P197H – Karsts in Rice Fields – Yangshuo, China

Probably one of my most memorable trips was my trip to the south eastern area of mainland China. I’ve been to China several times but was particularly looking forward to visiting the Guilin area. Other than my initial two days, I really had no idea where I was going or how I was going to get there. For some people this would certainly not be an acceptable traveling option, but photographers, well, we are a different breed.

I ended up in the small town of Yangshuo, about 60 clicks south of Guilin. This is certainly a labor town, although I suppose all smaller villages are. While riding my bicycle, I rode past rock quarry’s where young men were manually breaking apart rocks using sledge hammers, young women carrying their daily finds in baskets, on their head, and older women plowing their fields with huge oxen. Everyone was very friendly and although I could only speak a few words of Chinese, I felt very welcome and right at home.

This photo was taken a few kilometers from the main town along one of the rivers that I followed on my bicycle dozens of times. I took several photographs in this area because I particularly liked the varying degrees of completed rice crops within the tall, deep green karasts. The land is actually owned by the government but different families are allowed to plant their crops within specific confined spaces. Naturally to keep a constant flow of food, they needed to alter their crop area into separate stages.

During my 6 week stay, I met travelers from all over the world at the local eateries and pubs. And it was so inexpensive to stay there. It turned out that I averaged spending only about $100.00 a week, for everything!

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