Speaking of Yuanyang County which is located in southern Yunnan Province, people will always attracted by the Terraced Fields there. Those Terraced Fields were reclaimed by industrious Hani People. Because Yuanyang County was situated at the deep Mt. Ailao, the local people had to bring more land under cultivation constantly for making a living. Gradually, today’s beautiful scenery of Terraced Fields was formed. Although reclamation technology had been spread all over China and South-East Asia since the 14th century, still, you can hardly find Terraced Fields in other places could be compared with those in Yuanyang, no matter from the point of the scale or aesthetic perception.
At all seasons, Yuanyang Terraced Fields are very charming with distinct features. Usually, Hani people start to transplant rice seedlings in June; therefore, Yuanyang is full of green in summer. In October, the mountain and plains turn golden for the harvest of rice. However, if you want to see the most enchanting Yuanyang Terraced Fields, please visit them in the best season, always winter. Because slivery white light will flash now and then since Terraced Fields are irrigated after the harvest. Without any plants inside, winding outlines of Terraced Fields are highlighted even more graceful.
What to see when you are in front of Yuanyang Terraced Fields? Sunrise at Duoyi Tree and Sunset at Bada or Laohuzui(The Tiger Mouth). Before the sunrise, the beautiful outline of Duoyi Tree Terraced Fields had been hidden and visible partly in the dawn. Overlooking from a high place, Terraced Fields just like an extremely elegant Chinese ink and wash painting. After the sun has risen from the east, the red sunshine will cast on the village in the west side and the surrounding colors change constantly with the rising of the sun. You will be deeply engrossed by the colorfulness and brilliance. The sunset of Bada and Tiger Mouth is also amazing. With after blow of sunset dispersing gradually, Terraced Fields in these two places will turn into gorgeous color. Once this color intertwines fields’ ridge lines, a very moving colored printing is formed. Compared with this, Terraced Fields in Longshuba brings visitors another kind of feeling; it’s small and exquisite, bright-colored and beautiful, like a countryside hidden in the deep mountain. Many photographers always come for shooting when Terraced Fields in Longshuba turns crimson due to lot of duckweed inside.
Currently, many minorities live in Yuanyang, such as Hani, Yi, Dai, Miao, Yao, Zhuang and other ethnic groups. Among them, Hani shares a big proportion. The most distinctive Hani village inside Yuanyang County is called “Qingkou”, not far away from Old County. Standing on the side of the road, visitors can have the whole village view. Hani People’s housing is quite distinctive. It is a three-storey house. The bottom one is used for keeping cattle; the middle one is for people living and the top storey is warehouse. As the roof is made of thatch, it looks like a mushroom from a far distance, therefore, this kind of house is also called “mushroom house”, which is the landmark of the Hani village. Walking along the Terraced Fields dotted with small and large” mushroom house”, it seems that you are in a fairyland.
In the Terraced Fields, you will find some women farming occasionally. Like many other nationalities in mountainous areas of Yunnan, women are in charge of farm work but adult men raise their children. Relatively speaking, men are less busy.
Although forest are needed to be cut down for reclaiming Terraced Fields, however, in fact, Hani people always pay great attention to protect trees. They often relate the trees with their ancestors and they will hold a grand festival to honor the tree god in March every year.
Mountains, streams, villages and Terraced Fields are four things cherished mostly by Hani people. In the eyes of traditional Hani people, reclamation of Terraced Fields is not the conquest to the nature as other people’s imagination.
They believe that gods are in charge of the surrounding world. Living here, it is the acceptance of the blessing of gods. Just like this, this great nation carves Terraced Fields extraordinary in a perfect way and makes the fields strive for a harmony with nature in the mist.