This week I’m featuring great photograph and story from Dragon’s Backbone rice terraces in China taken by Stefan and Sebastien, a gay couple behind Nomadic Boys Blog.
Photo Story: Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces
“Yes Stefan, I swear I saw the mighty Chinese Dragon…right over there, see?”
The photo is taken from the beautiful Longji (Dragon’s Backbone) Rice Terraces in China’s southern Guangxi province in the Longsheng County.
Longji means “Dragon’s Backbone” and is named because the rice terraces look like the scales on the back of a dragon when the paddy fields are full of water in the spring. We were there in late August time when the terraces were a lush green.
Random fact we learnt – the word “paddy” (ie the rice paddy fields) is derived from the Malay word, “padi”, meaning rice plant and has nothing to do with the Irish as we initially thought.
We stayed a week in the rice terraces – a peaceful respite from the smog of the Chinese mega cities.
On one morning we did an early hike up in the middle of the night to watch the incredible sunrise over the rice terraces. Trekking up in the dark with torch light is quite romantic.
But then the sunlight breaking out slowly over the rice terraces was one of the most magical and memorable moments of our big trip in Asia
These rice terraces are also impressive because they are an agricultural wonder. They rise up to just over 1,100 metres into the clouds. They are entirely man-made, built over 650 years ago. Their structure has been maintained this way since. Each terrace was carved out and maintained by local farmers using basic digging tools.
There are numerous villages situated around the Longji rice terraces, which are home to the Zhuang and Yao ethnic minorities.
Most of the houses there are built in their unique wooden Zhuang or Yao style from bamboo. The old ladies of the nearby Zhuang and Yao villages were always out in their numbers attending to the large tourist trade visiting the Longji rice terraces.
And of course a word about the food. In the rice terraces, bamboo is plentiful. So, as well as using it to build their homes, locals use bamboo as a cooking technique. One particularly yummy meal was barbequed bamboo style chicken with and rice, served in the bamboo it was cooked in.