In what is becoming a yearly tradition, China’s largest freshwater lake, Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province, has pretty much dried up again. Affording opportunistic tourists the convenience of visiting the lake’s scenic spots on foot.
The lake’s water level is known to rise and fall, but in recent years that has been taken to the extreme, mostly due to ongoing droughts, though it might also have something to do with a certain upstream dam that stores water to power its turbines during winter.
Famous landmarks such as Luoxingdun (Star Pier) have become exposed as water levels drop. Tourists no longer need to wait in line for a ferry to take them to the island, but can just hoof it across the plains instead. In fact, if you need to take any boat it looks like you are in for a long wait.
In 2012, the Guardian investigated what the whole lack of water thing is doing to the lives of the locals. Hint: It’s not positive.
The family used to earn $1,600 to $3,200 a year, but last year’s earnings only amounted to $800. The local authorities offered them around $600 in compensation. Another fisherman, intrigued by our conversation, butted in to say that he only got $80 from the municipal council, whereas the province had allocated $160 for each member of the fishing community.
On the bright side, the low water levels did happen to expose a Ming-era bridge made entirely of granite that no one had walked on for more than 400 years. So that’s pretty neat.
by Alex Linder
[Images via NetEase & Xinhua]