Chinese culture Vocabulary

Bamboo rafting: Splash your way down the river

Spring officially started last week, but it has yet to prove it’s not exactly the same season as winter in our parts of the world. So to keep spirits high until warmer days show up, we wanted to introduce one of the best water activities we’ve encountered in our travels in China : 竹筏漂流 (Zhú fá piāoliú), bamboo rafting.

The Chinese version of innertubing

Bamboo rafting – 竹筏漂流 – is the Chinese answer to inner tubing. Except that instead of floating down on tubes, you sit on a bamboo raft (竹筏: Zhú fá) and gently float down the river. Mind you, it’s a very comfortable 竹筏; it has seats and a parasol, there’s somebody steering it for you – with beers to drink along the way, most likely.

Comfortable bamboo rafts and awesome scenery, what more could you ask for?

Sure, it’s a terribly touristy thing to do but it’d be a shame to miss out on such a pleasant way to discover the scenery and stay cool during hot weather! We tried it in Yangshuo (阳朔: Yángshuò), during our trip to Guilin (桂林: Guìlín) but it’s also the kind of fun you’ll get to do in Yunnan and other well-endowed (scenery-wise) regions.

Ready to get soaked while soaking up Guilin’s gorgeous scenery? (photo credit: alika89)

Bamboo rafting: Peaceful floating? Not quite

Now, don’t think gently floating down a river (沿河漂流: Yánhé piāoliú) is lame or boring. Especially in China. See, the Chinese version of inner tubing has one major difference with its States-side counterpart: In addition to your raft, as you embark, they hand you a water pistol, so you can splash and spray away. Water fighting (打水仗: dǎshuǐzhàng) your way down the river makes the ride a completely different adventure!

打水仗 your way down the river

As foreigners, we didn’t really get included in the water fights at first. But once we showed we were ready to partake in the water wars, boy, did we get drenched!

Water pistols to use whilst bamboo rafting might not be available everywhere. But still, if you get a chance to splash your neighbors and fellow rafters, do indulge in this childish but oh so fun activity!

Floating down a river and spraying fellow rafters, now that’s great summer fun!

Now onto a little water-drenched vocab:

竹筏漂流 : zhúfá piāoliú = bamboo rafting

竹筏 : zhúfá = bamboo raft

漂流 : piāoliú = to float on the current, to drift along, rafting

河 : hé = river

沿河漂流 : Yánhé piāoliú = to float along the river

打水仗 : dǎshuǐzhàng = water fighting

Happy water fights everyone!

The Nincha Team

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