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China - Longji (Dragon's Backbone rice terraces)

Written on: Tuesday February 17th, 2009

Thank goodness we actually made it here (to see the fog). At times we thought we might end up flying down the side of the mountain in our minibus. The driver was an actual lunatic with a death-wish hurtling round the hairpin bends with cliff edges and no barriers.

Longji means dragon's backbone, as a description of the landscape created 500 years ago.

We stayed at a guest house, which a local woman, Mong, owned in Ping'an village for one night. It was thick with fog, cold, and there was no heating. But she was very welcoming and made delicious food.

On the first day we had a little walk through the village and could just about make out a few cockerels, a few very young children soaking some mushrooms, and a dog with its throat slit having its fur blowtorched off. There were a lot of dogs (all the same breed, but not sure what) roaming the village along with the chickens and pigs - all reared for food. The streets of Longji are mostly just narrow steps cut into the mountain, and a few level paths. We saw a few farmers leading a cow, or a donkey up and down these steps.

The next morning we set off up the mountain to the highest point where at least we could warm up with a cup of tea (unlimited fills as usual) and waited over an hour for absolutely nothing. The fog/clouds did not clear.

On our way down we actually managed to see a small amount for about 10 minutes before the clouds came over again.

Longji is a beautiful place though.

N.

(A Mong Jia's guesthouse - highly recommended)