A simply breathtaking level of agricultural engineering has been performed in this area in Guangxi province, the biggest village being Ping’an.
This is a nice quote about them: “The Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces are the culmination of both the profound wisdom and strenuous labor of the Zhuang people.”
The rice terraces rise up from the river valley to over 1000 metres high! We visited on a day trip from Guilin when the rice was lush and green.
It just made the most brilliant patterns in the hillsides.
As you can see we had to ride our luck and pick a day when it wasn’t cloudy. Our luck seemed to be pretty bad as visibility was only allowing us to see the immediate hillsides. At one point it was like this.
This made the atmosphere magic but it was also pretty disappointing in terms of the fact that we’d seen so many amazing pictures of sweeping valleys in glowing sun light.
Luckily the mist cleared and we got our views!
Here’s some people dressing up as you would have seen in the last past.
There are a lot of ethnic minorities in this area, the Zhuang, the Yao, the Dong people. Some work the land still but some have given that up and have set up coffee shops and food and handicraft stalls to cater for tourists. Not sure what to make of that as always.
I’m pretty sure our parents have some of these flowers in their back garden.
We became acquainted with the local animals.
Ping’an has become quite a big day tour destination from Guilin, it’s main street is very popular and there are souvenir and coffee shops to cater to the packed streets but we didn’t find it hard to find ourselves out amongst the wilderness on our own. In fact it only took ducking off the main street onto a path with a sign that said ‘No 1 viewing platform’ to lose all of them altogether. We weren’t entirely sure that we weren’t getting ourselves lost but that’s half the fun! This is the view from the ‘viewing platform’, which was actually just a nice walk through the rice paddies, over the village.