Saturday, April 09, 2016

Ping An Zhuang Terraced Fields Spot (平安壮族梯田景观区) - The Village @ Longji Terraced Fields Scenic Area [Longsheng County, Guangxi Province, China]

Getting to the entrance of this village / stockade had been documented in my last post here; from the look of the above photo, i would never have thought that this would be anything but a purpose-built attraction.

Maybe it's true for the main gateway; however, the moment you step nearer, the scene right ahead speaks of a different story; ancient looking cobblestone walkways, timber buildings, gray-tiled roofs. 

According to our tour guide, the time taken from this spot to the first scenic spot (七星伴月) shall take about two hours; an exaggeration in my opinion as my actual timing showed slightly less than an hour. 

As it will be an upward climb, those with weak legs can consider engaging the sedan service for a fee. I didn't ask about the rate since both dad and i were stingy by nature although judging from the sedan-service provided in other places in the past few days, i figured it would be between S$50-100. 

Out of the things sold at this shop, i am keen in only two items; the umbrella and raincoat! Purchasing a straw / rattan hat and wearing it back in Singapore would likely draw ridicule unless i am at Kranji! 

Straw bracelets - these were handmade and there was even a guarantee of one year! The guarantee was that the bracelets will not break even when soaked by water. 

There's even a butchery! Sorry, the eyes were playing tricks on me; these were stones that looked like slabs of pork belly! Well, i am more interested in pork belly than stones. 

Table runners, shawls etc - weather was rather chilly that day and i would have benefited from a piece of scarf. Despite the aforementioned, i didn't buy any as i vividly remember my Mount Halla visit where coldness disappeared as we spent our energy climbing up Korea's tallest mountain

Trinkets for sale - as expected. Such cultural mementos no longer appealed to me as i am far too lazy to maintain a "vacation corner" to showcase them. Fridge magnets are preferred. 

Ducklings! It's been such a while since i last seen them that they deserved to have two photographs in this post! Strange that chicks seemed to be more common than ducklings.

Trudging ahead and i can hear a rumbling stomach; breakfast was at 7.30am and with me diligently working out at the hotel's gymnasium before brekkie, i was in need of some food! 

The aroma of food being roasted caught my nose's attention and my brain hastened me to check out the source of the smell. In case lunch was delayed, i would purchase something small just to placate that spoilt tummy of mine. 

Smoked meat that looked hardly appetising; swallowing my saliva in an attempt to bluff my tummy shall be the temporary measure. 

I didn't have to wait long; it's lunch time and we shall have our meal (indicated as longsheng feast) at a farmer's restaurant.

Wasn't much of a feast if you ask urbanite me but it was a table filled with local delicacies; one of which we realised, after the meal, was ant-fried omelette, which by the way, was delicious! 

As usual, i shoved the food down my throat in order to secure more time for photo taking at the great outdoors. As the washroom was housed on the second level, i grabbed the opportunity to take a shot. Yes, i do bring my camera everywhere when i am overseas; including number 2 time. 

My dad was a tad slower than me when it comes to the speed of eating; nevertheless, he joined me in checking out the surrounding while the rest of our tour mates dined leisurely in the restaurant.

Wasn't this view just out of this world with the wooden buildings hovering at the hillside surrounded by a mysterious misty aura? It's like chancing upon a lost paradise! 

In order to take that beautiful view, i needed to stand at that ledge next to the motorbike. Before you say "okay", do note that i was putting my life in danger then!

With my fear for height, i am amazed at my courage to stand undeterred by the potential fall to take that shot. My middle name is danger, as some of my colleagues and friends had said; okay, they use "stupid" sometimes. 

Empty sedan? Business must be bad i guess. Most people who bother to visit Longji are aware they have to climb and for those who don't want to take the challenge; they can always rest at the local restaurants and wait for their tour mates to return and regale them with stories of their "adventure".

Roasted chestnuts, peanuts, dried mushrooms and bottles of chilli oil - latter of which is a specialty in Guangxi province. 

I am unsure what he was doing; was he sharpening the saw or cutting away the metal? The lack of protective gear was worrying though. 

Accommodation options are available near the first scenic spot (七星伴月) but your luggage weight would likely put you off! Fret not, carry-your-baggage service is provided for those who simply couldn't walk another step with their heavy luggage. Not for free obviously.

Our group was ready to move after lunch; energy was renewed and it's time to make our ascent to 七星伴月 (translated to seven stars accompanying the moon).

 Frankly, i don't mind making full use of my legs so long the weather is comfortable like about 15 degrees celcius; otherwise, it's just frustrating (and embarrassing) when you have sweaty armpits! 

Other things you can purchase from the shops along the way. At this angle, you wouldn't have thought that behind the one-floored shops is a drop of a few hundred feet! 

Interesting - the fire fruit (火头果) at RMB 10 apiece! Appearance was kind of similar to the dragon fruit. The scariest fruit in my opinion is actually the snake fruit (蛇皮果); reason of which some of you might be aware. 

Hundreds of cattle horns! 

Aside from ornamental purposes, the horns can also be made into combs, hairpins, bracelets etc. 

From far, i thought this was a half-finished structure; halfway through, i assumed it was a squatting toilet; once i am near enough to see clearer, it was a depository for plastic containers! 

Arriving at the cross junction; there are two notable scenic spots in Ping An; one is 七星伴月 while the other is 九龙五虎 (translated to nine dragons five tigers). With limited time and the stamina of our slightly elderly group, our objective was only on 七星伴月.

Does anyone still remember what kind of bridge this is? It's a shorter and less impressive version of the Wind Rain Bridge (风雨桥) i blogged before! 

Another place to take spectacular photos! 

Of course it would be a good excuse to rope my dad in as the model for my photos. If only our dear Alex can be more accommodating since i travel more often with him! 

Be careful of the holes on the floor lest you trip over! 

Something's cooking and i was deliberating if i should get some as desserts despite the satisfying meal at lunch. You know, i really do need to control my food intake. 

The hygienic bitch in me decided otherwise; who knows how long the eggs and sweet potatoes have been left out in the open. :( if only the great kon was with me, he would definitely get a few! 

A better, more complete view of the Wind Rain Bridge (风雨桥).

Dad again.

With close to five hundred pictures on the memory card pertaining to Longji Terraced Fields Scenic Area, i am going to stop here right after the wind rain bridge. The pictorial journey to check out 七星伴月 shall be posted soon! 

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Entry Price
RMB 100 per person

Things You Can Do in Ping An (in Chinese).
As above. It included notable scenic spots, the services (sedan etc), structures, what to buy and what to eat! 

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