Dragons Backbone Rice Terraces

Trip Start Aug 12, 2007
Trip End Sep 28, 2007

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Flag of China  ,
Sunday, September 23, 2007


We set off for Longsheng from the Central bus station, getting on a big empty bus, complete with air conditioning and kung fu!  It seems strange that just about every movie that we have seen in china has consisted of kung fu or other violence, even if it is the middle of the day!  Videos are definatley needed tho, as Chinese do not do reading, literally!  Out of every single bus, train and plane we have boarded, we could probably count on both hands the number of non-westerners reading books or newspapers.  It does seem quite worrying in some ways, in that how do people not just die of boredom in these long journies.  Anyway, listen to me, im rambling again.....

We arrive at a typically dirty bus station where we must wait an hour for our next bus to the village of Longsheng.  We get one of the better meals of our trips there - stir fry of various veges cooked in front of us, which is reassuring.  Although we got charged an extra 'tourist charge', both meals work out at about 1 quid.

We arrive at Longsheng and have to hump our bags up a steep hill towards the village.  There are tiny local woman offering to carry our backbacks that are as big as they are, so we decline and forge on.....

We find a nice guesthouse with a stunning view and sit to have a drink before heading off to the top of the rice terraces to watch sunset....

We meet Andrea, a Canadian guy who is halfway through a mamouth 2 year trip.  We have a few beers and chat away.  We are supprised by the number of photographers who have set up tripods, considering that the light is perfectly good to shoot without one.

Later on there is a performance put on by locals attended to mainly by locals.  This consists of singing, tradition dancing and a big old bonfire.  Definately not a must see event, but Helen thought it was quite sweet

What is impressive is the light show where all of the different levels of terraces are iluminated.  We then realised the foresight of all of the photographers - who had perfect spots and non-shakey pictures! 

Andrea and I try to get a game of poker organised later, but not finding any other victims end up playing just the two of us (head to head) and I lose after trying to bluff him out of a pot (why you should not mix gambling and alcohol!)

We get up for sunrise and head up to view point 1 to watch the sun rise.  It is picture-postcard.

We are harrassed by harmless, but slightly pushey locals trying to get us to pay to take photos of them with their long hair down.  At first its funny, but when you are asked incessantley it becomes tiring.  We decide to go on a bit of a hike to the next village, which is about a 5 mile walk.  We are followed by two of the less annoying "long hair photo" gals who stop asking us for long hair photo and move on to trying sell us the idea of food when we arrive in the village.

By the time we arrive we are famished and we realise were cutting it very fine to eat and get back to the longsheng to catch the 1pm bus.  The village does not have any restarunts per-se, and we accept the offer of food.  They take us into one of their houses which is a basic wooden hut.  They set about cooking a four dish meal which takes forever, but is well worth it in the end.

We say goodbye and set off needing to complete the same journey that took us 3 hours in 1.5!  It is baking hot, but we manage to make it back to the guesthouse, grab our bags and get to the bus with minutes to spare.

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