Around Guilin: Qingshitan Reservoir and Dam
The Qingshitan Reservoir and dam is one of the lesser visited attractions around Guilin. It is located 35 km north of Guilin city. It is a huge reservoir build for flood protection. It is possible to make a day trip on bicycle to visit the lake but you can stay here too.
Just by accident I had seen a few photos of the lake and I decided it would be good to explore it. During my month stay in China in May 2011. The plan was simple: cycle to Guilin, which was anyway on the schedule, (see my journey from Xingping to Guilin), stay a night and go to the lake.
I wasn't sure I could stay at the lakeside but I expected there would be some kind of accommodation available. It turned out the journey would be different. My friend William had an interest too and he organized a taxi from Yangshuo.
Instead of cycling, we went by taxi and that turned out to be a good choice. The road from Guilin to the Qingshitan Lake ended right at the dam. Disappointingly we were watching just a river arm. There was no sign of a lake. William had been here, 20 years ago and decided we should take a boat ride.
The boat would bring us to the middle of the lake, and would take about 2 hours. It would take much longer. Had I been with my bicycle, I probably not have done the boat ride and would have missed the beautiful sights.
So we left the river arm, which at first disappointed us, because we had expected a lake. But now we where here, we wanted to have a boat ride anyway. And we were not disappointed. It took about 20 minutes or so before we left the river arm and got a full view of the lake.
For such an attraction around Guilin there wasn't much activity on the river and lake. All we saw was a little fishing activities but further nothing much. The water was still, the sun hot and even the motor of the boat seemed more silent. This was awesome.
By the time we reached more open water, my friends William and Linda were asleep. It was a strange thing, this lake looked perfect for water sports but it was all quiet except a few local rafts of the fishermen.
Somewhere halfway the lake on the south side a resort had been build. We went on land to explore. The resort seems very quiet and a bit rundown. There were a few people in the restaurant though.
On the back of the restaurant a rope course for team building activities was build but it had not seen a lot of activities because it looked very much rundown and unsafe.
Back at the boarding area we saw a few speedboats which had seen better days.
It was interesting to see that while we went back the lake and further on the river, looked different. It might have been the time of the day, or the way light breaks, I don't know. I really enjoyed it.
Is it worth to visit this Guilin Attraction?
The question remained when we sailed back to our departing point: is the lake worth a visit this attraction around Guilin? I would say yes. In fact, what is a good ride is to cycle to the lake, stay here a night and continue after to the military junction, a few km from the lake and turn to the right. This road leads to Wutong and the the G321 and Longsheng. This is good to do in one day.
Getting and staying there
There is no public transport to the Qingshitan Reservoir and dam, so you have to go their on your own. The problem is to cycle north out of Guilin. It's about 15 km to the junction in Lingchuan to Qingshitangxiang. The junction is just before the town center but there's a clear sign board in Chinese.
The dam is a few km further. Alternatively you can follow the road to Dapingwei, a few further on the way. Take here the junction to the lake side where there is a resort.
You can continue to Wutong (junction with the G321 is a few km before Wutong) and further to Longsheng.
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Longsheng, Ping An and the Longji rice terraces
No doubt the Longsheng, Ping An and the Longji rice terraces offer some of the most spectacular sights in Guangxi.
Rong'an to Yongfu
This is another seldom traveled road. Backpackers don't come here, tour buses skip it. Only cyclists may visit this little known gem in Guangxi
Yongfu to Yangshuo
After the logic stop in Yongfu, it's a pleasant and easy ride to Yangshuo. You will follow first the karst mountains north of Yangshuo before taking the G321 to the legendary town itself.
More photos in Facebook
I've been only once to the lake and made about 150 photos. Some of them are posted here, many more can be found on my Facebook: