Impressions of Liu Sanjie

While visiting China in September/November of 2008, we went to Guilin, went underground to the Reed Flute Cave, hiked the Dragon’s Back, cruised the Li River and spent two days in Yanghsuo.

A brief tour from Guilin to Yanghsuo

Then we saw Zhang Yimou’s breathtaking staged production, the Impressions of Liu Sanjie, which I recommend to anyone visiting Southeast China.

One of the lightshow scenes from “Impressions of Liu Sanjie”

Zhang Yimou, the director, is an internationally acclaimed Chinese filmmaker. He made his directorial debut in 1987 with the film “Red Sorghum”.

In the 1990s, Zhang Yimou directed “Raise the Red Lantern”—nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1991 Academy Awards.

The “Impressions of Liu Sanjie” is performed on the river at night. However, you may be more familiar with Zhang Yimou’s opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

More from the “Impressions of Liu Sanjie”


The “Impressions of Liu Sanjie” is performed with the Karst Mountains and the Li River as the setting.

The cast comes from the local Guangzi Zhuan Autonomous Region  and many may be fishermen by day and actors at night and are from the Zhuang and Yao minority groups, who live in that region.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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2 Responses to Impressions of Liu Sanjie

  1. Wow! This seems like an amazing experience. I never made it to Gui Lin, but now I am much more motivated to go and see the sites and this play. I loved Raise the Red Lantern and many of the other movies he has done.


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