我在山中餐廳看到他們用泰國米，便開玩笑跟 Kim 說，鬼斧神工的梯田，全為遊客而運作，不為食用，看來離事實不遠。不過，山中的竹筒飯，即叫即燒，等半小時，臘肉糯米加竹香，配上梯田美景，管他甚麼鬼斧「人」工或是進口稻米，我們一連兩晚食過返尋味。
路上有不少長髮婆婆開的小食亭，瑤族女性從 12、13 歲開始蓄髮，將頭髮在額前盤出一個髻。重點是不論老幼，我們都看不到一絲白髮。除羅漢果外，洗髮精是龍脊另一樣受歡迎的「土產」。
Lost in the Longji Rice Terrace/Kimberlogic
Starting from Guilin, we took a two hours bus ride to the rice terraces of Longji. The bus ride only brought us to the main road near the entrance gate of the three main Terraces. From there, we had to take two different mini buses. The last bus dropped us at the bottom of the mountain in the small village of Dayau Zhai. From the village we had to hike up the mountain for 30 minutes to our hostel at the very top.
Since this terrace was only recently opened to tourist compared to the other two, there were fewer people and not much to do or see in the village. The sun was bright and hot that day and our bags were heavy, but we managed to climb a great distance before we realized that the road in front of us had not been finished yet. We had been following a large track and missed the small footpath, so we had to go back down the mountain to find the path.
Once we found the footpath, it was another steep climb in the blazing sun. We reached a small shelter where a local couple was selling crystalized honeycomb. We sat down to take a rest and that’s when we saw we were on the wrong mountain. I felt like giving up, I was so tired and burning hot. Being that deep in nature, giving up was not an option. There was nowhere else to go, or to stay, we had to find our way. The woman told us to go all the way down the mountain and start over, but the man told us about a small path that locals use to get over to the next mountain.
He told us to go slow and keep looking over the cliff to see the path because it was difficult to find. After crossing over two landslides and searching for a way to safely get down to the path, we were finally on the right track again. The 30 minutes hike took us two and a half hours, but when we finally reached our hostel the view made all of our frustration disappear.
Our hostel was an old wooden house on the edge of the mountain. Every window had an amazing view of the terraces. Since everything was wood (the floor, walls, ceiling and stairs etc.), every step we took made a loud creaking sound, so we had to tip toe while walking inside. Since everyone stayed at our hostel tried to be extra quiet, it added to the atmosphere and the serenity of the mountains.
We were so deep in the mountains with very few people and beautiful scenery, I found it hard to believe I was in China. The rice terraces were lush green with the sound of trickling water, we sat for hours just staring at this magnificent sight. Once the sun went down and the view disappeared, the mountains came to life. The sounds of all of the creatures from horses to insects were so loud, yet peaceful, I felt like the mountain was a living creature.
After a few days of exploring and relaxing high up in the mountains, it was time to come back down and move to our next destination. This time we found the correct path straight away and the walk down was a breeze.