Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces – a Photo Blog

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.

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

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.

Baby Water Buffalo

Baby Water Buffalo

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.

Local Girl

Local Girl

The photos below are from my utterly scary, but definitely worth it, hike (literally) through Yuanyang Rice Terraces.

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Ducks in a Row at Yuanyang

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Blue Sky over the Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Market Ladies in Xinjie

Market Ladies in Xinjie

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Red Dragonfly

Red Dragonfly

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

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100 Days ‘Til Summer

I have realised suddenly that the days are almost into double digits and the three-month mark is closing in. My arms will soon start to feel like a hypodermic pin cushion (one injection down; ten to go). And with inoculations, bank appointments and extra work shifts, my schedule is becoming hard to manage.

Yet it will all soon be worth it. The months of working seven-day weeks, avoiding clothes shops and getting far less sleep than I need to function will definitely soon be worth it. In 100 days, I will be fleeing the beautiful Cotswolds for an altogether more terrifying – yet enticing – destination.

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I don’t have my whole trip planned out, but here is my rough itinerary for the first few months:

Starting slowly in Bangkok, I would really like to spend a few days getting to know the city. Visiting the must-see attractions and shopping at Chatuchak market are on my list, but I also plan to wander around the suburbs and along the riverbank that makes this metropolis so accessible.
Afterwards, I plan to move north to explore Ayutthaya and Sangkhlaburi, before heading nearer the Myanmar border to see a different, more rural side of Thailand.

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Following months of long working hours and desperately needing to relax, I have promised myself a summer on the Thai islands. By July/August the Andaman coast will be well into the monsoon season, so I plan to stay on Koh Tao and spend my days hiking, eating and learning to dive – a lifetime fear of mine that I’ve challenged myself to overcome.

At the end of August, China awaits. Whilst I have a few ideas and surprises lined up, from here I plan to not plan as much.

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