Longsheng Rice Terraces (The Dragon’s Backbone), Guangxi Province, China. In this era of women proving time and again that they are very much the equals of the males of our species, we are reminded of a humorous incident we experienced in remote Longsheng, China—and how impressed we were by the gracefulness and incredible abilities of these women.
At this location, expansive terraces rise abruptly from a river to some 2,600 feet above sea level. The women above are of the Yao minority group. They never cut their hair, preferring to wrap it in a bun on the top of their heads. These young women balanced our group’s heavy camera gear on the ends of bamboo poles resting across their backs. Then, in good cheer, they carried our loads up the slopes, chattering and laughing (at us?) all the while. While we struggled to catch our breath, they sang all the way to the mountaintop and back. For them, it was a walk in the park!
The Longsheng terraces are a two- to three-hour drive from Guilin, known for its dramatic karst stone landscapes. The hike to the summit requires about two hours, depending on your condition.