When I received the invitation from the Merchant and Adventurers' Guilds of Liyue to write a piece on Liyue Harbor, I hesitated for a long time before finally embracing the challenge. Sure, I have been running a caravan around Teyvat with my father for as long as I can remember. Those born and raised in Liyue aside, there is no-one in Teyvat who knows every route in and out of Liyue as well as I. With that said, I've met my share of exceptional poets and writers on the road, and I would never consider myself a writer of their caliber. Therefore, I'm afraid I must apologize in advance for my lack of literary ability to write a real page-turner. So, please bear with me.
Even when I was young, Liyue Harbor, the greatest trading port in all of Teyvat, already meant wealth and prosperity to everyone in our caravan. I remember, back then, every time when the children heard the caravan was going to Liyue, they'd beg for a place in the caravan. Though it was a long time ago, the memory of the bustling streets, noisy crowds, and the wonders lying on the shop shelves are all still so vivid to me. I can still remember the mysterious and enticing scents calling out to me from the snack stalls.
When I came of age, I was entrusted with the family business. I then led the caravan between all the major cities across Teyvat. As the world opened up to me, Liyue also became a lot more to me than just the port I used to run around barefoot in as a kid.
From my understanding of Liyue Harbor's history, I can dare to make a bold conclusion on just how Liyue came to be so rich. Just as any other prosperous city in Teyvat, Liyue's prosperity came from its geographic advantages. Liyue is a harbor city surrounded by mountains on three sides. Beyond the mountains inland, there are vast foothills, plains, fords, and abundant mines full of precious ores. These ores are harvested and made into exquisite crafts at the hands of skilled craftsmen. The founding of the harbor and the establishment of the sea routes were instrumental in popularizing Liyue's commercial trade, as it was the export of crafts that laid the initial foundation for Liyue's financial development. Even now, Liyue's exquisite crafts are still prized by people across the continent.
After all these years, the sea routes leading into Liyue are now very well established. Trade vessel is the ideal travel method for anyone wanting to conduct business in Liyue. However, for common travelers and tourists, the land routes are recommended for a richer sightseeing experience as opposed to being on the great blue for prolonged periods of time.
Due to the complex terrain surrounding Liyue, the most common route there by land starts out from Mondstadt's Dawn Winery, then heads southwest. The route takes travelers through Mondstadt's signature landscapes. Enjoy some locally-grown fruit from Mondstadt on the way, and when the open plains are replaced by mountains and lakes, you'll be nearing Mondstadt's border.
Follow the edge of the lake west, and you will see two towering cliffs, serving as a natural boundary that separates Liyue and Mondstadt, with a narrow passage in between them paved with wooden planks. On the rare occasions that I pass through this way, I'm usually focused on getting through as quickly as possible. Though on one occasion I found myself traveling alongside an elderly fisherman. Along the way he covered a wide range of topics, from the identification of different species of river fish, to the ancient legends of Liyue. He said, the lakes in the gorge were blessed water bodies set by Rex Lapis and therefore stopping there may bring you closer to the Archons.
I used to laugh superstitious beliefs off, but my vivacious romanticist of a wife believed what he said. Ever since then, my caravan would rest here for a bit before continuing on, in the hopes of receiving blessings from the gods.
After passing through Stone Gate, the view opens up, revealing the classic outskirt views of Liyue: bodies of water reflecting the skies, and patches of green plants jut out from between shoals and fords. Far in the distance in Dihua Marsh is Wangshu Inn, which sits on top of a giant stone pillar, serving as a landmark for caravans passing through the region. Some foreign traders conduct their business with the local merchants right there, while others rest a bit and gather some trade info before continuing on to Liyue Harbor.
It would probably take a whole book for me to write down every little thing about my past experiences with Liyue from my youth to this day, so I'll stop right here. I don't really know how to conclude things, so I guess I'll just say this: I hope I am remembered by some that I've met out on the road.
P.S. Many thanks to the Merchant and Adventurers' Guilds for giving me a chance to relive my beautiful memories of Liyue. I'd also like to thank my wife, Claire, for her help in infusing some much-needed vitality into my otherwise dull and poor writing.