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ASIA & CHINA - THE "KEEP ON SMILING" TOUR

Longsheng Postcard

LONGSHENG

"DRAGON'S BACKBONE RICE TERRACES"

I had taken a bus back to Guilin and then another bus, a couple of hours north, to Longsheng.

That was the day before, but today I would be searching for the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, a short distance out of town.

Having previously found myself lost while trying to walk the Tiger Leaping Gorge, I was not 100% confident I could find a ‘coiling terrace line starting from a mountain foot up to a string of 800 metre peaks.’

People been carried up the begiining of rice terraces by porters
Here is how you don't get lost

But I was willing to give it a go.

That was all one could ask and remembering the words a wise man had once said, after he no-doubt consumed another uninspiring plate of eggs for breakfast, I set off for the local bus station.

“Make sure you catch the bus going in the proper direction” the wise man had probably once said. Followed by...

“All these eggs for breakfast are making me f..king constipated.”

Old man in rice terrace field
Wise old man

And with that I set off...

And then a while later … a time span I shall not divulge for privacy reasons, I found myself at the foot of another ever-present Chinese set of stairs leading upwards.

I followed the stairs until I came upon a path…forever upwards, up and around the bend there is no end; walking in circles that collapse.

I had made my way to the top of the rice terraces, the sun refusing to break through the shrouded mist, and looked down.

Ladies in traditional clothes

There was a prevailing sense of silence, of nature in recess and recovery, regenerating her energies for the Spring; the season of renewal.

For now everything was pale, pale green and pale brown growth, under a greying cloud. A light blue sky endeavoured to break through.

But nature had no energy left to collide. All her energy had been consumed.

But in Spring she shall come again…

Rice terraces
Rice terraces