As I mentioned in my last post, the reason I decided to go to Guilin, was because I saw the view from the airplane window last time I went to China. When I got home, I did some research and I found out that Guilin was especially famous for its rice terrace fields. One of them, called Longji, was a three hour bus ride from Guilin, so that was next on my adventure-schedule.
Up up up the road went, first by bus, then on foot. A climb up the terraces and through the villages. The cable car would have taken me to the top, but I decided to walk. The road led me through several beautiful villages where the local people were living by building their own houses and growing their own food. The men were out working on the fields, the ladies fed the chickens, watched over the house and children and sold water and homemade many-coloured carpets to tourists. They were all wearing the same costume, a beautiful dress in pink and black.
One local lady sat on a hillside with all her merchandises, trying to tempt everybody passing her. I had to sit down, I was tired and the air was so moist, my Norwegian lungs were clearly not used to that kind of climate at all.
The lady thought everything was “piaoliang”, which is the Chinese word for beautiful.
I was beautiful, the view was beautiful, and a silver bracelet she had was especially beautiful. So beautiful in fact that I should buy it… And I did… Stupid tourist. But I loved it, so it was ok. In return I was allowed to take a few pictures of her. PIAOLIANG.
After chugging a bottle of water, the climb could continue. I was sweating like a maniac; which was extremely amusing to all the Chinese people running down.
It was a battle to get to the top. I don’t think anybody I met thought: “Oh wow, she’s fit, she’s probably training kung fu every day.”
“Wo lei ma (are you tired)?” They asked.
“WO HEN LEI” (I’m very tired)! I panted back.
Even though the view was breathtaking, my photography heart was again a little bit broken, because I felt I was not able to make the surroundings justice with my photos. The smog was covering the fields, so the famous view of the sun reflected in the water was nowhere to be seen. To come in the beginning of April was maybe not the best idea either. A month later and it would have been completely different. Ah well, I guess I just have to come back some time... How I would love to live in one of those villages for a while.