china 8: karst peaks and minority nationalities—li river and guilin

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For centuries, Chinese poets, painters and artistic people with a deep sense for the aesthetic have used Guilin as a yardstick for natural beauty. The throng of limestone peaks that rise abruptly from the plain—often shrouded in mist—is what makes Guilin’s scenery so special. Amidst the peaks winds the Li river, a tributary of the Pearl river, green and placid, dotted with bamboo rafts and straw-hatted men fishing with cormorants. The karst peaks are the result of sea-bed movements 100 million years ago which settled huge deposits of calcium carbonate, namely limestone, on the earth’s surface. Water and wind eroded these deposits into their current fantastic shapes. Continue reading