When you’ve had enough scenery for one day, do something unusual and spend an evening watching cormorant fishing (book through your hotel; ¥50–70 per person for 90min). This involves heading out on a bamboo raft or small boat at dusk, in a small flotilla of other tourist craft, closely following a tiny wooden fishing boat from which a group of cormorants fish for their owner. Despite being turned into a tourist activity at Yangshuo, people still make their living from this age-old practice across the region, raising young birds to dive into the water and swim back to the boat with full beaks. The birds are prevented from swallowing by ties around their necks, but it’s usual practice for the fisherman to slacken these off and let them eat every seventh fish – apparently, the cormorants refuse to work otherwise.

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