On a grouping of hilltops, in the countryside outside Yangshuo in Guangxi Province in the south of China, I spent a day wandering in a misty tea garden with no one in sight except the young woman who accompanied me and my companion. It’s an environment I love and have sought out similar places in the Himalayan foothills of the east and west of India, in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, in Yunnan Province, China and in the highest parts of Java and Bali. But I’ve found few of these as off the beaten track as in this part of China, a country we tend to think of in terms of it’s teeming population.
There was a restaurant at the visitor center that served us lunch at an outdoor table in the cool air, taking our time as no one seemed in any rush to have us gone. With the drive up and back along narrow roads through tiny farm settlements, and the hour or more spent wandering in the tea, it was a day in quiet observation of this unique Chinese landscape. Surprised by the absence of other visitors, I felt hugely privileged to have experienced the quiet and solitude I found here.
Read more about finding quiet in the Chinese countryside here.