Month: August 2018

Tegalalang Village and Its Beautiful Rice Terraces: Discovering Bali’s Most Important Resource

Tegalalang Village is a beautiful place that offers travelers much to see during a stay in Bali. This charming region is recognized as one of the most popular tourist sites in the entire country. The village can be found north of the town of Ubud. The area is one of the most important cultural and arts centers in Bali. This is reflected in charming Tegalalang Village.

Exploring Tegalalang Village

Tegalalang Village is a wonderful place to look for unique souvenirs. Skilled locals create an array of amazing hand crafted items. These include gorgeous wood carvings that are fashioned into a wide range of products. Each is lightweight and generally economically priced so visitors can find a good value on beautiful merchandise if they know how to shop. Vendors setup along both sides of the road so passersby can browse their wares.

Make sure you leave enough time to see the village before heading to what some consider to be the most significant attraction in the area: the famous rice terraces.

See What Makes Bali Rice Terraces So Beautiful

While the shopping and culture in Tegalalang Village is well worth exploring, the rice fields are what usually motivate so many travelers to see this part of Bali. The terraces offer a breathtaking view of a small river valley with verdant coconut trees.

The view may be a little different depending on what time of year you visit. During the growing season, the rice fields are regularly flooded. Irrigation systems are built into the landscape to control water flow and make sure that the plants get the moisture they need to thrive. Many healthy rice terraces are served by a single manual dam system.

A variety of natural hues come together to create a captivating scene that features deep green shades and the clear blue sky. Visitors should remember to bring their cameras because this is an area you will want to photograph! Not only are the rice terraces visually stunning, they are also a symbolic part of traditional Bali.

Rice Terraces and the Balinese Community

Rice fields have been a part of Bali for more than 2,000 years. Long ago, farmers would use primitive hand tools to sculpt the land and nurture the growth of their staple crop. Many generations have continued this tradition to produce food and reinforce the diligent, hardworking spirit of their forebears.

The terraces were also an important part of the community. Mini-societies would work in the terraces to help ensure that the irrigation system was fairly managed. The cooperative approach also allows farmers to harvest up to three crops each year.

While admiring the rice terraces, travelers should also consider what has gone into their upkeep. This vital local resource has helped bring the community together while supplying a key food source for those who live in Bali. The Tegalalang Village rice terraces are particularly eye-catching and help capture the spirit and beauty of this fascinating country.

 

Trekking Adventures Through the Longji Rice Terraces

Built 500 years ago during the Ming dynasty, the Longji rice terraces, located in Longsheng county 2 hrs. from Guilin, are a masterful as well as beautiful testament to human ingenuity. Carved into the sides of steep, fertile hills, these narrow, miniature rice fields appear from above like glistening scales covering some gigantic ancient beast, hence the name “Longji,” Dragon’s Ridge.” A trip to this region provides unforgettable hiking opportunities as well as authentic cultural encounters.

Every season offers a unique perspective of the fields. In spring, the terraced fields are full of rainwater sparkling in the sun. Summer brings a lush verdure to the fields; the autumn harvest looks out upon a landscape of bronze and gold, while in winter the steep hills are accented by sheets of glimmering snow and ice.

Begin your visit in the Zhuang minority village of Ping An. Despite a strong tourist element, this village still retains its charmingly unique character. Crazily-constructed wooden stilt buildings ascend hillsides too steep for rice cultivation. Narrow, winding cobblestone streets take you past idyllic scenes of village life: chickens foraging in kitchen gardens, colorfully-dressed locals chatting in doorways.

There are a number of trails leading from Ping An to the summit of the hillside, from where you can look down upon the spectacular arrangement of the rice fields. The two main viewing points are fancifully called “Nine Dragons and Five Tigers” and “Seven Stars with Moon.” Both of these are well-marked and circle back to the village in a trek that takes about 1.5 hours.

A more intensive but definitely rewarding hike is the three hour hike between Ping An and the less-touristy Yao village of Dazhai. Trekking through the rugged terrain, you’ll come across numerous vantage points opening out onto gorgeous vistas of meandering terraces and bucolic country scenes. Stop by one of the villages along the way to sample the local cuisine. A simple but tasty traditional fare consists of rice, vegetables, meat and spices stuffed into a hollowed bamboo core, then sealed and cooked over a fire.

On the way, you’re likely to encounter some of the friendliness and hospitality particular to this region. Look out for Yao women at work in the rice fields, plowing with horses and oxen. You’ll recognize them by their black and pink embroidered jackets, black turbans, and the baskets of tools on their backs. Young Yao ladies take great pride in displaying their rich and terrifically long hair which can be up to 6 feet in length! For the price of RMD 10-20 they will happily show it off and pose for photos.

Once in Dazhai, take some time to admire the two-story wooden farmhouses and stone steps leading to country roads. If you spend the night, it’s definitely worth your while to wake up with the rising sun. The view of the village shrouded in the early morning mist drifting up from the valley is truly unforgettable.

 

The Mysterious Minority Village and Terraced Rice Fields

Guilin is a glamorous scenic city in the southwest of China. It is famous for picturesque Karst mountains and the Li River. It has been the most inspiring place for Chinese poets and artists for thousands of years. The beauty of Guilin has been prized by generations to generations. There is an old Chinese saying to eulogize its amazing natural beauty: “Guilin’s beauty is the best under heaven”. However, many people don’t know about is that Guilin’s beauty is not limited in the City, the countryside and the surrounding ethnic minority villages are even more breathtaking.

One of the most spectacular ethnic minority villages close by Guilin is Longji, 100km away in 2 hours driving. Longji in Chinese means “dragon’s spine”. Many “Zhuang”, “Yao”, “Miao” minority groups are living here today. They are living in the traditional wooden and bamboo houses sited on the side of mountains. 3,280 feet high on the mountains are Longji Terraced Rice Fields where is the oldest, the most famous, awe-inspiring, and continuously farmed rice terraces in China. The rice terrace has the history of more than 600 years. It was first constructed in Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) and completed in early Qing Dynasty (1644). The Longji people are very hardworking and intelligent. When they first settled here, there is no place for them to grow crops. In order to survive, they brilliantly terraced the mountain sides, and grew rice on each small flattened surface. With their perseverance and adherence, they created the incredible Longji Terraced Rice Field.

The fields cover an area of over 66 square kilometers. How marvelous it is! The terraced rice fields looks like a dragon’s scales, while the summit of the fields is just like the backbone of the dragon. If you standing on a mountain top, you will the mountain ridges extending like a lively giant Chinese Dragon wilding on the earth. This is why people called here as the Longji Terraced Rice Field.

The most exciting thing is that the scenery of the Longji rice terrace is changed with seasons. In spring, all parts of the terrace are full of the rainwater, with the refection of the sunshine it looks like mirrors. You could see the blue sky and the fluffy clouds in the “mirror”. Local people called it the “mirror terrace”. In summer, you will see the rice plumule became maturity, just like the small green forests. Autumn is the harvest season. Most of the rice is waiting for peasants reaping. However, that doesn’t mean you can not see anything at this time, on the contrary, you will amazed seeing the “golden pagoda” on the mountain. That’s really spectacular! The charming of the rice terrace will not stop in winter, if you visit here at this time, the whole mountain will be covered with snow. Just like a white dragon lying on the mountain. So when you decide to come here you need not to worry about the seasons. If you have time you may come here anytime.

Longji has a lot more to see except the rice terrace. The ethnic minority culture here is impressive too. Longji is a land lives various ethnic groups. When you arrive at this mysterious land, it is like visiting a live museum of China’s ethnic minority groups. On the top of the mountains you would meet the Yao ethnic group. Yao women are especially skilled in embroidery, weaving and dying. Silver are their favorite jewelries. When you are walking in the countryside or hiking in this area, you will always meet women with heavy silver earrings. More amazingly, Yao women dress their tremendously long hairs like big hats. This has been listed in the Guinness Book of World’s Records. Besides the Yao People, you would also meet the Zhuang and Miao minority people. Each of the ethnic groups has its own language, music, food, custom, and costumes. It’s really a wonderful place to go and see.

 

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