When we returned to our hostel one evening the receptionist asked us if we wanted to join a tour to Dazhai the next day. We said yes without thinking long about it. We hadn’t really planned to see the rice terraces, since we’ve been told it had already been harvested and therefore lost some of it’s beauty. But when the opportunity arose we thought, why not, give it a go.
I am so happy we did it, because it turned out amazing. It was hard work, too, first a two-and-a-half-hour-drive in a not really comfortable and slightly overcrowded minibus. When we finally arrived, it started raining. And it didn’t stop the whole day. Never mind, we got ourselves some rain ponchos from a shop at the parking lot (slightly too short for me, of course, especially the arms…) and off we went.
We, that was a small but international tourist group: Howard and Swetlana from New York (Swetlana was originally from Belarus), Chloe and Matthew from Canada (the second couple we’ve met on this trip from Quebec), LinBei aka BB from China, (Zhoushan, south of Shanghai) and us with our German/English background. Our driver had given us a route to walk, which we kind of followed.
The area is huge, and not always conclusively signposted, so we took a wrong turn every now and then. But with either GPS, common sense or BB asking the locals for the way we found back to our path. It felt slightly off season, we didn’t see a lot of other people on our way. Many restaurants, food stalls and shops we passed were closed. We found one open restaurant, and stopped there for an extended lunch break. We were the only guests there. Still had to wait more than half an hour for our eggs with tomatoes or peppers. But it was quite delicious, so worth the wait.
When we got back to the parking lot we were quite exhausted and more or less soaking wet – I was at least. But it was absolutely worth it, the fields are amazing, and the clouds wafting over the terraces make it even more atmospheric. And we met some great people!
Need more proof? Have a look: