Some of the places I have most enjoyed visiting over the past few months have been the remote little hill towns which can only be reached by taking a minivan through a series of snake-like roads that take you round and round as you slowly ascend up the mountains. I’m not staying I enjoy getting there – that’s the part where I close my eyes, hold on to the front seat, and pray while the bus driver plays chicken with other vehicles, seemingly oblivious to the cliff on the lefthand side – however, once that is over and I am back on solid ground, these destinations are exactly my kind of place.
Like with many of the hillside towns I had previously visited (the Cameron Highlands and Sapa come to mind), getting to Longji wasn’t easy. Overturned trucks could sporadically be spotted on the side of the road and there were a few occasions where we nearly ran a pedestrian or two over. However, in spite of this, our tour guide insisted that we had nothing to worry about, “Your driver is master – 25 years driving experience!” Sure he is…
Well, we did make it to Longji in the end albeit I don’t have the photos of sweeping rice terraces to prove it. You see, by the time we finished visiting the Huangluo Yao Village (which is home to the women with the longest hair in the world!) it was high noon and the sun was scorching! Sam and I made it about halfway up the ‘dragon’s back’ (aka Longji) before we admitted defeat and settled for exploring the town which was at the halfway mark.
So today instead of rice fields, you get to see the little town of Ping’An.
Approaching the town of Ping’An on foot.
I wish I could read this and tell you what it says.
All the locals had umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun on this hot day.
A mural painting of Ping’An.
A few foreigner chose to be carried up the mountain by these strong men.
We met a little kitten who was washing himself while his little sibling slept nearby.
The town is a maze of winding staircases (oh, and there was some maize drying in the sun too!)
A close-up look at the corn kernels drying in the sun.
Red lanterns decorated this wooden structure’s facade.
The view if you only make it halfway up the mountain like we did.
Even more corn!
The rice terraces. I hear the view is spectacular once you actually reach the summit…
Great pictures, Audrey 🙂
As usual you do not disappoint with fabulous photos and your descriptions. Thanks
I can certainly see why! You captured Ping’An beautifully. Thanks for sharing.
Happy travels 🙂
Thanks Lauren. 🙂
It seems really odd to see corn in China. Not sure why. As for the Chinese characters…I can tell you the one with three horizontal lines is the number 3. That is the extent of my wisdom for today.
Haha, thanks for translating that character for me! You’re practically fluent in my books. 😉
The Chinese: 此地无银三百两
How to read it: Cǐ dì wú yín sān bǎi liǎng
What it means:
I’ll translate character-by-character so y’all can enjoy piecing together the meaning.
此 = this
地 = ground/place
无 = (is) without/doesn’t have
银 = silver
三 = three
百 = hundred
两 = Liang. A traditional unit of weight, equivalent to 50grams or 1.763 ounces.
Beyond the meaning: This is a reference to a tale where a clever individual buries his fortune then, to prevent anyone suspecting treasure may be buried here, erects a sign that reads “此地无银三百两”.
I would love climb the rice terraces, I am sure the view up there is splendid. I heard that the famous Dragon’s backbone rice terraces are found in this town.
It’s a great feeling to see that you guys have been to exactly the same places we had gone in May. The village has not changed at all since we saw it and it’s still so beautiful!
That’s because I read your posts for a bit of China travel inspiration. 😉 “Hmm, where did Agness and Cez go that looks good?” I also wanted to visit Fenghuang until I saw how far it was. I’ll hopefully save that for another time.
This looks like a truly special place. You are so blessed, Audrey!
I do feel blessed. The whole time I was in China I just kept repeating myself, “Look at this! I can’t believe we’re in China!!!” 🙂
These photos are wonderful! Your posts really make me want to travel China more thoroughly and explore the smaller towns.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from China, but I really enjoyed my brief visit to the southwestern part. I definitely want to go back in search of more little towns. 😉
SImply Stunning – I’d be hard pressed to leave such a beautiful area. Wow!
I really wish I’d had more time in China. While I didn’t enjoy the big cities, once I was out in the countryside visiting the smaller villages, it really was an enjoyable trip. 🙂
That looks absolutely stunning. Being back in Asia makes me realized that I miss being around rice fields and this one is definitely amazing!
Nothing like green rice fields to soothe the soul. 🙂
This looks like a charming and quiet place, to be visited without a hurry. The drive to get there sounds scary, though!
Most drives in Asia have been terrifying – especially when you have winding roads and a drop on the one side.
I love little Chinese towns! We saw a lot of corn drying in Yunnan, too, but couldn’t figure out why. Animal feed perhaps? That sign might be a store name and address. Two of the top characters are for ‘earth’ and ‘silver’ while the bottom ones read ‘three hundred two’.
Ooo, thanks for translating! I’m impressed by your skills! 😉
I would have stopped halfway too – that town looks super charming! So much corn!
I didn’t realize there was so much corn until I started going back through my pictures. 😉
There’s rarely a bus ride in Asia where I’m not closing my eyes and griping the seat in front of me. From Hong Kong to Thailand and even in Japan, all the drivers I get seem to think they’re pro and love to play chicken!
Also, it’s so weird to see corn since we don’t have any here in HK!
I love the look of this village. Still looks so traditional. Reminds me of the hilltribe villages in Nepal.
They also reminded me a bit of the hill tribes I met in Sapa, which are quite close to the border with China. 🙂
Absolutely stunning! Your posts makes me feel like i can fly to my dream country China
That looks awesome! I love the picture of the guys walking with the chair.
looks awesome! I love all these little towns. Would love to see the village with the longest haired women too
If you ever go back stay in Tian Tou Zhai instead. This place is a beautiful hike up through the rice terraces and was an amazing place to stay. I think you could walk here from Ping’An but we had a storm a day while we were there which stopped us from trying out the path. This was one of my favourites places I visited when I spent a year in China.