Posted by: rob | July 12, 2007

Longsheng rice terraces, China

Spent the day on the first organised tour of our whole trip (minibus of 10 people) visiting Chinese ethnic minorities and the Longji rice terraces near Longsheng. The name for the local mountains means “Dragons Backbone” in Chinese and given the way our crazy driver drove he thought it would wake up at any moment.

The extreme rice terraces here at Ping’An rise many hundreds of metres and there are thousands of actual terraces. It is a sight to behold. While it is inundated with tourists, there are offshoot paths to escape them.

Even without the rice terraces, Ping’An is a pretty little village. All the houses are three stories high and are built of wood alone – no nails, steel, or concrete.

The photo of the women show the Mao minority group in a nearby village (Ping’An is a Zhuang village). The Mao minority is peculiar for the fact that the women have long hair, really long hair. On average it is 6 feet long. They keep their hair bundled on their head in up to three bundles. They cut it off once at 18 upon reaching adulthood. They bundle this up every day. The second bundle is the hair they comb out or falls off and they collect this each day for rebundling. Finally the natural head of hair is the third bundle. Various bundle shapes indicate whether they are married and if they have children. Oh, and there is not a single gray hair in the village. The don’t just do this for tourists, every woman we saw wore their hair like this. Historically, the women would only show their hair to husbands but for tourisms sake they let us in on the great unbundling. We were treated to a performance where they show other aspects of the culture. eg, They show affection by “pinching butts”. What a crazy society, we thought it was great.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: