The next morning, the group all met at Lucy’s again for breakfast, this time around 7:30. The walls of Lucy’s are covered in writing from previous visitors, much like dive bars found in Shanghai.
This time, I swapped out the toast for a banana pancake, which a tourist had scribbled on the walls, so it had to be good. Although it less fluffy American pancake and more crepe-like, I enjoyed it!
After checking out, we walked to the bus that would take us to Longji. Once at the base, we had to transfer to another bus to go up the rice terraces and into the village, where we would then have to hike to reach Green Garden Coffee House for lunch. The journey had taken all morning, so by the time we finally sat down to eat, it was nearly 1 p.m. Annoyingly, someone dared to call me out on ordering a “banana milkshake” in a village, but having ordered my fair share of these in China, I obviously knew it wasn’t a real American-style milkshake, mind you. Rather, it’s literally just milk and bananas blended into a smoothie. I loved it, and why the hate for wanting a healthy way to re-energize? This is only one example, but being on this trip with these caustically witty expats reminded me why I prefer traveling alone. People (ahem, Americans) can be bullies, whether they know it or not.
Anyway, bamboo rice and bamboo chicken are the specialties in Longji, called such simply for being cooked in bamboo shoots, so of course we ordered both.
While we waited for the food, the tour guide took me to the hotel that I would be staying in that night. The night before, he had told me that he knew the hotel and could help me find it.
Revitalized from the delicious and definitely organic food (the best thing about being so remote—food is totally local and fresh), we continued hiking through the rice terraces.
This brief hike through Ping’an Village in the late afternoon felt rushed, because the rest of the group had flights to catch that night. And there was another glitch that I’ll elaborate further in the upcoming post regarding Travelers Society that dampened my spirits.
But for the most part, it was nice to be so far away from city life and in a part of China that actually felt peaceful.
After saying goodbye to the group at the village entrance (which costs money to enter), I hiked back toward my beautiful hotel and sat in the beautiful dining room overlooking the terraces and finally tried the rice noodles this region is so known for. When asked if I wanted a free egg with it, it got me thinking about how the eggs and likely everything else is local, fresh, and the most flavorful I’ll ever try.
Happy to be alone again, I spent a perfectly relaxing night with an amazing view of the rice terraces during summertime.
Next up: Enjoying the beautiful morning but then suffering through the unexpectedly long and rough commute back to Guangzhou.