We left the hostel after a good night sleep and got on the bus to see the Pingâ€™ an Rice Terraces. It was a couple of hours drive to get there. Met some people from Europe, South Africa, and Spain and chatted a lot during the ride. We could not go all the way up in the bus because the road was too narrow. We had to unload and then get into smaller busses operated by the â€˜Longshen village peopleâ€™. The small bus scooted up the mountain side, whizzing around the hair pin turns. We were happy when we got out alive at the base of the Pingâ€™ an village. From there we climbed up on foot. We really enjoy the views and the people. The first order of business was to have lunch. We ate bamboo rice and bamboo chicken for lunch at one of the restaurant .
It was cooked by stuffing the rice or chicken into the hollow portion of a piece of bamboo, and then roasting the bamboo over a fire. At the table they broke open the bamboo and we ate, it was yummy. After lunch we continued to hike up to the top ridge of the mountain chain. The walk around the ridge with beautiful views of the rice fields and village below was awesome. It was a treat to see the old women carrying baskets full of wood on their hunched backs on there way back from a morning of foraging. There were others working in the rice patties, thrashing the rice. This was no show, it was great. It would have been good to have more time there, Fern had warned us that we would like it and should plan to spend at least one night in the village. We couldnâ€™t manage to fit it into our plan (and it would have been arduous to carry the luggage up that slope.
Chicken and Rice - cooked in bamboo
On the way down we got a laugh, a group of fat tourists had arrived and were being carried up the hill on something like rickshaws, but without the wheels. The localâ€™s charged by the kilo! There were numerous people trying to sell stuff, one of the more interesting things were the dried geckos! We told the girl selling them that we would give her 5 RMB to eat one. She declined (they are poisonous and were being sold for their medicinal value)! We made it back down the mountain safely and boarded our bus again. The bus stopped near Longsheng so that we could walk around the village a little bit. We had to cross a suspension bridge, it was very wobbly. A Chinese girl in front of us almost went into hysterics trying to cross.
a hard life
We got back about 5:15.
It was a good trip. We went out in search of dinner and wondered into a local fast service restaurant. Nothing was in English and we were about to give up on it when Monica spotted the dim-sum trolley and found out that you could pay her directly. We pigged out on dim-sum, trying just about every variety that she had on her cart. I think that the waitress had as much fun serving us as we had eating and experiencing all the different flavors. After gorging ourselves, we headed back to the hostel and drank a few beers while we talked more with Meryl, the girl from South Africa. We tried to buy tickets online to go to Shanghai, but the agency would not let us pay with a credit card unless it was at least 24 hours in advance. We had to go to a nearby travel agent to order the tickets. They wanted to charge us more and we had to haggle for a long time before we were able to get the internet price. We then crossed over to the Sheraton and withdrew cash from their ATM so that we would be able to pay for the tickets the next morning.