We left the delightful town of Jianshui by bus, heading south towards Yuanyang and its famous rice terraces. I first saw a view of these on one of the BBC travel documentaries and have been dying to shoot them ever since. During the winter the fields fill up with rainfall, and at dawn or dusk all of the colours of the sky are reflected in the still pools of water. I didn’t quite get the colourful skies I hoped for, but enjoyed exploring abstract angles with the monochrome blue tones before dawn.
I stayed in a village just east of the Duoyishu viewing area, so was an easy walk up to that viewing stand before sunrise. At dusk I would join shared minibuses to get to other locations such as Bada. Flagging them in the afternoon was usually pretty easy, but after dusk it was hard and I’d usually have to start walking back until one would finally stop!
I was at Yuanyang early April, but suspect they would look even more impressive slightly earlier in the year, when more fields would be flooded with water. I also saw some magical shots by local photographers shot while the area was covered in snow, mid-winter. Despite the beautiful scenery you can see depicted below, I was left concerned by the scale of construction taking place in the area, and fear within ten years this area will just be a tourist resort with the rice terraces totally surrounded by hotels, its heading that way and in China there doesn’t seem to be any restriction on new construction.