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China The Cormorant Fishermen of Li River

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Shooting a cormorant fisherman in front of Xingping mountain scenery is truly a magical moment. The fishermen nowadays don't really fish in their traditional way anymore and solely rely on tourism as their source of income, but at least this way this hundred year old tradition keeps somewhat alive. The worn out men and women are truly magnificent photo models, whom you must pay. This may be difficult to handle if you don't speak Chinese. I've managed to get me a local tourguide to set up a date with the fishermen. If you don't plan ahead, plan to be at the spot around 2-3 hours before sunset to try to get a model.

I've paid 350 MB (about 50 Euro) and the fisherman was showing off for me for abour 2 hours. When other photographers with heavy gear starting joining in, he lost his temper a little bit ;) and ended up settling at 100 RMB extra p.p. from them for 30 minutes shooting.

It was a magical evening because the weather (in May) was marvelous.

If you're up for a sunrise shoot - the fishermen travel down river about 20 minutes to a location that best works for sunrise. Could be even trickier to reach them, because you will need to be there way before sunrise. Try to find yourself a local guide to assist you for a few extra bucks, there are many specialized on photo tours, just ask in your hotel and I'm quite sure you will be lucky.

Photography Tips

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Travel Information

You should get a taxi / driver (or a guide) to drive you to Xingping. From Yangshuo it is about 45 minutes drive. Just follow the signs to reach the viewspots by following the Li River downstream.

You could also take a ferry from Yangshuo to Xingping and walk about 500m from the ferry port.
Crowd Factor Just a few people
Best Timing Sunset during spring
Sunrise & Sunset 07:22 - 18:17 | current local time: 19:31
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