Last night was really cold! It was partly because the doona was too short so I had to sleep with socks. So I woke up around 5:50AM and went to viewpoint no. 1 to catch the sunrise. The family dog followed me up and …. all I could see was fog … No sunrise =(
So after breakfast I headed down to lower ground towards viewpoint number 2. The further down I went, the clearer the rice terraces were. After walking 40 minutes, I got the viewpoint 2 and it was just so amazing!
This place reminds me of the pure blonde ad where the place is so virgin. On the way back, I did some exploring. This place is really easy to get lost because of all the forks in the road, some of which are paths into the rice terraces. I walked through the farmer’s path to get a closer look at the rice terraces.
On the way to viewpoint 2, there was this series of water channels/piping using bamboo and opened onto steps. When I passed it on the way back, BAM! The water at the end was no longer cascading down steps, instead was directed into a bucket and used to cool drinks this lady was selling!! So smart!
I came back to the hotel for lunch, I had the left over of my chicken from last night and bamboo rice. The rice was super yum!
The fog cleared up so I headed up to viewpoint no. 1 for some amazing views.
I went to a public toilet and took a whiz in the urinal. I heard buzzing and a bee came out and started chasing me….GG
During my return to the hotel, I met an old Yao lady who was sitting down embroidering a waistbelt whilst selling kiwi fruit like things. So I sat with her and had a chat. She told me she’s getting old and no longer sells the stuff she makes cause it takes her such a long time with her poor eyesight. She said it takes about 1 month of daily sewing/embroidering to make her top and about 2 weeks for her waistbelt. I have discovered that most of the stuff minorities sell are mass produced. The only stuff they handmake are their tops, waistbelts and little bits and pieces of clothing. You know when they are handmade cause they cost HEAPS more compared to the other stuff they sell. For example, a brand new top goes for 1500RMB, pre-bargaining of course but even if you bring the price down to 500RMB its still nearly 80 bucks!! That’s like winning the lottery for them!
Before tourism, the Red Yao people from DaZhai and Zhuang people from Ping’an are really poor. They have 1 harvest a year and make 2000RMB a year. That’s not alot if you have a huge family of 3 generations to feed. Now they make a slightly better living by also selling trinkets and souvenirs as well as carrying stuff and guiding people. They have a system to carry bags at the bus station, they have ID numbers and have to wait in line for their turn and therefore can only make money this way usually every second day. Many of them leave you their number so when you want to go down to the car park, they can make some money.
After hanging out with her I headed to checkpoint 3, the furthest one that takes 3 hours return. This one is super unmarked so I took a total of 2 wrong turns but I think I’m getting used to this whole navigation thing =P During my walk, I saw a total of 4 people .. Thats how peaceful this place is, sometimes as I’m walking, I feel as if I’m back home. The air is fresh and instead of hearing loud Chinese people, all you hear is the sound of water trickling and of birds tweeting.
I got to viewpoint 3 and a lady was selling sweet corn and zhongzi (sticky rice wrapped in leaves). I bought some corn and boy was it sweet!
An hour and half later, I made it back to the hotel. I met this lady there who was also travelling alone and along with 2 other individuals, we had dinner together. Boy you don’t know how happy I was to have people to eat with. We had chicken with chicken soup, green vegetables, potatoes as well as pork. The soup was so warming and super flavoursome! We also got some rice wine. It was probably a tad too sweet but definitely worth trying =D
Posted by Wordmobi