Friday, June 1, 2012

Longji Rice Terraces

Looking over the Longji Rice Terraces from the "Seven Stars with the Moon" viewpoint

In mountainous areas of China there is very little flat ground available for rice farming.  In order to farm the mountainsides, the only option is to build terraced rice fields.  In Longsheng County these fields were built out of necessity to feed the residents of Ping'an and nearby towns, but their beauty has turned them into a stunning area enjoyed by visitors year round. 

Our suitcases worn as backpacks with our small backpacks strapped on the front

Our suitcases have backpack straps, but surprisingly we had not needed to wear them as backpacks yet on our trip.  We finally got the chance when we arrived in Ping’an in the rain with a 20 minute walk up the hill to our hotel.  Boy was I worn out by the time we arrived!  It was a good thing that we arrived in such a dense fog (see below) that we felt no need to go wandering around the rice terraces – that could wait for the next day.

The dense fog that came in both afternoons

We spent our first afternoon relaxing, seeing the town of Ping'an and enjoying time with our new Dutch friends Joost and Irene, whom we met in Yangshuo and traveled with to Ping'an. 

With Joost and Irene just after finishing dinner

I woke up early the next morning and went straight to our window to see the views.  Although it was overcast and there was still a little fog, the views were beautiful.  We quickly got ready and walked up to a viewpoint in the area.  We knew that the fog could roll back in at any time, and we didn't want to miss our chance.

The Seven Stars with the Moon Viewpoint

The town of Ping'an - it really reminded us of some of the Nepalese towns on the EBC trek
After some time at the viewpoint and a quick breakfast we started hiking to Zhongliu, the next town over.  We had about two hours before the fog rolled in.  We arrived to Zhongliu just as the rain began and started looking for a spot for lunch.  Before choosing anything David realized he’d forgotten his wallet, which meant that lunch would have to wait another two hours until we arrived back in Ping’an.  That gave us a little more oomph in our step, and we made it back pretty quickly.   

Lunch was rice, sweet potatoes, and chicken cooked in bamboo.  Yum!


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