The stunning scenery of the Li River south from Yangshuo forms what is said to be the largest natural theater in the world for the now famous Liu San Jie Impression Light Show in Yangshuo. The waters of the Li-river set the stage and a dozen beautifully lit karst formations form a natural backdrop. The light show is a creation of Zhang Yi Mou, also director and choreographer of the impressive opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and famous Chinese movies like Raise the Red Lantern. The first light show in Yangshuo was held in 2004 and currently features over 600 locals, mainly from the Zhuang minority, including farmers, fishermen and young girls singing and performing simultaneously in a show that looks different each time as mist, rain and moonlight naturally alter the set of the stage.
The Liu San Jie Light Show is a performance like you have never seen or experienced before. Liu Sanjie is a love story about a young woman called Liu Sanjie, which means "third sister Liu". Her voice was so beautiful that it touched everyone. The legend is that a warlord falls in love with Liu San jie but she has already fallen in love with a farmer's boy from the village. The warlord does not accept this and kidnaps her but Liu San jie's lover and friends in the village go to free her and the couple escape living happily ever after.
Light show ticket prices
The light show in Yangshuo plays every night and there several types of tickets and prices, depending on the location and comfort of the seats. The cheapest official light show tickets, C-tickets, are reserved for Chinese tour groups and are positioned on the bottom rows. The lowest priced tickets for individual travellers are the B2-tickets located just above with good visibility albeit on a basic plastic seat. B1-seat tickets are located a bit higher up the stage away from the tour groups (quieter) and offer a bamboo chair with back support. The A-tickets provide the most comfortable indoor seating unaffected by weather conditions. Nice for parents to know is that children below 1.1m can join for free and between 1.1 – 1.4m they can get an extra little plastic seat added in front of the parents for a low fixed price, no matter what type of tickets the parents have chosen.
Caution: Touts may approach you with heavily 'discounted tickets' (the 'special price only for you') but these 'seats' are actually located on a mountain at one side outside of the stage. You could hear the music and see some of the karst peaks lit up from below, but since the show is choreographed towards the public at the front stage you might return disappointed not having it enjoyed in its fullest. These cheaper tickets at the side (and bottom of the stage) are generally sold to day tourists in the travel agencies in town. To avoid disappointment we only reserve official tickets with guaranteed full view inside and over the show. We include free transfers from the center of Yangshuo to the light show and back after the show.
If you are staying in one of the hotels in the Yulong river area we will meet at the entrance of Yangshuo park (Yangshuo Map), ideal to combine with an afternoon visit and perhaps dinner in one of the local restaurants in town. If you would like to be picked up and dropped off right at your hotel you will have the option to add return transfers during the reservation process.
Please note that since the creation of the Yulong river park, there are no direct transfers between the majority of accommodations located near the Yulong river and sights outside of the park such as the light show possible. Everyone entering or leaving the park with a motorised vehicle will need to get off at one of the entry gates and buy a ticket for the public shuttle buses to get in or out. Please read this post to make a well informed decision about the consequences before choosing your accommodation in Yangshuo.
Yangshuo Light show schedule
During high season April-November, there are usually 2 light shows per night, at 19.40 and 20.50. Pick-ups are about 1 hour in advance, either at 18.30 or 19.40.
Note that the free light show transfers might be private or in some cases shared with other travellers nearby you.
Getting There: Transfers to and from the light show are recommended to get in easily. Cycling is an option for adventurers.
Times/Duration: The light show is performed twice a night (19:40 & 20:50) in high season and once a night (20:00) during low season (Dec-Mar).
Light show ticket reservation