Explore the Li River with Cormorant Fishermen

Rate this Adventure China Xingping, China

Added by Michael Gabbert

It's an amazing experience witnessing the cormorant fishing style. You'll get up close and personal access to the fishermen themselves. Apart from the fishing, witness the spectacular scenery all around during sunset

The Li River has a long history of Cormorant Fishing. Set amongst Karst Mountains, the city of XingPing (39 miles from Guilin & 15.5 miles from Yangshuo), is the perfect setting to see this beautiful and ancient method of fishing.

To get to Xingping, you have a couple options via highways and main roads, as its 39 miles from Guilin & 15.5 miles from Yangshuo. However, the best route is to take a bamboo raft down the Li River. Starting at the city of Yangdi, the motorized bamboo raft heads North up the river and arrives at the city of Xingping after about 90 minutes

. The old town, which you encounter as you first come off the raft, represents tremendous old Chinese architecture of the Ming and Qinq Dynasty Styles. Set amongst this architecture are shops, restuarants, and a couple bars here and there. Simply walking in and out of the streets is a sight to be seen!

All of that said, the best, and most iconic sight to see out here to see are the cormorant fishermen. The village of the cormorant fishermen is directly across the Li River from the town of XingPing. If you get an opportunity to visit, I’d suggest doing so. To take the 3 minute water taxi ride across its only 5 CNY (or $0.80 USD).

The best way to see the Cormorant Fishermen in action is to book an excursion directly in the town of Xingping or through an outside tour with direct relationships with the fishermen. I went through a Guilin photo tour based out of the UK (Guilin Tours) and found that to be the easiest route; especially when considering my complete lack of Mandarin language skills. While sunrise with the fishermen can be good, the ability to view of the sun setting over the Karst Mountains while the Fishermen throw their nets and cormorants catch their fish cant be beat. If you get an option between the two, definitely opt for the sunset. You'll set out a couple hours prior to sunset and view their entire preparation and be able to witness their fishing until just after sunset. Overall, it’s an unbelievable experience set in a surreal location.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Circular Polarizer
  • Water Shoes/Sandals
  • Chinese Yuan (currency)
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Fishing, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round



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Added by Michael Gabbert

Minnesotan living in Seattle. Email: mjgabbert@gmail.com

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