Yuanyang (6-8 Oct 13)


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October 8th 2013
Published: October 8th 2013
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Duoyishu Rice TerraceDuoyishu Rice TerraceDuoyishu Rice Terrace

Now we're talking!
And so with my fresh new visa, I was ready to back-trek a little to finish up my plans for Yunnan, and my next stop was the famed Yuanyang rice terraces, a 4.5h hour bus ride from Hekou.

Now I've seen my fair share of rice terraces and padi fields the past year and a half or so. Most notable of course were those in the Cordilleras Highlands in North Luzon, Philippines, which were truly stunning. But basically any long bus ride you take in pretty much any Southeast Asian country (bar Singapore, and maybe Malaysia) would probably take you through swathes of rice padi. So I wasn't so sure if I would be impressed anymore by what Yunnan had to offer, as enticing as the write-up in LP sounded.

And indeed the first location in Yuanyang what I checked out, called Laohuzui (Tiger's Mouth), was very pretty, but perhaps not exactly spectacular. After all, I couldn't help but mentally compare it to Maligcong in the Philippines, which had the added benefit of being the first that I saw. My expectations tempered, I made my way to the next location, called Duoyishu (Many Reliant Trees - yes some Chinese place names don't translate elegantly word-for-word). As I descended down the path, the view behind some thickets and shrubs gradually became more visible, and before long, I found myself in the midst of what was truly a stunning amphitheater of rice terraces. And not just dis-used ornamental fields either. There were several local families in traditional garb working these fields, complete with the obligatory water buffaloes, which made the entire sight seem particularly authentic. I couldn't help but think back to my Philippines trip, when I regretted making the decision not to visit Batad, which was supposed to have the most visually-impressive rice terraces. Was Duoyishu in Yuanyang as good as what I'd missed in Batad? I'm not sure when I'll ever find out. But I'm sure glad I did make the trip after all this time.

Stayed at Chen's Family Guesthouse.


Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


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Hekou-YuanyangHekou-Yuanyang
Hekou-Yuanyang

Glimpses of rural China.
XinjieXinjie
Xinjie

View from Chen's Guesthouse.
Laohuzui Rice TerraceLaohuzui Rice Terrace
Laohuzui Rice Terrace

Ok, pretty but not mind-bogglingly beautiful at first sight.
Man with RifleMan with Rifle
Man with Rifle

Yes. Just another villager I came across while descending the slopes of the terraces. Alone.
DuoyishuDuoyishu
Duoyishu

"Many Reliant Trees". Stunning amphitheater of terraces.
Nightly Line Dance @ Xinjie SquareNightly Line Dance @ Xinjie Square
Nightly Line Dance @ Xinjie Square

Takes on another meaning after my encounter with Mr Sichuan in Shangri-la...


27th September 2015

HEKOU TO YUANGYANG
HI, HOPE TO GET SOME INFORMATION FROM YOU .WISH TO VISIT YUANYANG TRAVELLING FROM HEKOU. COULD WE HIRE VAN TO YUANYANG AND WHAT THE FARES AND TIMETABLE?
27th September 2015

Hi, I'm sure you should be able to hire a van, but I think you might have to ask around the nearby hotels to make the arrangements, and they will probably charge you accordingly. The timing then for a private charter will most probably be quite flexible. The way I did it (since I was alone) was to just take the morning bus from the Hekou bus terminal. If you are coming from Vietnam, there is a cheap RMB1 bus ride from the border to the Hekou bus terminal, which is a few kilometres away (about 10 minutes). I can't remember exactly what time the bus leaves Hekou daily for Yuanyang, but I remember it was quite early in the morning (about 8 a.m.?). That was almost two years ago though (2013). If possible, perhaps you could confirm the updated schedule the day before at the terminal, or check online for more updated sources? Enjoy Yuanyang, the rice terraces there are indeed beautiful! Happy and safe travels...

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