I woke up at 3am today to go photograph cormorant fishermen. Little did I know how hard it'd be to get there. We walked through a dark village where we could hear dogs growling and chickens clucking as we trekked on. We finally got to the Li River where we were greeted by a few fishermen. There were a number of motorized rafts so we divided up and got on the rafts alongside the cormorants. The boat ride was almost dream-like. Once your eyes got adjusted, you could see the outlines of the Karst mountains and it was just incredible. Getting off the raft was a little chaotic, and I did slip and fall, banging my camera on the rocks. After a while of fumbling with my lens, cleaners, and my flashlight in my mouth, I managed to clean up quick enough to get this shot:
I had actually never heard of this type of fishing before. Something is tied around the neck of the cormorant so that when the fisherman dunks it underwater, it can catch a fish but not swallow it. They keep the cormorants pretty starved to get them to cooperate quicker. The whole scene was incredibly picturesque.
When the sun finally came up we got to see the detail of all the mountains around us. It's baffling how such lush vegetation can grow on limestone.
We got dropped off at one end of the village and enjoyed a nice walk to the other side. We walked by large farms and gardens with the most incredible backyard views.
After lunch I decided to venture around the resort along the Dragon River. The resort is in the distance and in the foreground you can see crops and a scarecrow to the far left. This is a mosquito-infested hot and humid wonderland but I wouldn't trade this view for all the air conditioning in the world.