Guilin and the Caves

I always wondered why Chinese painters paint the way they do. They have such a stylized way with their brushes that is so unique to them. No one else in the world paints the way Chinese painters do, especially when it comes to landscapes. Well, we now have an answer…they paint the way they do because China’s landscape looks exactly like their paintings!!! If Claude Monet lived here, he would paint the same way too…

Today, we were living inside a Chinese painting, floating down a four hour stretch of the Li River in Guilin amidst the most beautiful limestone mountains. Friends have been here when it was hazy, cloudy, and over 100 degrees, but we got lucky and it was a beautiful 75 degree sunny and breezy day.

It was hard to know what to take photos of because everywhere you turned was a Kodak moment. Amazingly, the river is only 3-6 feet deep with crystal clear waters. Little old Chinese men with cormorants in long bamboo boats really do float along the waters, fishing to feed their families…actually, it’s the birds that do the fishing. (see 2nd photo) After 2-3 years of training, a cormorant can feed an entire family. The fishermen even pull along side the tour boats and sell the fresh fish, which are still flopping in the nets, to the chefs who are cooking in lunch in woks at the back of the boats for all the tourists. How fresh is that?!

The day ended with a tour of The Flute Reef caves….for all the beauty reflected on the outside, there is also a beauty underneath and inside these same beautiful mountains. We must have walked half a mile inside the limestone caves, full of stalagmites and stalactites of unimaginable majesty.

This was truly a day to behold the beauty and splendor of this Earth that God has made.

As we came out of the cave, we saw construction workers finishing their day and all piling into a mini van to go home…it’s not something we would see everyday!

Also one last pic I thought you might enjoy was yesterday’s lunch at a dumpling house…where all the dumplings were artistically shaped like the foods they represented…walnuts, crab, chickens, and other whimsical shapes like goldfish and flowers….so pretty you hardly wanted to eat them!!



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