I visited Gaungxi and Yunnan Provinces in China early in 2008. It was a facinating trip on many levels. There appears to be an incredible amount of infrastructure building on a massive scale taking place. Unfortunately, the enviornment is being placed well down the priority list. I found pollution was increasing in this huge country on a scale never before seen. Even the locals were worried about the air quality and wondering if this more open society could withstand the transition. I found the Li River outside of Guilin to be very rainy and grey during my stay. I am not sure if the greyness was pollution or just the wet weather. Either way it was disheartening to travel so far and not have the ideal conditions I would have liked. The limestone pinnacles of the Li River Valley were spectacular.
I then headed to Yunnan Province farther south and west. The small city of Yuanyang is at the heart of China's, and the world's, most incredible rice terraces. Some terraces climb over 3000 feet from the valley floor of the Aialo Mountains. The patchwork in morning and evening light is breathtaking. I spent a week waiting for the perfect light to present itself. The terrace images here are of a few minutes on two separate days where I found, what the Hani in the area call - "The Soul of the Mountain". The terraces take centuries to build, one upon the next. It is a special place which appears to be dwindling. The younger generation seem to be not willing to continue the toil and hard work. I hope you enjoy a brief view into China.