Words and images by Jen Seiser
It began with an overnight train to Guilin; followed by a long, bumpy van drive; and then rafting trip down the Yulong River via a man powered bamboo raft. This is the way to the natural wonders of the karst limestone mountains. Eventually, I came upon the last few fifth-generation cormorant fishermen deep in a farming province. I then traveled the Li River and explored the exotic markets of Xingping, my days beginning with sunrise hikes and ending with tea in small, local guesthouses. From here I made way to the Longsheng Rice Terraces, which take on unique character depending on the season. En route back to the train station, I was able to stop and visit with the long-haired women.
It’s no secret that China is transforming at record speed. The West fixates on the progress of its rising economy, urbanizing people, and increasing demand for luxury goods. While this swift shift to modernism dazzles the world, it’s easy to ignore the consequences. This photo essay, an immersion into rural China, explores parts of this special culture that are forever slipping away.
Cormorant Fisherman on the Li River
Rice Terraces of Longsheng.Rice Terraces of Longsheng.
Traditional Dress on a Young Girl in Ping An
Cormorant Fisherman on the Li River casting his nets
Dried Snake Barter in the Street Markets of Xingping.
Views Overlooking the Valley Near Xingping
I was told this lovely lady of Ping An is 103 years old.
Smoked Bat Snacks
Layers of Mountains Outside Guilin
Twin Pagodas on Fir Lake
Eastern Medicine on Display in the Xingping Market
The long-haired women of Longji
Sunrise giving way to the foggy craggy mountains