Pick-up time was 8:30 and without breakfast I was on the mini bus to the rice terraced fields of Longji. There was one other person also traveling alone so I sat next to him. Jonathan from Mexico was my travel companion for the day.
We had our first stop at the Huangluo Yao village to see a show from the long-haired women. Apparently they even made it into the Book of World Records. These women only cut their hair once in their life namely at 16. Then they let it grow and show themselves in three different hairstyles. The unmarried ones cover it. The married ones with children have a bun in front and the married ones without children wear it in some snail style. Not sure what good the differentiation into with/without children does, but to each its own.
At first we saw a dance show and then they presented the hair. We were told that even the older women still have dark hair because they wash it with rice water (or so). It seemed weird and unrealistic but they all had dark hair. So either they color it (which I doubt in a way after seeing the village) or there is some higher truth behind the rice water story.
From there we went for a local lunch. Jonathan was vegetarian (same as Sylvia) and he told me that his main staple on his trip was rice and potatoes. It really didn’t help that he was also picky with the vegetables. Lunch for me was as usual a tasty affair.
After lunch we took the local bus up to the Longji village to see the rice terraces. The driver must have been a frustrated race car driver because it was one hell of a ride. Still we arrived in one piece at the village and took the cable car to the top.
We were told that only this village had the rice terraces flooded so it was much nicer to look at. And of course the cable car was not included in the tour price. The Chinese really know how to do business. No wonder they will rule the world soon.
Anyway, it was beautiful from the top. Too bad that the weather was not in top form.
We also did a picture with two Hungarian sisters from our tour and asked a Chinese guy to take it. You couldn’t count to two and suddenly there was a crowd of Chinese people looking and taking pictures of us. I still wonder what they do with these.
The walk down was steep and long and I was very glad that we had taken the cable car to go up. It took us at least 90 minutes to get down to the village again. Just imagine you have to work here and scurry up and down all day long. But the scenery was worth it. It was very beautiful on the way down. Then we were again on the local bus, this time with a calmer driver and soon after on the mini bus into the city.
Jonathan and I asked to be dropped off at the night market. With only an hour to kill before it started it was better to stay in the center than go back to the hostel and meet later again. The night market though was not much to write home about. I didn’t find anything and since Jonathan was not much of an eater we said goodbye rather sooner. I had my dinner then on the way to the hostel in a soup kitchen. I felt really bold because the meat in the soup was unidentifiable (and not just visual). Yours, Pollybert