Friday, April 08, 2016

On The Way Up to Longji Terraced Rice Fields @ Longsheng Autonomous County [Guangxi, China]

In the past, people travel to Guilin only for their world famous karst scenery but in recent years, the explosion of roads has resulted in the ease of transportation to numerous attractions within the autonomous province; one of which is Longji Terraced Rice Fields! 

Now, i am not entirely keen on terraced rice fields and remember there was similar in the nearby Bali Island although i have yet to check it out. Nevertheless, the tour had been paid for and the least i can do was to go with an open heart.

You know what's the first thing that one must do before entering the scenic area? Find a washroom of course! For one, you wouldn't know when the next toilet would appear and secondly, even if it does appear, the sanitary condition might be worse than expected.

I can't say the male washroom i visited was in its pristine condition but the cubicles remained operational and i did manage to complete my number one. 

The ground level housed a number of retail shops; a word of advice, i doubt you are going to buy a few kilograms of fungi and roast them immediately. Hence, hold your purchase until you are back. 

Cute mutts in the shops! I have always liked the physical uniqueness of mixed breeds and found them to be more intelligent than 'pure-breeds'. Pity most of them are too big and are generally disallowed in government flats.

Aside from fungi, you also have commercial entities selling use knick-knacks that would help you in your climb to see the rice fields; be it a walking aid or a straw hat to protect you from the sun.

Distance from the location at this point to the rice fields was about 17 kilometers and being a leisure trip, there's no way we were going to trek all the way! Here's us taking the internal bus that shall bring us to Ping An which is part of the Longji Terraced Fields Scenic Area! 

Reversing out; as you can see, the floor was relatively wet and as a person who enjoys taking photographs for his blog, i can only keep my fingers crossed for better weather! 

Stunning views along the way; do indulge me as Singapore isn't blessed with high mountains (many skyscrapers were in fact taller than the highest natural point in Singapore) and this kind of scene can only be experienced overseas. 

Accident along the way!

Private cars appeared to be allowed within the scenic area and there were buildings where you can purchase local fruits, have a meal or even stay for the night! 

Longji Terraced Fields Scenic Area had a population of about 8,000 people and this included six villages in an area of about 70.1 square kilometers. It was heartening to see that modern development had yet to take root and the environment remained pretty rustic. 

It was as if time had stood still for the past few decades and children would be playing in the sand rather than burying their heads in mobile devices. 

However, I did notice that the buildings were exceptionally huge and wonder if they were purposely built for tourism as there didn't seem to be much 'human' activity. 

Those along the roads were a different story altogether; some were open for business even though business was slow. Maybe because it was also about noon time when most Chinese break for lunch.

One of the traditional wooden dwellings that had auspicious words and couplets plastered outside. 

A restaurant that was devoid of diners; my guess was that many people would prefer to attempt the climb in the morning when the sun is less threatening to the eyes and skin and most would likely be at Ping An at that moment. 

Pretty right with a suspended wooden bridge across the stream! 

Modern construction method couldn't be avoided for their convenience; as confirmed above, the basic structure wasn't traditional as i had assumed at the beginning with the wooden planks added to the concrete facade at the final stage of construction.

Did i mention that most of the people within the scenic area belong to either the Yao or Zhuang minorities? Many of them were decked out in their traditional outfit; especially the older ladies. This is quite similar to Singapore when ladies of my grandparents' generations would most likely wear samfoos. 

Going up the mountains and be surrounded by clouds!

The ride from embarkation to disembarkation took about thirty minutes and the journey was as exciting as one would have felt when navigating the roads of Cameron Highlands a few decades ago!

Walking again; tour guide had warned us that using our two legs would be crucial that day although those with extra cash can opt for a much easier way which i shall share in a separate post. 

Enveloped by clouds, the surrounding was a blur and i can only wish it was just a humongous blob of fleeting cloud that would disappear soon! 

More shops for you to make last minute purchase! I am exaggerating here as there would be more of such outlets once we enter Ping An Village.

Do look out for the next post when we stepped foot into the village. :)


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