Yuanyang was my final stop in China, and sadly due to time constraints I only had a full day and two nights there. Yuanyang is an area, rather than an actual town or village. Buses arrive and leave from the largest (and only) town, Xinjie, and from there I took a bumpy, 30-minute minivan ride to my guesthouse in Duoyishu village.
The following morning I was awake unnaturally early so I could make it to the closest ‘viewing platform’ for sunrise. This, luckily, was only a ten minute walk from my guesthouse; however it was still done in darkness, through a tiny village and past several wild dogs and pet buffaloes. I made it in time but my efforts were wasted as I stood in the cold waiting for a non-existent sun to rise.
Realising at around this time that I had run out of money and that the nearest ATM was back in Xinjie village, I worked out the fastest walking route from Duoyishu through the rice fields – a relatively lengthy hike of five hours. The rest of my day continued as my morning started, and I found myself lost in amongst over 2,000 square kilometres of crops. The fields I wandered through were clearly not made for tourists – I battled through long grass and large spider webs, across a small (but pretty deep) river, past angry guard dogs and up and down muddy rocks, and after the first couple of hours ran out of path entirely. With only an hour left until sunset (and having been hiking for several hours longer than expected) I finally found my exit through a local village, where I was met by curious children and farming animals.
The photos below are from my utterly scary, but definitely worth it, hike (literally) through Yuanyang Rice Terraces.