Longji Rice Terraces

This is a very special place. Sometimes on this earth you are lucky enough to see a vista before you that first takes your breath away and then perpetually enchants you at each turn as it continually changes with every play of the light across the landscape. You want to take picture after picture, but actually the camera is useless to capture the majesty of your surroundings and words aren't much better. The inspired words that came from my mouth as I opened the curtains to see fronds of cloud drifting up the valley beneath me, were, "Bloody hell!" That was not to blaspheme or offend, but simply to find myself absolutely stunned by the unexpected beauty of it all.

There is a stunning contrast in the scale of the steeply climbing hillsides and the fine lines of their contours in all colours of green picked out by the rice terraces. This place, however, is unmistakably China. The seemingly endless terracing is a unique image created by the hand of man over about 800 years, yet so natural and peaceful are the valleys, it's hard to reconcile what you're seeing with something man-made.

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