Describe a river, lake or sea which you like - Cue Card # 809

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a river, lake or sea which you like.

You should say:

  • what the river, lake or sea is called
  • where it is
  • what the land near it is like

and explain why you like this river, lake or sea.

[Instruction: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]



Model Answer:
If you are into enjoying the beauty of mother nature, then you will also have to appreciate the beauty of a picturesque lake that is not only all-natural but also very ancient. The West Lake of Hangzhou in China is one such lake, and I would like to talk about it a little for this topic.

Hangzhou, the capital city of the Chinese province “Zhejiang”, was marvelled by Marco Polo who once said that Zhejiang was the most beautiful and elegant place in the world. And it is in this elegant place that West Lake (Xi Hu) is located. Located in the western part of the capital city of Hangzhou, to be precise, it covers an area of about 566 kilometres that has a circumference of 15 km and an average depth of 1.5 m. It is so much renowned for its beautiful scenery that it has actually inspired countless paintings and poems!

And as far as its surrounding landscape is concerned, it is surrounded by “cloud-capped hills” on three sides. It also has more than 40 scenic spots and historic sites and more than 30 key cultural relics and historic sites, scattered over the area. In order to make it even more beautiful, its islands, causeways and the lower slopes of its hills have been improved by the addition of numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees which beautifully merge with the farmed landscape, in the end. The landscape of West Lake was so unique and appealing that it actually had a profound impact on the design of gardens not only in China but further afield like Japan, the Korean peninsula and other parts of East Asia.

I like this lake because it could very easily be the most ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, in order to enjoy a weekend in some of its scenic spots. I like it also because it has some of the most beautiful, elegant and deep landscapes that is carrying some truly remarkable historical and cultural heritage.

 

Part 3: Details Discussion:

Discussion topics: Water-based leisure activities

Q. What do people enjoy doing when they visit rivers, lakes or the sea? Why do you think these activities are popular?
Answer: Rivers, lakes or the seas can be a perfect getaway from the hustling and bustling of the city crowd for many who want to remain close to nature. While visiting any of these places, people can either enjoy swimming, riding a boat or playing some kinds of water sports. If they are not into any of these activities, they can simply walk by their shores to breathe some fresh air to feel a bit more “alive and healthy”. 

These activities are popular because they allow people to break free from the monotony of working life. Besides, these activities require much less time, effort and cost, unlike some activities such as mountain hiking or snowboarding.  

Q. What benefits do you think people get from the activities they enjoy in the water?
Answer: Activities in the water have several benefits. One of those benefits is that they allow people to become physically active and thereby healthy also. Besides, these activities make people feel more rejuvenated and energized so that they can become more productive at work while feeling more positive about themselves and their life. Finally, they can also learn to appreciate mother nature and take care of it, when needed, by taking part in these activities.

Q. What are the different advantages of going to the sea or to a swimming pool to enjoy yourself? What do you think the disadvantages are?
Answer: One of the major advantages of going to the sea is that it allows us to enjoy mother nature from up close. Being able to see such a large body of water from such close proximity truly is very stimulating for our minds and bodies. On the other hand, the advantage of going to a swimming pool is that it allows us to get fit, and learn a new life-saving skill – swimming that is – in safety.

Talking about disadvantages, going to the sea can be a bit dangerous because of either huge waves or the attacks of some insects, or marine animals like sharks or stingrays. The disadvantage of going to a swimming pool is that it can be too crowded and the water might be dirty or contaminated. 

Discussion topics:  The economic importance of rivers, lakes and the sea

Q. How does water transport, like boats and ships, compare with other kinds? Are there any advantages/disadvantages of water transport?
Answer: Boats and ships are probably the oldest modes of long-distance transportation. In fact, almost 90% of global trade today is done through ships.

Some of the advantages of water transport are that they are the least expensive mode of transportation that can carry a rather huge and heavy load of goods in bulk. Their maintenance cost is comparatively much lesser than the rail and road transportations, and they cause less pollution. 

They have some disadvantages too, such as they can be painfully slow, and riskier due to the possibility of sinking. Sometimes, they can be very difficult to navigate with too because of the bad weather. 

Q. How important is it for a town or city to be located near a river or the sea? Why?
Answer: It is very important for a city to be located near a river or the sea. In fact, from the very ancient time to this modern day, people have chosen to live in such places because rivers and oceans have provided them with the provisions of life and livelihood. Living near these rivers and oceans doesn’t only allow people to meet their food and irrigation needs, but also facilitates the process of carrying their goods from one place to another seamlessly for the purpose of completing their business transactions. 

Q. Have there been any changes in the number of jobs available in the fishing and water transport industries, do you think? Why do you think this is?
Answer: Some recent reports suggest that the number of available jobs in the water transportation industry and the fishing industry is increasing. In fact, one report by the USA labour bureau of statistics says that overall employment of water transportation workers is projected to grow 12 per cent from 2020 to 2030 because more and more countries rely on water transport to do their business cheaply and conveniently. 

The number of jobs in the fishing industry has also slightly changed for the better, despite climate change and pollution, because advanced technologies are being used in this sector to make fishing easier. Besides, some concrete steps have also been taken to reduce or stop water pollution to help fish grow. 

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