Impression Liu Sanjie

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This light and sound show, an hour-long extravaganza of color and movement, is a must-see when in Yangshuo. The Li River forms the stage for this production which features a cast of over 500 local farmers and fisherman performing in boats with Yangshuo’s famous karst peaks lit up as the backdrop.

Impression Liu Sanjie is based on the 1960 movie Liu Sanjie (Third Sister Liu) and is the work of famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou, who was responsible for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics and films such as Hero, Curse of the Golden Flower and Raise the Red Lantern. The movie and its songs are very well-known in China. The story is about a great beauty and great singer who leads the peasants in protest against over-taxing landlords. But the story itself isn’t important (luckily, because there is no English explanation of what’s going on). The sheer spectacle of the production is mesmerising.

Details: Impression Liu Sanjie is on every night at 8pm. Tickets can be bought from just about any hotel, guesthouse or travel agent and cost ¥188. This will generally include transport to and from the venue. Note that traffic to the show is awful, so even though the stage is only a short distance south of Yangshuo, you can count on it taking about 30 minutes each way.