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January 24, 2014
Creative Living
Old China at its Best
by Dian Thomas

About five years ago I went to China and stayed in a little village in the south for six weeks. The village was just outside of Guilin, in Guangi Providence.

Some of my friends asked me if I wanted to go to one of their favorite spots in China. It was not long before we took a half-day taxi ride far into the mountains to the Longi Rice Terraces.

When I arrived I could not believe what I saw. I was surprised that our tours did not go there.

All photos by Ernie Smith

When I talked to Henry, who is our main guide in Beijing, I learned that he had not been there either. I told him we had to add this to our tours. There was a long pause and then he said, "I think it is too hard for Americans to climb up to the terraces."

I figured if I could make it, then at least 90 percent of our travelers could. The other 10 percent could be carried the mile up the mountain in sedan chairs.

It was not long before it was on our regular schedule, and now hundreds of our travelers have gone up the mountain to see the "real old China."

When you arrive at the village, the first thing you will notice is that there are no cars and no roads. The rice terraces were built more than 500 years ago and have been farmed ever since. When our guests look back at their trip after visiting the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall, more than sixty percent tell me this was the highlight of their visit to China.

As you enjoy this photo essay, remember all the building materials were carried up the mountain on the backs of small donkeys -- just the way the tourists were carried who were not able to walk for themselves.

When people die they are buried in the mountainside with stones that cover the tomb.

Here is a mountainside memorial. People are born on the mountain, die on the mountain, and remain there after they die.


If you are interested in going to China and seeing the rice terraces send me an email and I will send you more information about our tours that go the Rice Terraces. Send it to

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