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Liu Sanjie Impressions lightshow in Yangshuo

The Liu Sanjie Impressions Show or Yangshuo water impressions show in Yangshuo is a creation by director Zhang Yimou (you may know him from the opening and closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games.

Scene from the Liu Sanjie show in Yangshuo

At March 20, 2004 the premiere of the Liu Sanjie lightshow was a fact. It was a huge outdoor performance with, then 1800 seats available (now 2500). Some of the area had to be adjusted for the show.

The participants in the show are all local, mostly from Zhuang and Yao background (many of the participants live in Mushan village).

Liu Sanjie is a story that originates from the Zhuang minority people. The Zhuang are the largest minority group in China. The story is about a legend of a woman called Liu Sanjie, which means "third sister".

The legend tells the tale of Liu Sanjie who had a beautiful voice at very early age. Her voice was so beautiful it even could raise the dead. It became such a famous story that in 1960 a movie was released.

Entrance of the amphitheatre in Yangshuo
Entrance of the amphitheater in Yangshuo

The story is about a local gangster: Mo Huairen who falls in love with Liu Sanjie and wished to make her his concubine. The boyfriend and his friends in the village free her and the couple escape turning themselves in a pair of larks.

Scene from the Liu Sanjie show in Yangshuo
Scene from the Liu Sanjie show in Yangshuo

Zhang Yimou is the director of the show. The Liu Sanjie Impressions was his first creation of the so called "Impressions". At the moment there are 3 lightshows in China. You will find the others in Lijiang Yunnan (Jade Dragon Snow Mountain) and in Hangzhou's West Lake. A news flash in November 2008 states that Zhang, visited the scenic Wuyi Mountains in southeastern China's Fujian Province on Monday to prepare for the outdoor "Impression: Dahongpao" show.

liu sanjie show

Zhang was already a famous director and won many prizes in and outside China.

Scene from the Liu Sanjie show in YangshuoDahongpao is the name of a type of oolong tea that originated in the Wuyi Mountains, where the natural landscapes will serve as the backdrop for the "Impression: Dahongpao" premiere in October next year.

Zhang Yimou uses the natural resources (therefore the name "Water show") of Yangshuo to give his show a maximum effect. The usage of lights and water emphasizes the beauty of the Li River and the limestone mountains in a way no one had seen ever.

Tickets can be bought at most of the little travel agencies in Yangshuo, who will usually arrange your transport too. I can only say: if you visit Yangshuo without seeing the Liu Sanjie Lightshow, you have missed an essential part of Yangshuo.

We have many more photos of the show. Here is a selection of what you can expect.

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The ancient village Mushan is a must visit, not only for those who stay at the Snow Lion Riverside Resort, but for all travelers to Yangshuo.


Mushan village traditional house