I have made my way south into Yunnan’s capital Kunming and It would seem all there is to do here is eat Mcdonnalds and hang around at the lake where all the strange and kooky people hang out. There are old people doing what looks like line dancing to techno music and another group doing what looks like an Irish jig to the some sort of music you would find on a children’s TV program! The ones that are not joining in any of the synchronised dancing do exercises on what looks to be an oversized children’s playground. I have seen these all over China it really is quite bizarre watching old people spinning and bashing about around on weird contraptions I could literally spend hours in these places it is people watching turned up to 11. China definitely has a lot of fucking weirdos!
When I had eventually had enough of gawping at freaks I got myself up into the mountains to see the ancient Yuanyang rice terraces the Hani people have been farming the landscape like this for thousands of years. The pictures really don’t represent this place properly, it is an awe inspiring landscape where every bit of space on the mountains have been used to make up the terraces. Literally as far as you can see. During winter the terraces have already been harvested so some of the terraces are used to grow red and purple edible plants. The combination of these colours and the sun shimmering on the waters surface is incredible. Due to the modernisation and industrialisation of China all the younger generations from the rice terrace villages have left to go and work in the cities leaving only the old people behind to do all the back breaking work. Out here in the country the old literally work until they drop unfortunately these folks will never now what its like to play in an oversized playground or line dance to Dave Clarke.
I came to the terraces to photograph the incredible colours that are reflected on the surface of the water during sunset and sunrise. I only had three days to try and get the photograph I wanted but to achieve the perfect photograph you need just the right amount of clouds in the sky to reflect the orange and pink tones of the sun onto the rice terraces and when relying on nature it is unfortunately a gamble. I am shit at gambling and during my limited time at the terraces I only experienced them completely hidden by clouds or without any clouds in the sky at all. So I never actually succeeded in getting the picture. Although I never got what I came here for the experience of seeing this incredible feat of human engineering was well worth it and I have much respect for the elderly people who keep this ancient tradition going.