The October marks the harvest time of paddy(a paddy or a paddy field is a field that is kept flooded with water and is used for growing rice) rice in Guilin(桂林Guìlín); it is also the golden season for our hiking lovers. Recently, I joined a hiking trip organized by a Hiking Club and had the opportunity to admire the idyllic scenery of Huixian County (会仙乡) in Lingui (临桂), a part of Guilin. Azure sky, golden waves of rice paddies, and simple folk customs, left us very good memories.

Situated about 40 km south of Guilin City, Huixiang County is hometown of Bai Chongxi, a famous military officer of Kuomintang (KMT) during the Period of Republic of China (1912-1949). Right at 8am, 36 of us got on the tour bus, which drove along 321 National Road towards Yangshuo for half an hour and then turned right at the Huixian Intersection, another 40 minutes later, finally brought us to the Shuangshan Village (双山村).

Upon arriving, we immediately started hiking. We went through the Shuangshan Village and continued 10 minutes and then arrived at Yinshan Village (Seal Mountain Village, 印山村), which is small and quiet. All we came across were women, children and the aged because most of the young people have all gone out to seek livehood in cities. An old man was drying his grains on the threshing floor; a couple of little girls joyfully raced for a hand rake to imitate the old man turning over the grains. What a simple and joyful scene.

The village was named after a small seal-like hill - the Seal Mountain (印山), which is only 50 meters high, yet very steep. Our mountaineering to the top was finished within more than 10 minutes’ climbing, which rewarded us with the panoramic view of nearby lovely countryside: narrow and winding paths crisscross the rice fields; undulating rice paddies stretch into the distance like golden waves, creating a scene of fabled Shangri-La. Out of great excitement, some of us even posed for pictures!

At around 12:30, we got to Zhupo Village (竹陂村) which is as small as Shuangshan Village. There are no more than ten households. It is populated by Muslim (Hui ethnic minority). The villagers are hospitable. A young couple invited us to have a rest at their home and prepared water for us to wash face and hand. They have just gotten married in January this year. The man is surnamed Bai. He usually works for others and had just been at home recently. My companions said that he is the imam of the village. My heart was filled with deep esteem toward him, not for his status, but for his virtue.

Then we headed to Copper Bridge (铜桥) in Huixian County. Golden rice, green mountains, and clear water enhanced beauty of each other, presenting an extraordinary autumn landscape painting. We among rice paddies also became a part of the painting.