Every autumn in Yunnan, apart from the fiery red maple leaves and golden ginkgo trees, the most beautiful sight is the golden rice paddies. As the autumn wind blows, the rice turns yellow, and the winding Baobao River reflects the golden rice fields on both sides, creating a breathtaking scene. The golden ears of rice, together with the flowing river and villages, form a magnificent painting as if painted by the hands of God.
In Guangnan County, Wenshan Prefecture, Yunnan, lies a place known as the "Shiwaixiaoyuan" or "Peach Blossom Land" with its typical karst landscape and rice terraces.
Nestled in the southeastern part of Yunnan province, Guangnan County is situated at the confluence of Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guizhou provinces. It is home to 11 ethnic groups, including Zhuang, Han, Miao, Yi, and Yao, with minorities accounting for 62% of the total population.
The region is rich in folk customs, boasts picturesque scenery, and enjoys a pleasant subtropical monsoon climate with an average annual temperature of 16.7°C.
The unique climate and landscapes have nurtured fertile fields and provided an ideal environment for rice cultivation. Especially, the meandering Baobao River nourishes the fertile farmlands on both sides, creating a favorable condition for the growth of rice. The renowned Baobao rice, named for its white and fragrant grains, has long been esteemed as a tribute rice.
More than 2,200 years ago, this area belonged to the ancient kingdom of Ju. Ju was coexistent with counties for 583 years, and at that time, it was on par with the ancient Dian and Yelang kingdoms. Its history spanned over 500 years longer than Dian, and it predated Dali by over 1,000 years. During the Western Han period, it was one of the three major ancient kingdoms in the southwest and ranked among the Eight Mysterious Ancient Kingdoms of Yunnan. In the Ming and Qing dynasties, the tale of the Baobao tribute rice - "a hundred carts offered every year" - was widely known.
In recent years, to further develop the local economy, the integration of agriculture and cultural tourism has led to the creation of various experiences involving rice paddies: farming has become a form of entertainment, straw turned into leisure products, tribute rice transformed into artistic works, and the rice-growing countryside became a destination for healthy living, all of which have attracted large numbers of visitors.
To advance the "Ten Hundred Thousand" project, foster high-quality Baobao rice, and build the Baobao world rice culture brand, Guangnan County's Baobao Town has focused on the core area of the Royal Yutian Scenic Area, along with the Baobao "Mother River" and its ecological protection.
Efforts have been made to promote the inheritance and development of rice culture and to create a world rice culture demonstration zone.
With the implementation of the rural revitalisation strategy as the main thrust, the development of Baobao rice integrates agricultural production with ecological governance and recreational tourism, effectively promoting the integrated development of primary, secondary, and tertiary industries in the rural area and contributing to the revitalisation of the countryside.
Moreover, the World Rice Culture Tourism Festival showcases the culture of the ancient kingdom of Ju, rice culture, bronze drum culture, Tufu Jiuge (Nine Songs of Tufu), Zhuang ethnic embroidery, and other experiences through events such as the Ju Plateau Agricultural Special Products Expo, the Feast of the Ju Kingdom, and other activities and sports.
Skilled folk artists have carefully crafted distinctive cultural products showcasing various ethnic customs, including a dazzling array of agricultural tools, bronze drums, clothing, and seal carvings, all of which highlight the ancient ethnic culture and display diverse folk customs. The festival introduces various sports and experiences according to the latest trends, perfectly blending rice culture with cultural tourism.
During the golden autumn season, in Baobao Town, Guangnan County, the rice fields sway under the sunlight, presenting a golden and prosperous scene of harvest. The golden rice paddies blend harmoniously with the rivers, villages, and peaks, creating a lively and bustling atmosphere.
The rejuvenated countryside and bountiful rice fields are waiting for you to come and experience them.
Guangnan County, Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Wenshan, Yunnan Province
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