Yuanyang Hani Rice Terraces, China • 360° Aerial Panoramas
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In the southwest part of China, sharing a border with Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam, there lies Yunnan province. Mountains make up most of its territory (the maximum height is 6,740 meters). However, moving south, the mountain terrain gradually transforms into picturesque hills and valleys with fertile soil.
The weather in this part of China is warm and humid; the climate is similar to a tropical one, which makes agriculture the main occupation of the local people. And, they are very successful at it! High quality Chinese red tea, sugar cane, tobacco, and rice are cultivated here.
The tea is so uniquely delicious that it is named after the province where it's being grown — "Yunnan". However, the rice is what makes this place special and brings unparalleled world fame to the province. In addition to their practical agricultural use, rice terraces (fields that follow the shape of a hill) turned out to be a great attraction for everyone who can appreciate natural beauty. There are no words to describe this stunning picture, and we don't need to — you will see it for yourself though our panoramas. However, we would like to tell you how the cascading rice terraces were invented.
It is believed that in Asia, and in China in particular, people started to cultivate rice almost 8,000 years ago. Unlike flat marshlands, where it was very simple to plant seeds and harvest crops — peasants in the mountainous areas had to be inventive and modify the landscape to suit the agricultural needs. This is how the rice terraces were created in China as well as several other countries.
The terraces in Yunnan are located at an altitude of 200 — 2,000 meters above the sea level. They occupy a territory of over 20,000 square kilometers, tracing the contours of mountain slopes everywhere. The cascading steps were cut in the hill slopes one generation after another. This work required not only a lot of physical labor, but also precision: a slightest mistake could damage the fragile walls of the terrace and compromise an entire irrigation system, as well as cause leaching of precious red topsoil.
The rice planting starts in February and continues through March. By this time, spring mountain water fills up the terraced paddy fields. Rice ripens by September and so the harvesting begins. The landscape of rice terraces changes throughout the year, in accordance with the agricultural cycle.
Summer is the time of young green sprouts. Autumn brings wonderful gold and red colors to the hills. But the most beautiful time for the terraces is from November through April: cascading fields filled with spring water reflect the sunrays. One can see the sunrise, the sunset, and the clear blue sky reflected in thousands of little "mirrors". The variety of colors in combination with the glare of the sun creates a unique picture.
Despite its stunning beauty, Yunnan province does not suffer from mass tourism. The lack of a nearby airport, bad roads, and remote mountain ridges prevent a great number of people from coming here. However, this is exactly what helps preserve the pristine beauty of this landscape.
William Pereira, Uruguay
reza nabizadeh, Iran
"Magnificent! Incredibly hard work here, transforming the seemingly non-farming environmental landscape into workable, and useful landmass for rice cultivation...and survivability thereof!! Brilliant architectural and creative achievements in the process and of course, the dedicated planning and engineering involved on an industrial basis are immense. Wooohoo - thank you AirPano, for your endeavors in bringing these joyful sights to us all Earthlings! Bravo!!"
Bode Osunsanmi, USA
"Rice fields are under the most impressive landscapes I met on earth. They prove that men has to cooperate to earn a living. Marvelous portrait!"
Constant Coolsma, Brazil
"just amazing and mesmerizing photos of the Great Land of the People of Great Wisdom and Faith. May the Creator of this universe bless the Land and its people to preserve the Great Gift of the almighty."
kiran kumar rasaily, India
"Beautiful, Did you take these shots from an airoplane or how did you take them?"
Nicole Louis, Thailand
Varvara, AirPano: Nicole, we were using our own hexacopter.
"Beautiful presentation indeed...i feel that it would be complete if atleast one of the nine photoes dipict the crop 'ready to reap' position. Any how enjoyed the pictures. Congratulate pano staff & organisation for the splendid effort put in presenting all important attractions, the world over. Thank you."
kompella veera venkata satyanarayana murthy, India
"good job pano"
shukor mn, Malaysia
Sarla Gupta, India
"U.r a great team amazing me"
Basel Bibi, Jordan
"really nice photos! thx for sharing"
winnie tam, China
"Thank you airpano team for this captivating and magnificent presentation !"
SM Naufer, Sri Lanka
"The text accompanying the Yunnan rice terraces was as romantic as the terraces themselves. Your panoramas always add a bright spot to my days... you take me places that my current situation does not permit me to travel to physically. Thank you one and all at AirPano!!"
irene linda, Brazil
"Airpano team is the best in Landscape photography. Excellent photography for a gorgeous place and yes good to see panos."
Emaad ud din, Pakistan
"Thank you for a wonderful presentation, pageantry"
Karel Hofmann, Czech Republic
"Wah! What a beautiful landscape paddy field. The nature, prakriti and god's gift to the mankind for its beauty and blissful living!
Great job done Droog..Eta Oochin Kharasho!!
Best wishes/Narendra Pradhan"
Narendra Pradhan, Iceland
"WHAT A TRAGEDY THE WORLD IS FALLING APART, YET BEAUTY LIKE THIS WILL BE SEEN BY .01% OF THE POPULATION IF THAT ..THANK YOU AIRPANO YOU HAVE DONE IT AGAIN"
kenn hutton, Australia