I woke up early in the morning, took all my stuff, and left Yangshou. Took the bus to Longji Titian (Dragon's Spine Terraces), a range of hills just 4 hours from Yangshou. This place is known for the amazing rice terraces that cover every hill in the area. The terraces are about 700 years old, and are covering the hills from 300m to 900m or so. The amazing thing is that they are not just a tourist attraction - they are still being used for growing rice by the villagers who live here.
During the bus ride it was raining heavily, and I was really afraid that I will not be able to enjoy the place. I arrived around noon time. and had to climb to the village in the rain. Found myself a place to stay, and sat down for late lunch, hoping for the weather to get better.
The rain finally stopped, but the hills were covered with a dense fog.
Decided to look around even though the visibility was not great, because I was afraid that the rain will hit again later. There is a 2 hour walk around the village, going through some scenic spots.
There were minutes of better visibility every once in a while, and I got a glimpse of the amazing views.
During my walk I was accompanied by three older local women, trying to sell their goods and to convince me take their picture while they are showing me their "long long hair beautiful beautiful". They were of the Yao minority, which have a traditional ceremony involving long hair.
The village I spent the night at is a Zhuang village, which is another minority, and their women wear something that looks like a towel on their head. It was very nice to see two different minorities and to be able to see the differences between them.
Later that evening, back in the village, I met a guy from Venezuela, called Cesar. We had dinner together and decided to hike between the villages together the following day. He is a very easy going and funny guy, and he is 44 years old and traveling alone in the far east.
While we had breakfast a couple of Israelis, Yishay and Hagar, joined us, and we all took off together to the hike. Soon enough the three Yao women found us, and walked along
with us while trying again to convince us to sped some money.
The hike was great. The views of the terraces all around us, going up and down the hills, finding a small lake along the way, and the three women making us laugh most of the time.
All of a sudden we saw a big green snake on the path, just sitting there. The women started to scream, and it was quite scary. We were all thinking of the Green Mamba from the Kill Bill movie... Later we saw another smaller snake, eating a worm...
We reached the first village after a few hours. It was a Yao village, and this is where the women came from. They tried to convince us to have lunch at their place, but we weren't hungry yet, and they were very upset. Instead of that we had a cold drink at a local store, where some cute little kids were eating ice cream and fighting over attention of our cameras.
We proceeded a few more hours to the second Yao village, and had lunch there. The terraces around it were even more amazing than the ones around the first village.
The terraces look
different depending on the time of the year. Right now it is the beginning of the rainy season, and the terraces are filling up with water. This is why they call it the mirror-season.
We then went down to the road and took a bus back to the first village. The bus dropped us at the bottom of the hill, and from there we had to take a minibus up the hill to the village (or walk it...). There was a minibus with a driver, and we hopped in. The car was brand new, with only 100 km, and about a minute later we found out that 100 km is probably more than what the driver had driven in his entire life. He just didn't know how to drive. He didn't know how to shift gears, and as soon as the road started to climb up the engine died. He wasn't able to start driving again, and Cesar thought that there is something wrong with the car and started pushing it from behind. After a few minuted I told the driver to get out, and showed him how to do a ZINUK BE-ALIA. I drove a few hundred meters to
a horizontal part of the road, and gave him the wheel. He stayed in 1st gear for the rest of the climb, trying hard to stay on the road. Whenever we saw a car coming from the opposite direction we told him to use his horn and keep to the right. These were very long 5 km... I don't know if he survived the way down the hill...
In China there are many porters that will carry you up the interesting places while you sit on a bamboo carrier. While we were climbing up to the village they kept offering us a lift (nothing new so far). Since I was in a very good mood, I offered them to carry them up to the village instead. You can see the result. They didn't want to pay me, though...
The next day we left all together to see some more minorities and villages.
Bye until then,
Tot: 0.442s; Tpl: 0.02s; cc: 11; qc: 145; dbt: 0.0432s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.7mb