One of the most remote places our family has visited was Ping An, China. The village is a steep climb from the parking lot below – one of my daughters counted stairs but gave up at 200. And rather than tourists trying to take their luggage up the incline, the local village women make a business of carrying it on their behalf. This was one time when we packed our carry-ons with only the bare essentials!
Ping An Guest House offered very basic accommodations. I never did get hot water for my shower. But it’s worth it for the glorious views of terraced farmland. At least, in theory.
This is what Ping An looks like in the sun:
|Dragon Spine Rice Terraces, Ping An|
Willow Gerleman @ Asia Transpacific Journeys
This is what Ping An looked like when we visited:
But that’s where our good luck started.
Our guide, seeing my disappointment at the weather, suggested we visit a local villager’s home. Soon he found a young woman who was sweeping outside her father’s house, and she allowed us to go inside. The modest home was on the second floor, with the barn and chicken coop occupying the first.
The highlight of our visit, though, was the large living room. (Vegetarians, avert your eyes.) A fire pit burned in the centre of the room, over which hung four pigs’ legs, curing in the smoke. And a few paces away sat a VCR and TV, dominating the short side wall. The room was a microcosm of China just a few months before hosting the Olympics. The ancient and the modern were often side by side in the most unexpected ways.