We invite you to take a virtual trip with a 360° view to an amazing place on Earth, created over many years by human hands – the rice terraces of Yunnan province in China, using the wonderful AirPano service.
AirPano is the world's largest resource for providing the highest quality 360° photos, usually taken from a bird's eye view. Filming is carried out mainly from helicopters and drones, but planes, airships and hot air balloons are also used.
With the AirPano service, you can view the most amazing places on our planet from a bird's eye view (and not only) using only the keyboard and mouse (also works on mobile devices):
- You can rotate the panorama with the mouse or use the arrows on the keyboard;
- To zoom in or out, scroll the mouse wheel;
- The "helicopter" icon indicates the points to which you can move. To get to such a point, click on the "helicopter";
- To descend to the ground, click on the "traveler" icon.
In southwest China, on the border with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, lies Yunnan Province. Most of its territory is covered by mountains, but to the south they gradually turn into picturesque hills and valleys with fertile soils.
The weather in this part of China is humid and warm, the climate is close to tropical, so the main occupation of the locals is agriculture. And they succeeded! High-quality Chinese red tea, sugar cane, tobacco and rice are grown here.
The tea is so good and unique that it was named after the province – “Yunnan”. But rice brings her a special, incomparable glory. Rice terraces – fields that follow the contours of the slopes – in addition to their practical benefits for agriculture, turned out to be a lure for all lovers of beauty. Their incredible beauty is impossible, and there is no need to describe it in words – you will see it yourself in the panoramas from AirPano. But in this regard, you can tell the story of the creation of stepped rice fields.
It is believed that in Asia, and in particular in China, rice began to be grown almost 8000 years ago. And if in the marshy flat areas it was enough to plant grains and harvest crops, then in the hilly areas the peasants had to be smart: change the surrounding landscape, adapting it for agricultural needs. This is how rice terraces were created in China and some other countries.
In Yunnan, the terraces are located at an altitude of 200 to 2000 meters above sea level and occupy more than 20,000 square kilometers, following the contours of mountain slopes everywhere. Multi-tiered steps were carved into the hillsides generation after generation. This required not only a great investment of effort, but also pinpoint precision: the slightest mistake could lead to damage to the fragile walls of the terraces and irrigation system, and to the washing out of the precious top layer of red soil.
Rice planting takes place from February to March – by this time the terraces are filled with spring water flowing from the mountain peaks. Rice ripens by September, and then it's time to harvest. In accordance with the agricultural cycle, the landscape of the rice terraces also changes throughout the year.
In summer, these are bright green young shoots, in autumn the slopes of the mountains acquire a magical golden and crimson color, but the terraces look most beautiful from November to April. Filled with spring water, stepped fields reflect the sun's rays. In these thousands of small "mirrors" you can see sunrise, blue sky and sunset. The variety of colors combined with the glare of the Sun create a unique picture.
Despite this breathtaking beauty, Yunnan has not suffered from mass tourism. The absence of an airport nearby, bad roads and remote mountain ranges stop many travel enthusiasts. But this is what allows you to save the landscape in its original beauty.
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