Yuanyang was one place on my trip that I figured I would never come back to, only because it had been so difficult getting there. I stayed three days, even though most say you can do it in two or even one if you hurry.
I’m glad I stayed the final day. I had talked to people who had done Yuanyang in a day or two and felt they were just being shepherded from viewpoint to viewpoint but left without a sense of the place. The manager at the second hotel recommended a path from her village that allowed me to walk through the terraces rather than viewing them from above. A totally different feel. Unlike Laohuzui, the pictures do tell the whole story. I didn’t encounter any other tourists, but a few villagers and a number of ducks.