landscape, an art form, or a miracle - whatever you call it, taking these giant
staircases on the picturesque mountains in southern China, you may reach heaven.
On the banks of Honghe River in South China's Yunnan Province are millions of
acres of agricultural and ecological wonders - otherwise known as the Honghe
Hani Terrace. Making full use of the special geological and climactic conditions
in the area, the Hani people have found a perfect combination between human
civilization and the environment. In terms of size and coverage, the Hani
Terrace is largest in the world.
The Hani People, creators of this wonder, originated from the Tibetan Plateau
on the upper reaches of the Yellow River. After centuries of migration, a group
of the ancient Qiang people settled down in the Ailao Mountains in Southern
Yunnan, and became today's Hani race. About 600,000 Hani people still dwell in
the region and their ancestors totally altered the landforms there to grow crops
to feed themselves, yet the ecology was not damaged. In fact, they have made the
place even more attractive, presenting a perfect testimony to harmony between
man and nature. The terrace shows that human intervention doesn't necessarily
mean destroying nature.
World Heritage candidate
Noted for its profound culture, the Hani Terrace is also famous for its
beautiful natural landscapes, including mountains, forests and misty water in
the Ailao Mountain area. The Hani Terrace is a site with the calibre of "World
Natural and Cultural Heritage" issued by UNESCO. The bidding work is being
supported by the local government, and is now well underway.