. Few years ago there were many local farmers who operate bamboo rafting independently along YuLongHe, especially around here; reason being this site is close to the main road and so easy to solicit passengers. The rafts used to be parked at no more than four sites around and along this stretch of the river with a couple more upstream. The river then was still pretty much undisturbed except for a couple of shallow cement crossings that are only possible when the water is low. No resorts, retreats or hotels along the river. Evenings are especially magical with beautiful twilight when all the farmers row across the river on their way to home (as In this photo).
This is all in the past. In 2008, the river banks around this part of the river have been lined with concrete with a couple of huge carparks for tourist buses. The tranquility is broken by the presence of numerous cafes, over hundred of rafts, hordes of tourists and wires hanging across the river. The banks of the river are now lined with numerous hotels and resorts while vegetation along the river has been cleared to make way for more rafting stations. The rafters are still there; but there are no longer independent operators but employees of the Singapore/Taiwanese company that has sole right to "develop" and profit from tourism activities on and along the river.