May 04, 2011
Oct 08, 2012
. That was just the cherry on top to our wonderful day walking five hours through the rice fields. The views are stunning, and I imagine even more perfect when the sunsets reflecting on the water in the terraces. Along the trail we reached a local village where we were greeted by Soo Mae, a long hair local woman who for 30Yuan ($5USD) offered to be our guide to the waterfall, Tiantouzhai village, ending in Dazhai. Although many successfully walk the trails without a guide, I was happy to have her accompany us. She is of the Yao minority also known as the long-haired women. She let down her hair for us at the waterfall. It reaches her feet and the bun on her head is made up of two other equally long ponytails that she cut at age 20 and 40. I’m still fascinated that their hair can physically grow that long and thick so quickly. Soo Mae hosted us in her home where we met her eight year old daughter Ifong sounded more like IPhone, who eventually joined us for the last leg of our hike. Soo Mae, this petite woman had such a gentle manner and is incredibly strong.
Today begins Daria and my travels to Guangxi province. We took the most direct route and flew to Guilin. There isn't much to see in Guilin, it is another larger hub city with a few lakes but the big draw is the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces and that it is a hop, skip and a jump to Yangshuo. We stayed at the nice, clean and central youth hostel called How Hostel where we met lots of fellow travelers with hordes of information. We got specific directions on which local bus to take to Pingan for a third of the price of booking a tour. Even better it was a fun adventure. The way there we started on one local bus heading toward Longshan which stopped somewhere midtrack to let us out. A woman on the bus then pushed us off and directed us to jump on another bus going in the opposite direction. The return was even more adventurous. When we ended our hike in Dazhai at the other end of the terraces not sure when the last bus would arrive and unable to communicate with anyone around, we managed to hitchhike a ride cramped in a pick-up truck down to the main road where buses from Longshan to Guilin pass often