Hani Ethic people and The famous Rice Terraces at Yuan yang
On the way to Puér we stopped for petrol and these vast service stations had huge supermarkets and this one had a store filled with 6 stalls full to the brim with TEA. Yunnan is the world capital for every type of tea imaginable. The displays, presentations and packaging of each tea is particular to what it is made from. While waiting we were inundated with people wanting photos with us and we have never seen so many Porsche Cayenne, Panamaras, Range Rovers in one carpark as we did here.
Before arriving at our hostel in the Rice Terraces we were treated to our first views of these ancient rice fields which have existed like this since the 1300’s. The steep mountain sides are dotted with clusters of cream coloured houses with thatched pitched roofs, clinging precariously to the side of the mountains – we are up at around 2100mts and the climb was long, windy and littered with water buffalos, dogs, children and ethic Hani People returning slowly from either work in the fields or school , most of the women dressed in stunning traditional embroidered clothes, headdresses dripping with silver.
As we arrived at our delightful hostel the heavens opened in a tropical deluge. This passed quickly leaving the roads awash with rocks, waterfalls and debris. We left again to visit the famous Dragon’s Mouth a viewing platform of the Rice Terraces and we awaited the sunset. No-one told us that the 15 minute or so walk was down hundreds of steps.- 406 to be precise- Peter counted them. After the sunset we had to walk up them again in the growing twilight and then drive 17kms back to our hostel along more cobbled, and impossibly windy roads. Not to worry the views were well worth the effort.
We arrived in the dark and went straight to dinner at a local restaurant and were treated to some local delicacies such as deep fried river shrimps, pork dishes, tree flowers – kapok(used to stuff pillows) which tasted like chewy seaweed and look like a type of garden moss and the piece de resistance were water critters that were alive when we entered but were cooked especially for us they looked like giant termites with 6 legs and big body and head with pincers. – yummy when stirfried… bit crunchy but full of protein.
Another table of very friendly Chinese treated us to many toasts and a special song and dance routine. It was so noisy we didn’t hear the torrents of rain falling on the roof. A quick dash to the car and brief drive to the hostel which had fabulous accommodation.
Up early in the morning to view the sunrise didn’t happen because the clouds were so thick and low we couldn’t even see our car in the car park.
The 90km journey back to the main highway on cobbled, steeply descending roads (no safety barriers), blanketed in such thick fog and clouds visibility was no more than 10mts, if that. Peter was the leader and he inched his way down, once again avoiding the herds of water buffalo, ducks, chickens, dogs, cows, workers venturing off for the day. The mountains have many different varieties of conifer growing on them along with banana plantations and other tropical/alpine plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons.
After reaching the bottom the clouds disappeared and we were on our way North to Luo Ping.
We have masses of photos but each one takes so long to download when I can I will put together a gallery for you all to have a look.