Photographer's Note


How do they behave out there?

To my limited experience, there are two categories of photographers whom I met along my treks: the tourists who take picture of themselves, and the photographers who shoot anything they saw except themselves. As a result, we know little or less of how they behave out there…
This photo has been shot while these photographers were waiting for sunrise outside the Hani minority tribe named Qingkou (青口= Thanh Khẩu), 5 km South of Yuanyang town [元阳] which is 337 km SW of Kunming and 200 km NW of Hekou. Due to language barrier and transportation issue, Yuanyang so far is almost tourist-free but we don’t know how long this "virgin" status may last ;o)

Note on destination:

Yuanyang is famous for cultivating terraced fields and Hani minority has created an environmental wonder in mountain area. Their culture is a terraced field agricultural civilization, which has a perfect agriculture system and an agro-worship system as well, the concept of worship is built on the basis that man and nature are in harmony, countless terraced fields are an evidence of this belief.

Terraced fields have a long history. From the data in Chinese characters, they have already had a history of more than 1,300 years. Hani connecting terraced fields are seen from mountain to mountain with great momentum. In Yuanyang, the area of terraced fields amount to more than 11,000 hectares, and for more than 3,000 steps of which stretch from the foot of a hill up to the top.

Yuanyang is on a high ridge between two valleys. It's mainly a new town dominated by unimaginative cement buildings and two long streets. Its buildings rise so steeply that stairways connect many roads. Strolling through the market was visually intoxicating. Ethnic minorities, who make up the bulk of the people in town and the rural scenery are Yuanyang's attractions. The town was a bustling mosaic of brilliant color. Women in dazzlingly embroidered outfits toted bushel baskets of produce that seemed to glow in the alpine light.

Yuanyang terraced fields has been placed into the preparatory list of World Heritage in China. Application of Hani Terraced Fields for World Heritage has been committed to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.


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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 472 W: 125 N: 2331] (8456)
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