Function & Beauty in Guanxi

Function & Beauty in Guanxi
Originally uploaded by paulbrockmann.

Two more things I learned, between my trip to Detian, my couple days

up helping with the flood relief in eastern Guangxi, and the trip to

Longhushan (pictures follow these) is that 1) Every square inch of

Guangxi that could be used for agriculture or other economic

production, is; and 2) There are precious few square inches of Guangxi

that are not remarkably beautiful. You see here a shot of a small

terrace of rice paddies interspersed with some other vegetables — all

right next to the falls. This is classic: these folks wedge rice

paddies and other agriculture in anywhere they can, and always make it

look good.

Traveling around Guangxi, you see water buffaloes pulling plows or

wallowing in the water (my apologies that I can’t supply a photo —

the buses were always whizzing by too fast for me to get the shot, and

I’ve not yet seen one really close up while on foot), and lots of

farmers (that I’m really tempted to call peasants, by way of

indicating what seems to me the clearly hard lives they lead of very

physical labor over very long work days, with few days of rest

between…for a very low standard of living in return) out planting or

harvesting rice and so on. When I was doing these trips it seemed the

bulk of activity was around the rice harvest — bundles of rice were

always stacked by the side of the road, waiting to be picked up and

taken for threshing, one presumes.

After this shot, you’ll see one of the field workers walking down the

footpath that otherwise bears tourists, followed by several shots

taken from the bus en route to Detian Falls: the road up is pretty

spectacular in its own right. Though scary — those who’ve been to

Taiwan (Jill S, any chance you’re reading this??) can think of Taroko

Gorge in terms of scariness, and not be too far off. (This is a bit

more tame than my recollection of the east-west highway out of


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