Magical, massive, magnificent—endless terraces in a sea of clouds is a sight to behold. Not foreign to rice terraces, I found myself awed by the vastness and intricacy of the Yuanyang terraces, now the 45th World Heritage Site in China. Breathtaking after breathtaking scenes came before us as we drew closer to the center.
Regarded as the core of the Hani Terraces, where its ancestors settled 2,500 years ago.
In its steep mountains and challenging terrain, the Hani people struggled and succeeded in growing rice. Their creativity turned this mountain into one artistic beauty that has placed Yuanyang on the map for impressive rice paddy terracing.
With an area of 28,000 acres, it is similar to the Banaue terraces of my country but on a grander scale.
Three major scenic spots is a must. Scattered in different places, the terraces exhibit different tones and hues depending on the season and time of day. When we were there (in April), the terraces, still filled with water, glows from the sun’s ray.
So different from the one I am familiar with. It is stunning.
Laohuzui. The biggest Hani rice terraces listed in the World Cultural Heritage Site and ideal for sunset shots.
It has 2 viewing areas, the higher deck closer to the road and a lower one closer to the terraces. Both views are lovely depending on how you want to capture its grandiosity.
Bada. It has one of the biggest collections of terraces, and any angle is snap-worthy.
From top to bottom, the terraces is said to be 3,900 steps.
Duoyishu. Surrounded by mountains on 3 sides and a valley on the east, it makes for a beautiful sunrise scene.
The terraces, still filled with water, unveils the reflection of the soft golden sky just coming to light underneath a sea of clouds.
From our beautiful guesthouse, Flower Residence, it was just t a 20-minute walk to the viewing deck.
And speaking or our guesthouse, we stayed in a charming boutique hotel in a village called Pugao Laozhai.
Large glass windows to enjoy the fantastic view, wood everywhere, good food, combined with wonderful hosts CC and his uncle (who cooked fabulous meals)
—is a formula sure to impress me, no doubt. A place where one can be happy to just hang out, I wish I had booked more than just a night.
Yuanyang is 2 more hours south from Jianshiu and definitely worth the road trip. A little piece of heaven with spectacular rice terraces so grand it almost guarantees poster-worthy shots at any angle.