Our $20 dollar rooms with balconies overlooked the river and rice paddies that fed on the river, and it was a perfect summer morning in the deep South of China. There is nothing quite so refreshing as waking up to the sound of running water. With a simple bowl of noodles for breakfast, we walked across the Dong bridges to the village. I was almost contemplating staying at the guesthouse for a year to simply clear my head of decades of city life.
After a light lunch we drove to the Longji Rice Terraces, said to be amongst the most beautiful in the world. The lighting and timing prevented us from being able to capture it's beauty as well as in the numerous photobooks that you can purchase on the way up. It is hard for me to compare the terraces with those in Bali as the times I have visited the Bali fields were also not planned for ideal lighting conditions. Both, I am sure, can be equally breathtaking if you are lucky. In the midday sun, Longji looked good, but we could not afford to wait for yet another sunset or sunrise.
Late afternoon we headed for
Guilin and the Yangshuo Resort Hotel. On the way I was told that we are now only a few hundred kilometers from the border with Vietnam. In just over three weeks we have traversed North and South, East and West, through freezing winters and tropical summers.
We are at the tail end of our amazing journey, and everyday is an adventure we will cherish for years to come. China may not have been quite ready for a trip of this nature. Roads are half finished or damaged, and very soon the entire country will be connected by the stunning expressways we encountered in our first two weeks. This is why our timing could not have been more perfect. I expect that in the very near future, there will be a new road to the Miao, Basha and Dong Villages, and the trickle of tourists will become a flood. The lifestyles of the ethnic minorities will be reduced to feeding the tourists hunger for diversity.
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