I thought this was going to be one of those really boring cultural tours that forces local tourists to view a bunch of artificial entertainment. But it turned out to be loads of fun in an almost traditionally Chinese 'It's a Small World After All' execution.
It all started in a small boat with about 30 people. The boat had a glass ceiling and a small open air platform in the back. The most hilarious entertainment on the boat was a tour guide screaming into his microphone trying to introduce the sights and having to do so at the top of his lungs to overcome the music playing on the inside of the boat.
What made this 90-minute boat ride so interesting was the local entertainment on the side of the river and lake shore. People were dancing, playing local musical instruments, singing, with a professionally designed light show adding drama. Since the boat ride was taking place in the evening, the whole thing was reminiscent of a Disney Broadway show performed outdoors under the open sky. Every corner of the lake had another surprise and the show never seemed to end. At the end of the last lake, all the boats stopped and we were treated on an outside stage to a virtual battle of actors wearing full military uniforms enacting some ancient battle. The music and songs were well-done and a true enjoyment.
Another unexpected and interesting experience were the sluices between the lakes that lifted and dropped the boats.
I would do this again. The kids loved it and the evening was a real success!
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