This was a very hot summer day back in 2008. Nearly every place in the southern part of China was so hot at that time. A strong typhoon was approaching, which added to the unbearable heat and dizziness. But my husband and I were so lucky to have found a refreshingly cool heaven, a perfectly quiet paradise.
Our paradise was an adorable wooden house with three floors, situated high up on the mountain, surrounded by terraced rice paddy fields which stretched in endless contours over hills and valleys. This was really the highlight of our trip to Guangxi. Although it took a two-hour minibus ride through twisty mountain roads from Guilin to get here, this rather uncomfortable ride was certainly worthwhile. A truly natural and amazing place it was — Jinkeng (金坑)!
With the help of some Yao (瑤族) villagers who lived in this area, we finally managed to find our destination — the lovely wooden guesthouse “Jin Keng Hotel” (金坑旅館).
The Yao is a minority ethnic group in China, but here in Jinkeng, they are the major inhabitants. The bright, contrasting combination of black and red colors on the scarves worn by Yao women is very eye-catching. And the deep sky blue color of their shirts even add more lively rhythms.
We were glad to have a room on the upper floor. As the whole building was nicely built with wood, we tried to walk with extra light steps to avoid creating unnecessary noise. I loved our room so much! The smell of wood and bamboo was so refreshing. I just couldn’t wait to open the extra large windows in our room. Wow! What a magnificent view!
I had never seen terraced fields in such a large scale before! The luxuriantly green paddies formed spectacular pattern of zigzag lines, stretching near and far, seemingly endless. Sometimes I could notice a few Yao villagers working on the terraced fields, carrying cane baskets on their backs. Perfect harmony!
But the most memorable part was night time. Turning off the lamps, closing my eyes, and opening my ears, all of a sudden I realized there was such beautiful music being played by mother nature around this house! Frogs were croaking, insects were singing, and water was dripping down the stream. So gentle, so soothing. No music could be as relaxing and enlightening as this. I had one of the best sleep in my life here.
With this short playback, once again I can confidently say that mother nature is the greatest comfort to my soul. City life is not.