Along the Li River in Guilin, about 3km (1.8 miles) north of Yangdi Village, two villages lie on the west bank of the river - Crown Cave Village and Taoyuan Village. Though these two villages are close in proximity, a steep hill blocks the connecting path; therefore, villagers and visitors have to take a ferryboat to continue their journey. Normally a ferryboat carries passengers from one bank to the other, but the boat here is an exception. The boat here ferries people between two villages on the same bank, so locals nickname the place Half-Side Ferry or Banbian Ferry in Chinese.
Visitors marvel at three sceneries in Half-side Ferry. The first is that the cliff is as steep as cutting by a blade, measuring 200m (656 feet) long and 60m (196 feet) high, which presents a spectacular sight. The second is the scene of one river, two banks, and three docks. That is because there is another village opposite Half-Side Ferry, so when ferryboats cross the river three ports are used. Another is the mottled images on the cliff that look like kinds of animals. Among them, one is quite vivid and resembles Zhang Guolao, an immortal in China’s ancient mythology, riding on a donkey.
At Half-Side Ferry, mountain peaks tower towards the sky and the river flow dwindles. Surprisingly, trees and grasses take root between the narrow veins in the rock, beautifully growing against the stony backdrop as if they are hand-painted. In 1637, Xu Xiake, a renowned Chinese traveler, was astonished by the scenery. The Former Chinese Marshal Ye Jianying clapped his hands and wrote a poem at the sight of Half-Side Ferry in 1974 when he travelled along Li River.
A tragically romantic story is attached to Half-Side Ferry. It is said that a brave boy and a graceful girl were in love, one lived in Crown Cave Village and the other lived in Taoyuan Village. Somehow, crimes were rampant in this area, and two monsters lived in a cave would grab the brides when the escorting teams passed by. These monsters turned out to be a green dragon and a white tiger. When the young couple got married, they looted the girl by force. The brave boy rose up to the danger and killed the green dragon, but when he came back, the bride was killed by the white tiger. He was so angry that he lifted an axe to chop at the tiger, but the tiger ran away and he cut off the path by the bank. Since then, people had to take a ferryboat because the path was gone.
After visiting this sight on the cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo, what awaits you downriver is the supreme part of the Li River. Here you will find alluring attractions that will come into view one by one, including Yangdi Village, Mural Hill, and Yellow Cloth Shoal. Be ready to receive a treat for your eyes.
How to get to Half-Side Ferry
1. Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo will pass by the ferry on the way.
2. Or one can take direct buses from Guilin General Bus Station to Crown Cave. After visiting this karst cave, one can hike about 500m (550 yards) to see the Half-Side Ferry.
|Entrance Fee||Free of charge|
|Opening Hours||The whole day|
Next: Yangdi Village