In order to see the second and third major sight in Yuan Yang I had to get up really early – at 5 am my alarm clock woke me up, since at 5:30 I would be picked up by my personal minibus taking me to the best spot to see the sun rising over the rice terraces.
At first I was afraid, lest we might have not started early enough, but eventually the timing turned out to be just perfect. Almost at the same time I arrived at the viewing platform (that was still under construction) the sun rose over the mountains on the opposite side of the valley, drenching the rice paddies in a warm orange light and turning the water surface of each of the terraces into a silver shimmering mirror.
After watching the sunrise we drove back to the hotel stopping at every viewing platform in order to capture the most beautiful impressions of the scenery.
The ride in the minibus was very bumpy and noisy and the whole time there was a subtle smell of gasoline in the air. But somehow that didn’t disturb me, because riding through bunches of farmers walking to their fields carrying rice seedlings bound into huge bundles dangling on the ends of long bamboo sticks which they carried on their shoulders, it somehow fit into the picture - it was just as authentic as the farmer's lives themselves.
I spent the rest of the day sitting on the sun terrace of the hotel updating my trip journal and planning the border crossing to Vietnam.