Sunday, January 16, 2011

Liuzhou: The River Liu

Apparently it's long been a tradition in Liuzhou for the locals to swim in their home river. I assume the water isn't as clean now as it was hundreds of years ago, but the River Liu looks very inviting, and definitely more blue green than any river I've seen in China before or since. I saw quite a few Chinese swim across it on their way to work in the morning, a refreshing way to get some exercise... notice the red floating suitcases (I don't know what else to call them) in the photos below, keeping towels, clothes, shoes, cell phones and laptops dry. The men try to show off their physiques after drying off, and the women ignore them.

On both sides of the river are parks and promenades, the nicest I've seen in China by far. Since Liuzhou is hardly a big time tourist destination, I'd say the local government has its act together... and the locals appreciate those amenities judging by how much use they get. After sundown the people of Liuzhou crowd the promenades, which stretch for miles, bats devouring insects overhead. The Chinese love to pile onto sightseeing boats too (25 yuan for an hour ride ~ most serve drinks and have guides). It's a fun way to see all the lit up bridges, waterfalls, mountain peaks and pagodas. The last boat rides end around midnight.

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