Yesterday we took a daytrip tour to the rice fields on the dragons backbone mountain range, ping'an and a local minority village where we saw a show of local dancing and the marriage ceremony, our guide was very funny and gave lots of information in chinese and english which was brilliant as we only paid for the local guide who we were told had no english, he told us countless times not to get lost as the bus would not wait for us and we would have to get the local bus back to guilin!
In the minority village bum pinching is a way to show affection to anyone so all the locals where pinching everybodys bum and if you pinched back it meant you wanted to stay the night at the village, the women here grow their hair very long and they only cut it when they get married and when they have children and then they keep the cut off bits, they wash it it in rice water, the water they used to boil their rice in, and even the really old women in their 80's don't have grey hair but it smells really bad. the women have to
keep their hair covered until they get married but after marriage they can have it on show and if they have a little bump on the front it means they have had children. Also when they gave out local tea if you took two chopsticks it meant you wanted to stay the night. the tea was strange and tasted slightly of chicken so we left most of it and made sure we only took one chopstick! they asked for volunteer males from the audience to go up to get married for fun, paul refused but another english guy in the group ended up on stage with three chinese men. he had to choose his wife from about 10 local girls by touching her foot with his, then they went to put traditional clothes on and they locals tried to get him to pay for a silver bracelet which is the equivelent to a wedding ring, he refused as he had already paid with his dignity! then he had to sing a song to his wife on the microphone and then carry her around the little theatre! it was all very funny for us, although i don't think he was too
amused! after this the older women took down their hair to show us the length, the longest is 2.1 metres long, it was really weird to see them all.
After this we went to Ping'an for some food where we tried bamboo rice, they stuff a piece of bamboo with rice and some veg and non-descript meat and cook it on the BBQ then break open the bamboo to eat it, they also do it with chicken, it was very tasty although we avoided the meat.
After lunch we climbed to the top of the rice terraces which are 1000m high and 700 years old for some amzing views although i think it would be nicer once all the rice is planted and the fields are very green but it was lovely anyway.
We didn't get lost and made it back to the bus before it left and so were back in guilin in good time. Today we catch the overnight train to chengdu which will take 25 hours if it runs on time!
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