A town where ancientness has been preserved carefully, a town that never misses to mesmerize, a town where different cultures mix and match and yet assert their own individuality. That’s Fuli, an ancient town that unfurls its beauty beside the Li River, just 8 km east of Yangshuo. Despite its primitive beauty, the town has two faces.
On one hand, there is the age-old township on the bank of the Li River that has remained untouched by modernity. This is the place where the simplicity of life can still be witnessed in the old houses and the uncomplicated lifestyle of the locals. On the other hand, just next to the main road that leads to the Guangdong province, stands the new and emerging identity of Fuli.
Due to its terrain, Fuli never had to suffer any war or the ravages of any external attack during the ancient times. That is the primary reason why people from outside the town, such as Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shandong, Anhui and Fujian have shifted to Fuli. This again has contributed to the cosmopolitan nature of the town population. Nuo, an ancient tribal culture and Mazu, a culture prevalent in the coastal cities can also be found in Fuli. Every year in early June, on the eight day of the fifth lunar month, the people of the town celebrate the Huiqi Temple Fair to pray for harvest and good luck.
An air of the distant and the primitive that surrounds the town of Fuli is further enhanced by the popularity of folk tales and ancient beliefs. On the bank of the Li River, for instance, there stand three huge rocks known as the Rocks of Three Girls. The site is so named because it is believed that three village girls attained immortality on that very spot.
If there is anything that can compete with the famous landscape of Yangshuo, it is the fame of the painting fans made in Fuli. These popular Chinese fans are crafted by the local craftsmen with bamboo and tissue paper. The pictures on such fans mainly depict the landscape and the local culture of Guilin.
One of the primary attractions of Fuli is its market. Simply taking a stroll down the quaint shops is a treat in itself. The sights, the sounds and the smell of this place conjure up an existence that may well be described as a page from a book of history.