Rice terraces of the Ailao Mountains between the Red River and Vietnam. Honghe Prefecture, Yuanyang. Yunnan Province. CHINA
These terraces are mottled with villages all the way up the slopes, separated by little clumps of forest and great swaths of terraced fields. They are cut into every contour of the slopes, at angles up to 70 degrees and are the most ancient and the most impressive in the entire region. Most are irrigated and filled with water all year round. They are mostly used to only grow rice and so in the dry months of winter they are empty of crops. Some of the terraces have been producing rice for over a thousand consecutive years. In Ailaoshan the water from high mountain springs and creeks is channeled in ditches that are directed to run throughout the farming area. Divider stones and bamboo tubes divert part of the water from the main irrigation channel to individual terraces, from these dropping through notches in the terrace walls to feed those below and so on all the way to the bottom.
These terraces were built by Hani, Yi and Dai Ethnic minority peoples.