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China's Hani Rice Terraces Inscribed on World Heritage List



June 22, 2013 is a special day for all minorities residing in Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, because on this day, Honghe Hani Rice Terraces is applauded as an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. 1300 years of cultivation as well as 10 years’ application, finally paid off.
 
honghe rice terraces
 


During the World Heritage Committee's 37th session held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Honghe Hani Rice Terraces(also known as Yuanyang Rice Terraces), the repository of Chinese agrarian culture and an excellent example of man and nature co-exist in harmony, left all the councils spellbound by its spectacular scale and innovative rice cultivation practice.
 
honghe rice terraces
 


"The Honghe Hani terraces are an outstanding reflection of elaborate and finely tuned agricultural, forestry and water-distribution systems that are reinforced by long-standing and distinctive socioeconomic-religious systems," the council exclaimed.
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 


Cascading from the mountaintop of Ailao Mountain all the way to the Red River valley, Honghe Rice Terraces is the biggest rice terraces on earth. Encompassing over 113km2, those distributed in Yuanyang County serve as the centerpiece.
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 


Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture is home to 11 nationalities such as Hani, Yi, Miao, Yao, Dai, Zhuang, Hui, Bouyei, Blang, Lahu and Han, among which, minorities takes up 58% of the whole population. Hence, during your stay in this area, you can not only immortalize the dramatic landscape, but also savor rich ethnic culture which is no less appealing.
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 


Top seven minorities of Honghe Rice Terraces are distributed by tiers: the valley area elevated from 144m to 600m is occupied by Dai, the gorge area rising from 600m to 1000m is shared by Zhuang, the lower mountain area soaring from 1000m to 1400m is dominated by Yi, the upper mountain area towering from 1400m to 2000m is colonized by Hani, while the mountain area above 2000m is reigned by Miao and Yao. Han Chinese, not surprisingly, usually reside in towns and villages along plain area.
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 


Honghe Yangyuan Rice Terraces is the result of these tribes’ collective labor during the past millennium. It testifies to their wisdom and strong will. Hani people, in particular, worthy of praise for their talents on architecture, craft, irrigation engineer as well as peculiar dining ettequette known as Long Table Banquet (during which all the villagers will bring food to form a long banquet).
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 


To maximize profit and minimize damage to nature, Hani people building villages tucked away from the dense forests above and the sprawling rice terraces below. To solve the irrigation, they dug a network of tunnels. All of these practices help to protect and sustain the otherwise fragile ecosystem.
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 


A constellation of ethnic villages are distributed amid these rice terraces. Among which, Jingkou Village(菁口) is a place to see Hani mushroom house, performance and exhibitions. During the 12th day of the 12th lunar month, you can enjoy the famed Long Table Banquet here or go to Habo Village(哈播), Ezha Township(俄札乡), Yuanyang County, which features the best Long Table Banquet in Yunnan. Hani people’s attires and ornaments are eye-dazzling also. The best travel season is from November to next April, when the wide flowers will come into full blossom. If the weather is againt outdoor photography, do not feel upset, bring your camera and try luck at local marketsor shops, you can capture authentic Hani culture on your way.
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 


The successful of Honghe Rice Terraces marks China has 45 World Heritage Sites, just after Italy which boasts 48.
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 
yuanyang rice terraces
 
 hani long table banquet
 Hani Long Table Banquet
hani long table banquet
Hani Long Table Banquet
hani long table banquet
Hani Long Table Banquet
 
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