Guangxi Trip - Day 3 - Long Ji Daytime

at Guilin rice noodles as were recommended by everyone at this place.

i had to take 3 buses this day to get to the rice terraces.  1 from yangshuo to gulin.  1 from gulin to Long sheng.  and one finally to Ping An, the Zhuang village i stayed in.  and it was all annoying and confusing.  you have tons of signs on places telling you it is the bus ticket office.  you have tons of people trying to rip you off or be sly.  you don't have tons of time to get a good day in.  all of this made me very p!ssed by the time i finally got to the terraces.  it took about 5 hrs in all.  but that would soon change.

the old which bus is it game.  at this point i had already been through a lot of BS and the bus to the rice terraces wasn't leaving until 3pm.  by the time i would get to there there wouldnt be enough time to see anything before dark.  i was not happy.  of course the bus did what all buses in the region do, go super slow, stop and pick up people anywhere, even in the middle of a dirt mountain road because everyone knows you can just flag a bus down and get on.  all of this blows peoples estimates of how long it takes to get somewhere out of the water.  i was supposed to be in rice fields by the time this picture was taken!  this laxi-dazy bus style would result in me missing my train back to beijing too.

at at this dirty little place.  was decent food though.

their stove is just this black depression in the counter.

as i was eating i heard this god aweful sound coming from outside.  of course what else could it be but a man and wife tying a pig down to the luggage rack on top of a bus?

the guide books really need to add a part about how the time estimates to get anywhere are relative because of the picking up passengers along the way.  took a winding bus of the mountains.  dangerous roads and curves aplenty, lots of cliffs and honking before you went around a corner so you wouldn't die.  not as dangerous as the road to the super blue lake in yunnan.  finally got there and got off the bus and bam two ladies in my face already.  they are both asking me to stay at their house and to be my guide.  i am already so p!ssed it is 5 pm and my window to see anything is fading.  i finally go with this lady.  we walk for 20 min up the mountain to her house.  tons to look at, tons of green, tons of charming.

look at those miserably cute kittens

chicken and chilies

corn everywhere.

school kids all had these stickers on their foreheads

this was the view from my window, sold

looks like an outdoor washup place.  i see tooth brushes and soap

i drop off that heavy bag and we start off to hit 2 key points on the sightseeing map.  we walk up the hills through the charming town (Zhuang minority group).  it is like Swiss Family robinson town chinese style.  multi layered, chickens and dogs and animals everywhere.  there was a nice stone walk way the whole way, even around the terraces.  The town is charming, it is the most remote village i've been in in china (besides the muosuo village in yunnan but that was just backwater, not charming), although there were a few places with internet.  i didn't see any neon signs yet.  but it is sad that in a few years even this could all change into another tourist trap, it already is on its way.  but for now i was into it.  i maze of paths to explore.  You should come soon if you want to see this!  and to make good on my promise to tell people about my host ladies house and stuff here is her phone number 13768729302 or 13788541835

the payoff.  how amazing is this?  i am so lucky that i made it when everything was green with crops.  the weather was pleasant.  it was late in the day so it wasn't too hot.  clean air.  this was an amazing and memorable 2 hr hike around the terraces surrounding their village.  This might be the best day I had in China ever.  it was that good.  I think this rivals the greatwall in greatness.  maybe not in brute energy expelled and sacrafice, but this is green, this is alive, and is still alive and is life for these people.  for dinner i ate rice, and veggies from these fields, and animals they raised and drank liquors they made from fruit, rice, insects, mushrooms they collected themselves.  Walking around the top of this terrace makes it look like a garden paradise, a little utopia.  You cannont know what this is like until you come here.  my mind is blown.   

part of the Dragon's Spine, or Long Ji which is what they call this area.  hundreds of years and generations in the making.  all irrigated like a pyramid system with water from the mountains.

she said it would be 20 more days before the rice would be ready for harvest.

i liked the huge rocks they built around in some places.

halfway through there was a lady selling icecream.  there needs to be a lady selling ice cream halfway through all of the worlds beautiful places.  i mean, sure its out of place and could ruin your experience but who doesn't like an icecream break halfway through a sweaty journey?  certainly not this lady.  I like her because she didn't refuse icecream when i said i want to buy her some and she didn't refuse my tip when i left the town.  i hate that chinese game that almost gets violent of refusing things.  I am glad i speak enough chinese to have super basic conversations.  we sat at the top of this terrace and ate icecream and stared out at the vast green as the sun set and the cool wind blew as we talked trash.  then, i picked up some extra trash (g-damn icecream wrappers, come on people! who throws icecream wrappers at a Van Gogh!) deposited it and we carried on.  Beautiful experience.  this lady was so nice.  As you can see she is only like 5" tall and weighs like 70 lbs so on the 4 hr hike the next day she didn't misstep ever or even disrupt a pebble.  also cuz she has been doing this her whole life

grave i think

amazing.  the book says this is the most extreme rice terracing in china.  wikipedia says it is the steepest in the world.  i mean i dont know about this particular shot but as a whole.

awesome pennisula like formation that is farmed like a ma f'er.  only panorama shots could come close to doing all of these pics justice.  i have some so i will post eventually.

amazing irrigation system.

the lady got a kick out of this photo

chilies! and my probably annoyed host lady in the background because i am taking pics of everything.

we went to this place on the side for i don't know what reason.  my chinese is bad to begin with, and these people speak with such a wicked accent that i have a hard time understanding a lot of simple stuff too.  it almost sounds like they are speaking cantonese when they speak their Zhuang language.  which makes sense since they are so far south.  anyway she said she owns this place too and probably when it will be completed.  she kept saying tell your friends to come stay here i think.

the charming little path that wound around all the terraces.  people power.

look at these 3 rock steps embedded in the side of this hill going up to a higher terrace.  how quaint and charming and all that.

chilies everywhere.  delicious chilies.

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