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Oxen take to sea like ducks to water

Updated: 2017-03-15

Oxen have been the beasts of burden which have borne the brunt of much heavy lifting for more than 3,000 years in China.

And despite the Middle Kingdom's rocket-paced rise into the heady stratosphere of one of the world's top tech nations, the humble ox is still relied upon in some places to get the job done.

Fangpo village in Zhanjiang at the Chinese mainland's southernmost tip is one of those places.

With fishing the primary industry of the village, oxen and carts are used to carry supplies and even the fishermen themselves from the shore to the shallows, and vice versa, servicing fishing boats directly.

Lacking piers of jetties, a more innovative system has yet to top the robust and sturdy ox.

According to the local fishermen, even the beach sand is hard enough for road cars, villagers prefer this vehicle, in case the sands will bog down, which provides the perfect opportunity for oxen to prove their sea legs.

The amphibious practice has even drawn attention further afield than the shores of the village, attracting a healthy amount of visitors each year, keen to be taken on an ox and cart ride with a watery difference.

The 3,000 year-old practice has seen one change over the years, with the carts wooden wheels being replaced by their modern rubber equivalents.

Oxen take to sea like ducks to water

An Ox and cart is loaded with tourists and wades through shallow waters near Fangpo village of Jiaowei town, Zhanjiang. [Photo/zjphoto.yinsha.com]

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