Junks Sailing the Li River, China

junk is an ancient Chinese sailing vessel/ship design still in use today. Junks were developed during the Song Dynasty (960–1279)[1] and were used as seagoing vessels as early as the 2nd century CE. They evolved in the later dynasties, and were used throughout Asia for extensive ocean voyages. They were found, and in lesser numbers are still found, throughout South-East Asia and India, but primarily in China, perhaps most famously in Hong Kong. Found more broadly today is a growing number of modern recreational junk-rigged sailboats.

The term junk may be used to cover many kinds of boat—ocean-going, cargo-carrying, pleasure boats, live-aboards. They vary greatly in size and there are significant regional variations in the type of rig, however they all employ fully battened sails.

The Li River (Chinese: ??; pinyin: Lí Ji?ng) or Lijiang is a river in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. It flows 83 kilometres (52 mi) from Guilin to Yangshuo, where the karst mountains and river sights highlight the famous Li River cruise.

The Li River originates in the Mao’er Mountains in Xing’an County and flows in the general southern direction through Guilin, Yangshuo and Pingle. In Pingle the Li River merges with the Lipu River and the Gongcheng River and continues south as the Gui River, which falls into the Xi Jiang, the western tributary of the Pearl River, in Wuzhou.
Tourist cruises on the Li River in Guilin

The upper course of the River Li is connected by the ancient Lingqu Canal with the Xiang River, which flows north into the Yangtze; this in the past made the Li and Gui Rivers part of a highly important waterway connecting the Yangtze Valley with the Pearl River Delta.

The 437-kilometre (272 mi) course of the Li and Gui Rivers is flanked by green hills. Cormorant fishing is often associated with the Lijiang (see bird intelligence). Its unusual karst topography hillsides have often been compared to those at Halong Bay, Vietnam.

Tourist cruises in different boats (varying from small bamboo rafts to larger, air-conditioned ships) are offered on the Li River throughout the year and are one of the major attractions of Guilin.

Junks Sailing the Li River, China

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