Bamboo raft on the Li River

Flag of People Republic of China
My family travelled to China & this site tells our first hand experiences.

Tell others about China

Read about our holiday experience in Sri Lanka, Egypt, China, New York and Niagara, Yellowstone and Montana, Turkey and Bosnia

Recommend this page on Google

Bamboo raft on the Li River

On the bamboo raft in GuilinOur final planned activity of the holiday was a short journey on a bamboo raft, propelled by man with a long bamboo cane. There had been a lot of discussion about this activity before we came to China and a fair bit of nervousness about the stability of the rafts. I had imagined that it would be a fairly quiet affair, just relaxing as the boats past the picturesque scenery on both sides. I had thought wrong.

The night before we had been swimming in the Dragon River and had witnessed a water fight between two bamboo boats. The protagonists used long thin water shooters to spray water at each other. As we got out of our minivan at the river we were quickly faced with two ancient women selling these implements of battle for 5 Yuan each. I was coerced into buying two and we walked down to the boats.

Each boat had two fixed seats under an umbrella but because there were 5 of us a further small chair was brought for Tom. Climbing aboard we set off along the river. The boys started by filling their shooters and spraying them towards the shore but quickly decided that the other boat made a better target. Fortunately the boat was just out of reach.

However as we travelled down river the boats came closer and water connected with its intended target – Lisa and Kate. They had no water shooter but after being hit several times they discovered that the boats had their own, larger variety with which to clean down the bamboo. Using these they hit back.

Despite my efforts to minimise the battle for fear of getting the camera and passports wet, the war escalated and before we knew it we were all soaking wet. There was a brief ceasefire when the pilots took the boats down a weir (which was caught on camera by a couple who then offer to sell you the picture) and then pulled the boat back up and then battle re-commenced. We pulled in to the pier soaking wet. Fortunate the camera and passport seemed to have survived but on of the shooters had been broken (my fault!).

Hardly a relaxing cruise but fun none the less fortunately our driver was understanding and we didn’t have to stand in the sun until we dried!