I thought cockerels only cocksdoodledoo at day break, not throughout the night. It makes it kind of confusing knowing when to wake up. As nature’s alarm clock is inaccurate I let my phone get me up. It is still dark and very very quiet as I tiptoe out of the hostel to climb 40 minutes to scenic spot 1 to await sunrise. The walk on a rug get stone path takes you out of the tiny village and over a couple of hills, each crowned by a new guest house under construction, with convenient unfinished concrete platforms abutting the hillside which serve as convenient viewing platforms. They remove the rural charm, but you have to accept that although the rice terraces is an ancient landscape it is also man made, and the locals inevitably are moving with the times, and tourism is a cash cow. I see Yao women with stretched earlobes from which hang heavy silver ear rings, with bright blue or pink sm0cks, black skirt and leggings, brightly coloured dash round the waist, hair hidden under a black head scarf, brown weathered skin, breaking soil with hoes, selling bags of dried mushrooms, or carrying tourists’ luggage in round baskets strapped to their backs. The men are more conventionally dressed with no obvious ethnic dress. The construction workers sleep in the structures they are working on. Bags of cement are transported up the mountain by horses. It’s a miracle that there is so much development in such a place so inaccessible by road.
The sunrise was wonderful. More pictures will appear here in time.