Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Photo Series Impressions on Sanjie Liu

Anyone who goes to Yangshuo MUST SEE THIS show. It is directed by the famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou, who also recently did the Beijing opening ceremonies. It is watched from a theater built ON the Li River, and the stage is the river/riverbanks, and the backdrop/set are the surrounding mountains. It is seriously amazing. We had read about it, and everyone loved the Beijing opening ceremonies, so we decided to by tickets (140 RMB each including transport to and from our hostel, bought from Yangshuo Culture House), but in all of our minds there was some expectation of cheese. I mean really - a light show? On the river? It just sounds impossible hokey. But it was BEAUTIFUL. I cannot stress enough how worth it this was, even though it's only an hour.

There are hundreds of actors, on rafts, floats, doing acrobatics on a huge swinging moon, along the edges, wearing traditional ethnic costumes, dancing, singing... there's no way to even explain this, my pictures also can't do it justice. One of the most amazing parts was at the beginning when the backdrop lights when on and lit up the mountains - LIT UP THE MOUNTAINS! It looked like a black and white brush painting from an old Chinese scroll. I wish we had stayed in Yangshuo for 2 nights so I could have watched this again.

If you do go, be careful not to be totally ripped off on the price of the ticket. I'm not sure there's a way to buy tickets not through a tour or hostel/hotel, because it seems like you need to go through a route where more than one party touches your money, so haggle for sure. Also, since the whole thing is in Chinese/sung, look up the story in advance so you're not totally lost like we were. Travel China Guide has a pretty good description: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/guangxi/yangshuo/impression-sanjieliu.htm

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