my final hike back to ping’an from nine dragons & five tigers…and back to nanning

Sunday, June 28:  After seeing all I can see of Nine Dragons and Five Tigers, I start to make my way to back to my hostel in Ping’An.   I can see the village ahead of and below me, and the gorgeous rice terraces laid out neatly below me.

the walk back to Ping'An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

the walk back to Ping’An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

Every once in a while I pass Chinese tourists along the path, or I see them walking ahead of me, but luckily it isn’t too crowded.

the path back

the path back

view of Ping'An from the terraces

view of Ping’An from the terraces

view of Ping'An from the terraces

view of Ping’An from the terraces

looking down on the rice terraces

looking down on the rice terraces

the walk back to Ping'An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

the walk back to Ping’An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

the walk back to Ping'An

the walk back to Ping’An

the walk back to Ping'An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

the walk back to Ping’An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

the walk back to Ping'An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

the walk back to Ping’An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

I see a few farmers along the way, walking along the terrace edges, doing what they do best.

a farmer on the rice terraces

a farmer on the rice terraces

I pass a vendor, a Zhuang woman selling various textiles, at this isolated spot along the trail.

a vendor along the way

a vendor along the way

looking back from where I came

looking back from where I came

the farmer on the terraces

the farmer on the terraces

the walk back to Ping'An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

the walk back to Ping’An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

After passing by the most dramatic terraces, the path takes me along the edge of a mountain, where ferns and flowers are growing with exuberance.

the walk back to Ping'An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

the walk back to Ping’An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

through the woods

through the woods

ferns along the path

ferns along the path

buds along the path

buds along the path

buds along the path

buds along the path

After emerging from the wooded area, I can see Ping’An below me.

the walk back to Ping'An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

the walk back to Ping’An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

the walk back to Ping'An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

the walk back to Ping’An from Nine Dragons & Five Tigers

looking down on the rice terraces approaching Seven Stars with Moon

looking down on the rice terraces approaching Seven Stars with Moon

looking down on the way to Seven Stars with Moon

looking down on the way to Seven Stars with Moon

cornstalks along the path

cornstalks along the path

I continue walking until I reach a lookout point that is on the other side of the village, looking over Seven Stars with Moon.

vendors along the path

vendors along the path

overlooking Seven Stars with Moon

overlooking Seven Stars with Moon

overlooking Seven Stars with Moon

overlooking Seven Stars with Moon

overlooking Seven Stars with Moon

overlooking Seven Stars with Moon

As it’s almost time for me to catch the bus back to Guilin, I continue through the village and back to my hostel.

back in the village of Ping'An

back in the village of Ping’An

Ping'An

Ping’An

a Chinese building along the way

a Chinese building along the way

Back at the hostel, I gather my bags and make my way 20 minutes down the mountain to the entrance of Ping’An Village.  I have bought a few souvenirs while here, so my backpack is rather heavy now.  I get on one of the two buses that leave daily from Ping’An directly to the Guilin Railway Station; it leaves at 2:00 p.m.  The only other direct bus left at 9:00 a.m., but if I had taken that one, I wouldn’t have had much time at the terraces!

On the bus, I talk during most of the trip to a young man from Stuttgart, Germany who has been studying in Beijing for his thesis on water storage and flooding control and is now taking a month to travel around China.  His favorite destination was a place in southern Sichuan near Tibet.

The bus ride to Guilin seems very short.  I expected it to be 3 hours and it’s only about 2 1/2 hours, meaning I arrive at the Guilin Railway Station before 4:30.  This means of course that, since my train to Nanning doesn’t leave until 8:10 p.m., I have to wait in the train station for over 3 1/2 hours, an excruciatingly boring and uncomfortable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  It seems like an eternity.  I could have gone out to explore someplace in Guilin if I’d had a place to store my heavy backpack filled to the brim with souvenirs!

The fast train from Guilin to Nanning only has one or two stops, depending on which train you are on.  I always think it’s funny when this announcement comes on as we approach a stop: “Passengers who do not reach their destination cannot get off.”  Of course, there is no one to stop people from getting off if they want to, so of course the announcement should be: “Passengers who have not reached their destination should not get off.”  I laugh every time I hear this announcement on Chinese trains. 🙂  I arrive back in Nanning at 10:40 p.m. and then catch a bus back to the university, arriving home after 11 p.m. after a tiring day of travel.  This is way past my bedtime, but it was well worth the trip to see the rice terraces one last time before leaving China.

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Categories: Asia, China, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Longsheng County, Nine Dragons & Five Tigers, Ping'An Village, Seven Stars with Moon, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “my final hike back to ping’an from nine dragons & five tigers…and back to nanning

  1. The terraces are truly a sight to behold. Every photo I see makes me wonder how people manage to stand upright on such steep hills full of water.

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    • Thanks, Gilly. I think they’re amazing too. I wonder how the farmers do it too. It must be backbreaking labor, and I did see some older farmers permanently hunched over.

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  2. Wonderful post Cathy. I so wanted to visit the Longji terraces, but just couldn’t fit it into our China itinerary. Thank you for this virtual visit 🙂

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    • Thanks, Madhu. I’m sorry you missed the rice terraces as I thought they were the best of China. I’ve also heard there are some amazing ones in the south of Yunnan province, but the only way to get there is 8 hours by bus from Kunming. I just could never get the energy and fortitude to tackle that trip. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have so enjoyed seeing these rice terraces with you Cathy. The landscape is simply amazing. I’m so glad you went back.

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    • Thanks so much, Carol. I’m glad I went back too. I loved the views when the terraces were green and filled with water as opposed to in November, when I went the first time, and they were brown and the rice had already been harvested. Both were interesting but I liked the green version better. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Goodbye to Ping’an! It was lovely to meet you. And your pretty little blue flowers too 🙂

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  5. Amazing images, Cathy. The one thing that strikes me about most of your posts is that you do these trips by yourself. Is it considered totally safe for a woman to be on her own in such remote places? Coming from Africa, I find this really incredible. 😕

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  6. These have been lovely posts.

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  7. I have enjoyed every one of your photos of this trip to the rice terraces – it is a stunning place.

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  8. I’m so jealous…stunningly beautiful landscape – and photos! I love the texture of the trees in the distance in the second photo, the path through the woods, the shimmer on the terraces. I wonder what the blue flower is – looks similar to milkweeds in its’ structure. I’m glad you showed the way Ping An nestles into the folds of the hills, and the people working the terraces – and I can see the sky reflected in the water, too. The beautiful way distant mountains fade into haze is – maybe due to pollution?
    Can’t blame you for loading down your pack with souvenirs.
    One of my favorite travel surprises was a very long layover in DC. I WAS able to stash my luggage in the airport, allowing me to go into the city and visit the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery. That very day monks from Tibet were completing a sand mandala – I just came across them, utterly by chance. It was magic. But without a place to get rid of my bag it wouldn’t have happened.

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    • Thanks so much, Lynn. It was a stunning landscape and I was lucky to be able to go there twice during my year in China, once in November, after the harvest, and then again in summer when the water was in the terraces. I think you’re right; that must be milkweed! As for the haze, I think it is partly due to pollution, but also Guangxi province is subtropical and very moist and hazy in general.

      You’re lucky you were able to keep your bags in the airport to go out and explore during your DC layover, and what a magical experience to see the Tibetan monks creating the sand mandala.

      I had explored some of Guilin before, but still, I’m sure there was something I could have done if I hadn’t had to lug my bag all over!

      Thanks for dropping by and for your kind comment. 🙂

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  9. This landscape is amazing! Hope my family and I can visit one day! Thanks for sharing, light and love, Shona

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  10. There is something very extraordinary about rice field terraces. And you captured them beautifully in these photos.

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  11. What a hike that must have been, the photos you have of the rice terraces are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Carlygolightly. It was an amazing couple of days of hiking. It was the one place in China I would love to keep returning to. I also hear there are marvelous terraces in the south of Yunnan province, but they’re remote and difficult to get to! Thanks for dropping by and commenting. 🙂

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  12. Amazing photos Cathy and they will be a wonderful reminder of your time there.

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  13. Great post 🙂 This place looks so serene and beautiful

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