Ping'an, Longsheng, China
Visited 8th August 2008
The Guilin area has bucket loads of natural wonders to awe the visitor. Exploring the town's limestone caves, cruising the spectacular Li River and checking out the fantastic Yangshuo Lightshow are all impressive, but for me the highlight was the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces. This truly spectacular spot is located in mountainous Longsheng county, a couple of hours north of Guilin. From the carpark visitors trek through steep, but scenic rice terraces to the village of Ping'an were we found the Moon Lake Hotel and lunch.
Though it's packed with eager sightseers the Moon Lake Hotel is still beautifully basic; there's chickens cruising the floor, but there're also fantastic views of the village and valley. Regional specialities are the name of the day and we enjoyed an assorted feast that included: bamboo baked chicken and rice, fried frogs, sautéed potatoes, fresh water fish and a fried local vegetable. The tasty chicken was packed tight into its bamboo case and the rice beneath absorbed a lot of flavour. Appropriately green and slimy the pile of frogs' legs were complimented by a sweet sauce and vegetables. The fish and potatoes were both good, while the 'fried local vegetable' was interesting. I'm not sure what the leaves were, but they had an almost furry texture and a strong, slightly aniseed taste.
There wasn't much to dislike about our lunch at the Moon Lake Hotel. In spots like this price doesn't really matter but it was still good value, with most dishes under asdsd30. The food was fresh and authentic and the views awesome, though they got even better as we followed the trail higher. If you're in the Guilin area get yourself up to Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces, lunch at the Moon Lake Hotel will only be the start of the fun.