Up on the slopes of southern China’s Yuangyang province, you can see some of the largest rice terraces on Earth. Your A&K trekking guide will lead you through the valley of sculptural terraces, cultivated for over a thousand years by generations of Hani.
They’re utterly photogenic but the best time to see them is at sunrise when they’re bathed in a warm golden light. In the early hours of the morning you can watch the water glisten with rainbow-hues, all the more enigmatic in the mist. Its spectacular natural beauty has elevated Yuangyang to UNESCO heritage status. The site is home to the Hani people who dress in traditional clothes and live in the surrounding villages.
Visit Qingkou, a typical Hani village with a population of around 800. It’s shrouded with forest alive with the sounds of cicadas and hummingbirds. Once you reach Qingkou you can see the traditional ‘mushroom houses,’ local residences made from bamboo, mud and straw roofs. Dip into the small museum which showcases the local culture and history of the Hani people.