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nomadnorrie From Sydney to the formula 1 grand prix in Shanghai, Beijing, South Korea, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine and Europe. Final destination by train is London. Hopping on a flight to Finland, then on to Japan and finally back to Sydney.

Getting lucky in the Longsheng Rice Terraces

CHINA | Monday, 17 March 2008 | Views [5580] | Comments [6]

The local Dong minority in Longji, the women have tremendously long hair

The local Dong minority in Longji, the women have tremendously long hair


The late afternoon in Longsheng was wasted really but Josianne and I found good, cheap food (stir fried rice noodles with oodles of vegetables) in the evening. Longsheng is not a pretty town so enough said really. We only came here for the nearby rice terraces amongst a group of small villages called Longji.

We faffed in the morning and, due to misty weather, were initially aiming for the nearby hot spring. That was at least until we found out that it costs almost 100 Yuan to get in (depending on who I asked). At the last minute we decided that the weather was clearing so we really should go to the rice terraces.

Longji Rice Terraces

We arrived by noon and allowed a local to lead us to her hotel (or hottell as it was on the board) to stay the night. Then, immediately we headed out for the views - viewpoints 1 and 2. The weather was very good, consequently we were both delighted with what we could see. We had got lucky.

We walked all afternoon slowly taking in the scale of the terraces. They really are spread over a huge area with some of the terraces no more than a foot wide. Most were dry, some were flooded and one was in the process of being flooded. It was extremely satisfying. Fortunately the paths were all covered in rocks or stone so they were not even slightly muddy.

We were hassled by some local Dong minority women who wanted us, for a fee, to take photos of the their hair when let down. The local Dong women have tremendously long hair, most of the time it is rolled up in a bun on their forehead. They worked very hard on us and it didn't help things too much when I started to talk to them in Chinese. It went on and on until I decided to pay them off with 12 Yuan. We took the photos and left them behind. Basically I paid them to comb their own hair!

The following day we walked to a village in between Dazhai and Ping'an where we found people playing music and making banners. The locals were preparing for a festival it seemed but it wasn't until later that we realised the festival was a funeral. Some of the locals told us that there was a death, they went on to say we could see the body and take photos for 20 Yuan. We declined. Later that day we saw lots of things going on related to the funeral. On our way back we saw a pig being carried from Ping'an, it was hung upside down from 2 bamboo poles and wasn't happy.

There was also the funeral procession with gongs, pipes and banners.

Throughout the day way we were constantly bothered by the local women with "take photo" (of the ladies' long hair) or "mi fan" (cooked rice). It was often quite hard to get rid of them; saying no thank you never worked, saying we don't want to occasionally worked and explaining that we'd just eaten sometimes worked. As soon as we'd passed one barrage of mi fan/take photo another group of women appeared!

When we were having dinner that night we met a French speaking (but not French) woman and she showed us a baby carrier that she had bought. It was such a good buy because the detail was far more intricate and elaborate than the items sold to tourists. "It's great because it has been used" she said, I mentioned that it would be nice to have one that a baby has already pooed in. Then I asked her if she would be attempting to steal a baby. In a serious manner she denied it, then went quiet and didn't speak to me again.

While having breakfast on the last day we realised just how lucky we were with the weather, by the time more tourists were arriving visibility had dropped to only 10 metres or so.

On arrival in Longsheng there was a panic because my onward bus to Sanjiang was about to leave. Buses are not too frequent between such small towns so I quickly had to collect our stored luggage from the bus station and then hop on my next bus. To add to the rush the woman whom stored our luggage for us tried to cheat me by asking for an extra 5 Yuan. I argued but she wouldn't give in. I knew she was a dodgy dealer after I pointed out that we'd stored luggage for 3 days not 4, as she said at first. Instead of accepting that she was wrong a new charge appeared that amazingly came to 5 Yuan - an overnight charge she said! Josianne and I just walked off and got on our buses.

In the Longji rice terraces I took an awful lot of photos.



How's it going!? Still reading, from out here in Mytchett. It's all good stuff and that's some Long Dong Hair. How much longer are you going to be in China for? You're going to be an expert in business and negotiation by the time you get out of there. How much is a Yuan worth by the way?

  Steve C Mar 27, 2008 2:53 AM


I see your jokes still aren't very funny Norris Re: Baby joke. I agree with Stevo that the locals have some seriously long hair! There's about 14 yuan to the pound Steve, so 20 yuan to take photos of dead body as part of the festivities is a touch pricey...

  Chonster Mar 27, 2008 9:21 AM


Tomorrow I am on my way to Shanghai to get a Russian visa, then I shall be on the first trans-siberian train that I can get a ticket for.

Then it should be from Russia through north Europe to London.
Probably see you guys in 6 weeks. Looking forward to it.

  nomadnorrie Mar 27, 2008 1:36 PM


You're right Chon, my jokes have not improved at all.

  nomadnorrie Mar 27, 2008 2:21 PM


ha ha. you look like kevin rudd without hair!

  alex Mar 27, 2008 9:35 PM


Just posting my photos that I took at Longshen and was looking around the net to make sure I had my spellings correctly. I ran across your site and enjoyed the read.

  Scott Feb 25, 2010 8:29 AM

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