China, Photos, Travel

The Dragon’s BackBone – Longji Rice Terraces

11 Apr ’08

Longji Rice Terraces

I was very happy to be leaving Yangshuo today. It started out quite well with our taxi being about 20 minutes early so there was no need to worry about being late for the bus. The only moment of slight panic was when the bus arrived but our travel agent hadn’t shown up to give us the plane tickets we had purchased the day before – he said he would show up before we got on the bus.

Just before things got really panicky, he zooms up on his scooter and pulls the tickets from his pockets – this guy was amazing. Seriously. After a grueling experience booking our first plane trip from an actual airline counter – that took 1.5 hours – and this was with a computer! We stumbled upon Robert and his little booth of a travel/tourism outfit.

He’s very unassuming and plain looking, but he speaks enough english and he handled everything we needed – without any problems. In fact, any issues or concerns we had were absolutely no problem for Robert. We needed a bus that would take us up to the rice terraces (a 3 hour drive up north) but were we could store our luggage (travel backpacks). Check. Then we also needed that bus to drop us off in Guilin – Check. Oh yeah, and we needed to book plane tickets – and for it to not take 1.5 hours. Done.

At the end of this trip when we gather all of the resources we used – Robert and his outfit is the ONLY place we’ll list for anything in Yangshuo other than the Hostel that we stayed at that was actually outside of town.

I would not want to be with anyone else other than Leah on this trip. She is awesomely the most best and super greater than fiction. (See? She’s so great that my grammar gets all F*cked up.)

FOOD. Today I had wild frog and rice cooked in bamboo. Frog taste like really greasy chicken – and this wasn’t just frog legs, it was the whole thing chopped up. I couldn’t eat the um, hand? I tried to get over the fact that it looks like a tiny little hand… but then when I tried to chew it and I felt each bone… yeah… I spit that back out.

The trip was definitely worth the effort. Looking back, even climbing the literal gazillion steps was worth it. The terraces really are quite amazing and unbelievable. There aren’t just a few, or a couple – there are entire mountain sides that have been cut into. If you have any idea what a regular untouched mountain side can look like, and then to carve out the flat terraces… you can understand how hard it would be to do such a thing without bulldozers and to do it around 500 years ago.

It was difficult to take photos of the terraces – too much mist made it hard to see anything at all… but everything was still really great.

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