We hiked today through the rice terrace fields but the hike was shortened due to rain. These fields are spectacular and it is enlightening to see the Chinese people participating in village life. Much of the work is backbreaking stuff and makes you appreciate the lifestyle you lead in countries like Australia. Even just navigating the terrain takes effort – high inclines and irregular stone steps. It is a land full of contrasts, even here in what are remote valleys. Today I saw men preparing a newly slaughtered dog for consumption and snakes were being killed in the street outside our inn for people’s dinner. And yet I sit here in this inn and am able to access the internet and listen to The Rolling Stones as they are played over the speaker system here. Whenever you visit an inn you see internet facilities available, they even have free wifi. Mobile phones are everywhere.In the midst of this you see young children running past with a newly caught rabbit obviously for family dinner. This is a very interesting place and I’m wondering how long it will be until the western world starts its creep into this traditional community lifestyle. It’s obviously already happening. It would be very interesting to return here in five years time to see what change has occured. Off to Yangshou tomorrow, my favourite part of this journey. Need to get some sleep to prepare for the bike ride up and down a few choice hills tomorrow.