Hani Rice Terraces, Yuan Yang , China Week 9 22nd June 2011
The campsite at Hong He.

Earlier in the evening we'd encouraged a group of children a bit too much. Unfortunately we couldn't turn them off. We had to wait until they got bored and floated away.

A risk with camping in a public space.

We were looking for a minor provincial road.

Instead we found a shiny new road.

Even Garmin didn't know about it.

It even had a rest area.

Looking across the river to a village perched on the other side.

Otherwise the valley was fairly stark and dry.

And the Tardis with Susanna parked above the river.
A rather crowded town as we began the climb to Yuan Yong.

Just steady progress through the traffic.

The road was a provincial mountain road.

All hill, lots of corners. Some crazy (to us) overtaking.

Just a few corners and zig zags.
And the occasional Hani person carrying things along the road.
The villages along the ridge were a bit crowded.

Just a case of progressing steadily forward as fast or as slow as it will allow.

There isn't much space for building supplies so they are stored on the road.

Just makes driving more exciting.

The 30km of uphill corners was a bit of a challenge.

Hopefully the engineers among us will appreciate the design of these steps.

There is a long beam under the steps that the bricks rest on but no other support.

Personally I was a bit surprised it was still standing. I've learned something new!

Hani minority in the paddy fields.

They speak their own language which meant that Susanna can't interpret.

Beginning to see rice terraces.
Rice terraces close, villages perched on the hillsides in the distance.
The terraces are a World Heritage site.

Built over a period of 1300 years and still very actively cultivated.

A live mosaic.

Mostly green or waiting to be planted at this time of year.

Quite a contrast to the dry valley we drove down earlier in the day.

We haven't got close to understanding the social structures that must have been necessary to build and maintain the terraces over such a long period of time, particularly given the changes in national government policies.

We walked down a small track to Bada village.

The original thatched roofs have given way to brick, concrete and glass houses.

Hopefully we'll catch a glimpse of life sometime in the past when we visit a museum folk village tomorrow.


All with magnificient views.
Some of the paddies have solid stone walls to hold them up.

Most are mud.

There are more than 4000 irrigation channels in the area to feed the paddies.

We saw cement (in 50kg bags) and firewood being carried down to the village.

The only way in is by foot.

We assume that most of the rice crop is moved by foot.

We had to wait a few minutes here while parked cars were moved.
These are not park benches. We believe they are tombs at the side of the road.
Many hectares of paddies.

It was fascinating watching the colours change as the sun became lower.

and lower.
and lower so that there were reflections of the sky off the water.
We are camped in a viewing site. Waiting for sunrise.

These Hani women were on their way home from the fields and stopped for a look at us.

Having asked them if it was ok if I took their photo they wanted a look at the result.


They weren't impressed with the result. I had to agree, and took another. 

Much better.

The lady on the left is not a hunchback. Carrying a load with a strap around the forehead is something I associate with the Himalayas. It may be that the Hani originated from Tibet.

The trousers were a very deep, vivid, blue. They seem to like bright colours.

After the second attempt they were satisfied and we all did a little jig.

Amazing what can be done with smiles and signs. What a pity we couldn't talk.

But what a nice end to the day.

Hani Rice Terraces to Jian Shu, Yunnan, China Week 9 23rd June 2011

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