Stunning miriad stairways to the Heavens of the 1000 yr old Hani people of Yunnan Province, China..

Don't be fooled, it's not a painting: Incredible views of rice terraces that  look like a stairway to heaven 

These stunning images showing abstract swirls  of colours and patterns could be mistaken for a collection of paintings.

But they are in fact photographs of the  breathtaking Hani Rice Terraces, found in  the mountains above Yuanyang, in south-west China.

They are often described as the 'stairway to  heaven' because of the vast layers of land reaching heights of up to 2000 meters  above sea level.

Stunning: Hani Terraces are located at Yuanyang County in Honghe Prefecture, Yunnan ProvinceStunning: Hani  Terraces are located at Yuanyang County in Honghe Prefecture, Yunnan  Province

Natural wonder: The site is protected by the laws of the People's Republic of China

Natural wonder: The site is protected by the laws of the  People's Republic of China

The Hani people's ancestors came to the steep  mountain area 2,500 years ago.

In their struggle against the difficult  terrain they transformed the  land into terraced rice paddies where they grew  rice to make a living.

The creativity of the Hani people has not  only transformed the area into a fertile area to grow rice but also a place of  artistic beauty.

In recognition, the Ming Dynasty emperor  granted the title of Skillful Sculpture to the Hani people and the fields have  been officially acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage  site.

Hani people have created fantastic and perfect land art of vast terraced fields in the heritage site

Hani people have created fantastic and perfect land art  of vast terraced fields in the heritage site

Wonder of the world: Two thousand five hundred years ago, the ancestors of Hani people came from Tibetan Plateau to work this land

Wonder of the world: Two thousand five hundred years  ago, the ancestors of Hani people came from Tibetan Plateau to work this land

Beautiful: The Yuanyang Rice Terraces are situated in the southern Ailao Mountains, dug out by the Hani people

Beautiful: The Yuanyang Rice Terraces are situated in  the southern Ailao Mountains, dug out by the Hani people

The entire field is irrigated with spring water from the forest above to rejuvenate and prepare for the next growing season

The entire field is irrigated with spring water from the  forest above to rejuvenate and prepare for the next growing season

Over quite a long period of time the local  people have cultivated a great number of rice species in their farming  activities.

The site is protected by the laws of the  People's Republic of China and support enough rice for hundreds of thousands of  people. 

Picture perfect: The water flows down the fields creating this amazing natural scenery

Picture perfect: The water flows down the fields  creating this amazing natural scenery

Stairway to heaven: The 1000m of mountain slopes of terraces are still in used today and were created by the people of Hani thousands of years ago

Stairway to heaven: The 1000m of mountain slopes of  terraces are still in used today and were created by the people of Hani  thousands of years ago

Like a painting: The water which flows down from the mountains are crystal clear while the air is incredibly clean

Like a painting: The water which flows down from the  mountains are crystal clear while the air is incredibly clean

Yuanyang county lies at an altitude ranging  from 140 along the Red River up to nearly 3000 metres above sea level in the  Ailao mountains and is about 50km north of the border with Vietnam.

During the winter to early spring  season  the entire field is irrigated with spring water from the forest  above to  rejuvenate and prepare for the next growing season.

There is only one harvest per year for the  Yuanyang Rice Terrace and planting occurs from March to November every  year.

The amazing rice-terraces were built on the red-soil mountains by the Hani people

The amazing rice-terraces were built on the red-soil  mountains by the Hani people

Without hard work maintaining the terrace walls and irrigation system, the precious top soil would wash down the hillsides into the rivers

Without hard work maintaining the terrace walls and  irrigation system, the precious top soil would wash down the hillsides into the  rivers

The entire field is irrigated with spring water from the forest above to rejuvenate and prepare for the next growing season

The entire field is irrigated with spring water from the  forest above to rejuvenate and prepare for the next growing season

Natural beauty: There is only one harvest per year for the Yuanyang Rice Terrace

Natural beauty: There is only one harvest per year for  the Yuanyang Rice Terrace

Close up: The terraces were created by the Hani people thousands of years ago

Close up: The terraces were created by the Hani people  thousands of years ago

During the winter to early spring season, the entire field is filled with spring water

During the winter to early spring season, the entire  field is filled with spring water

(Daily Mail UK)

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Replies to This Discussion

This is an awesome find, Trevor! I found all the images absolutely stunning and had to take another look at them. Incredible, In actual fact several of them would make a beautiful painting which I would gladly hang on my wall

 

These words say it all ...

 

Without hard work maintaining the terrace walls and  irrigation system, the precious top soil would wash down the hillsides into the rivers

 

and

 

The site is protected by the laws of the  People's Republic of China and support enough rice for hundreds of thousands of  people.

 

So, it really IS a labour of love for the Hani people. The image below I especially like because it has a worker (or perhaps an admirer) who can be seen! (on the left-hand side) ...

 

 

Pauline HUGS

This is incredible! there such wonderful sights and great beauty in this world... I wish i could see this all...

me, too! 

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