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1-22-09

e p i s o d e # 17
CHINA, THE DRAGON"S BACKBONE





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Studio Red Dot jaunts around the world for various clients, and "Red Dot Podcasts" are a result of the photos and video that personally captures our curious and sometimes quirky imagination. These short films include our original music, writing, travel news, travel tips, international culture, media and humor. Enjoy!

It stretches across miles. Curved lines crisscrossing the countryside. Some parts are better maintained then others, but all of it breathtaking. And that's just the road to get to Guangxi's rice terraces.

Our personal driver arrives with the morning's first light to pick us up. We acknowledge each other with a "I'm sorry I don't speak your language" nod and climb into the mini van.

Out of town we pull off the main road. Two senior women dressed in traditional Zhuang and Yao clothing jump in; their attire vibrant, their faces wrinkled with age and character, their smiles enchanting. More nods.

Driving in this part of China is a balance of survival, gambling, artistry and skill. With one hand on the palm indented horn button and the other taking turns smoking and steering, our driver possess the balance. After an hour of white knuckles, I sink into the routine and become, like the ladies in the back, unaffected. I settle in to the ride and enjoy the scenery of Guilin.

Reaching the summit of the rice fields, we see it. The Dragons Backbone. A canvas of tiered agriculture makes up the spine of this metaphorical creature. Every direction holds a new vantage point and we quickly realize that four hours is not enough to capture its beauty. But we must go. It is time to meet our driver again for the journey back to the city.

They say half the adventure is getting there. I agree.

-Alicia