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Published: December 10th 2012
We arrived by bus to the bottom of the rice terraces ready for a long and steep walk up the terraces to our hostel with all our bags, Pete was especially looking forward to this considering the number of shots (including dirty tequilla's) he had drank the night before. I wasn't looking forward to it although was secretly enjoying the fact Pete had to face this with a hangover.
Once off the bus some local women came straight up and took our bags to carry them up the rice terraces for us. We felt a bit guilty as our backpacks are really heavy and we struggle carrying them, let alone a women half my size, although not guilty enough to turn their offer down, he he. We walked behind them as they strode ahead with our bags leading the way through the many little villages and up hundreds of steps.
After about half an hour of dragging ourselves up the terraces we finally reached our hostel. Pete had to go and sit down outside and I thought he was going to puke but luckily he didn't. As we had walked up, the fog had gotten thicker but we were
still able to get a glimpse of the terraces which looked really good and we hoped for a clearer day tomorrow.
The hostel (Dragons Den) was in a great location for hiking the terraces but unfortunately our room had a really bad smell to it and was also very cold. We chilled out the rest of the day, had some dinner (noodles and some pork with mushrooms) which wasn't too bad but as usual with Chinese food was quite oily.
The next day we went hiking through the terraces. We followed the first trail up the the highest look out point which took about 20 minutes or so, passing villages, donkeys carrying supplies and dogs with tiny puppies in their nest. The weather was great so we could see the terraces going on for miles. We sat down and just took in the fresh air and sights for about half an hour. This was just what we had been waiting for from China, some peace and quiet and green scenery. Afterwards we walked the second trail which took much longer and was a lot steeper. We finally reached 'music from paradise' lookout and again sat there for a
while looking out over the other side of the terraces and all the little villages dotted around in the distance.
In the afternoon we sat in our hostel lobby, had some lunch and watched out the window as horses carrying all the village supplies passed by. There were lots of village children playing in our hostel and when they saw I had an ipad they were fascinated and before I knew it they were all sitting round me tapping on the ipad. I gave it to them and showed them some apps so they sat there for about an hour drawing pictures, playing games and taking pictures of themselves. They were really sweet and friendly.
In the evening we had dinner. Pete ordered a steamed pork dish which when it came out was actually deep fried (actually burnt) pork fat, it was horrible. My dinner wasn't great either so we were disappointed as we thought being in a village we would get the opportunity to taste some of the local fair. After we had eaten, the staff of the hostel then came out and sat down with their dinner which was huge and full of vegetables and meat.
Another lady staying at the hostel asked what they had and if we could have the same but they just laughed and said it wasn't on the menu. This did annoy us quite a bit, especially as they found it so funny. We made a comment about this in our review later on hostel world and got a really rude email from the hostel manager - just a word of warning if your thinking of staying there!!!
Overall Dragon Back Bone Rice Terraces was a great little trip for a couple of days after lots of cities and smog. Probably isn't enough to do for any longer than that but that suited us fine.
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