The Liu San Jie Light show is one of the greatest features of Yangshuo, And a visit to the show is a memory you will remember for a long time. Using the natural backdrop of yangshuo’s carste mountains the show is performed largely on the river itself. Offering on of the largest and most unique outdoor stages in the world. The show features over 600 performers mainly from the local area and is a true celebration of the local culture, legends and ambiance of the yangshuo area.
The Liu San Jie Light show has now been running for 15 years and was initially premiered on March 20th in 2004 and has been running almost consistently ever since. The Liu San Jie Light show was directed and choreographed by the the talented director Zhang Yi Mou, Who is well known for the renowned Olympic opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympics in Beijing. He is also a film director of high repute with titles such as ‘Raise the red lantern’ to his name. The Liu San Jie Light show will certainly be one of his standing legacy’s.
A timeless tale – The Legend of Liu Sanjie
The main character after with the show takes its name is Liu Sanjie (刘三姐 / “the Third Liu Daughter”) A local girl from the zhuang Minority who had a unique and exceptional talent to be able to sing, not just beautifully, but with such witty retorts that left her partners speechless.
The legend is that during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) she was famous for using her singing to defeat a string of local oppressors that came to her village in search of power, All where left speechless by her remarks and witty reposts and forced to leave.
She caught the eye of a local boy names A Nui (阿牛/ “Bull”), who played for her affections, singing replies to her songs under the branches of the big Banyan tree. Falling for his advances she threw him an embroided ball (A local tradition to signify he could pursue her) Receiving this A Nui, threw the ball across the river onto a high rock where no one could reach it saying it would stay untouched as a everlasting reminder of there love. A beautifull tale with a happy ending
The Seven impressions
The Liu San Jie Light show is spread over 7 beautifully composed and executed scenes, each reflecting on a different aspect of the local cultures and lives of the area. The scenes are:
Prelude / Red Impression / Blue Impression / Green Impression / Golden Impression / Silver Impression / Epilouge
The Silver impression is said to be the grandest with over 200 performers dancing simultaneously on the water. Though The Red impression has always been our personal favorite composed on rich red and countless bamboo rafts, The scene is composed to show the passion and hard work of the locals.
Schedule for Liu San Jie Light Show
The show runs almost all year round with different schedules for the low and high season. During low season (December-March) the show performs once a night. And During the high season (April – November) there are 2 shows. During Festivals it is also common for an additional show to be added though this is very often late at night. Due to the recent introduction of the romance park show, The amount of performances has been varying so its worth checking before hand to see if there are 1 or 2 shows scheduled during your time in the area.
Liu San Jie Light Show performances start at 19:40 & 20:50 though this does change slightly to account for light levels. Pick-ups for the show tend to be 1 hour in advance and are usually based around a shared taxi from your accommodation with any other nearby hotels.
Tickets for Liu San Jie Light Show
The Liu San Jie Light Show seating area is split into several areas offering varying amounts of comfort and views. The bottom rows (C-Tickets) are reserved for tour groups and generally not available for public purchase. The next rows up are available for the public (B1 & B2 Tickets) these take up the majority of the middle band of the seating area. B2 – Tickets are based in the lower areas with a plastic seat, And the B1 – Tickets (Recommended) are slightly higher up and with better views. B1 – Tickets also offer a more comfortable chair with back rest and a quieter environment being further away from the C-Ticket area. Finally A tickets are based at the top of the seating area with comfortable seating and a roofed area and are unaffected by any rain.
Children Seats for Liu San Jie Light Show
The system for children’s seating is quite convenient and based purely on height. Children under the height of 1.1m can join for free using the existing seating purchased. Those between 1.1m and 1.4m can get a small plastic seat added in front of the full ticket seat for a fixed price. Any children over 1.4m are considered adults and must have a full price ticket.
Things to note!
During certain parts of the year, rain is a common occurrence. With light rain the show will still perform and all guests will be given a poncho for free. During heavy rain the show may be cancelled though this is quite rare, If so then you are free to reschedule for the following day or cancel for a full refund. In the flood season (May – June) the show may be cancelled if the speed of the river is considered too high and unsafe for the performers.
As with all great shows there are plenty of unofficial touts and providers offering cheap tickets, We strongly recommend you do not purchase these tickets. Many of these seats are in terrible positions at the sides on mountains and offer only a glimpse of the actual performance which is choreographed around the main seating area. These tickets are usually sold by the independent travel agencies in town to day tourists. We only supply official tickets provided for the main viewing area.