The Beauty of Terraced Fields

For thousands of years, when farmers in mountainous regions have expanded their farms to grow crops on the steep slopes, they have carved massive steps into the terrain, forming terraces of many small platforms. Following the contours of the mountains, the edges of the terraces create sinuous patterns in the landscape, presenting picturesque images. Gathered here are photos from China, Switzerland, Vietnam, Peru, the Philippines, and Japan. [27 photos total]

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1
The sun reflects off the surfaces of the Longsheng rice terraces, in Longsheng County, China, on March 11, 2016. (SIPA Asia via ZUMA Wire / Corbis) #
2
Rice terraces in the late afternoon light in the mountainous district of Mu Cang Chai, in the northwestern Vietnamese province of Yen Bai on October 23, 2012. (Hoang Dinh Nam / AFP / Getty) #
3
Illuminated terraces by the ocean, Shiroyone Senmaida, Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, on January 15, 2015 (Keren Su / Corbis) #
4
Rice terraces in Mu Cang Chai district, Yen Bai province, Vietnam, on September 27, 2015. On the mountains between 1,000 and 2,000 meters above the sea level, ethnic Hmong farmers have been growing rice on the terraced fields for hundreds of years. (Hau Dinh / AP) #
5
Terraced rice paddy fields during the harvest season in Mu Cang Chai, northwest of Hanoi, on October 4, 2015. (Nguyen Huy Kham / Reuters) #
6
Yuanyang Terrace, China, on February 23, 2016. (Yu Fangping / SIPA Asia via ZUMA Wire / Corbis) #
7
Village houses and water filled rice terraces in the mountain, Longsheng, Guangxi Province, China, on June 19, 2014. (Keren Su / Corbis) #
8
The terraced des Afforets vineyard is bathed in sunlight during a sunny fall afternoon in Switzerland's Rhone Valley on October 24, 2006. (Jean-Bernard Sieber / Reuters) #
9
Terraced rice paddy fields during harvest season in Mu Cang Chai, northwest of Hanoi, on October 4, 2015. (Nguyen Huy Kham / Reuters) #
10
The vineyards of Lavaux, overlooking Lake Leman after an overnight snowfall in Bourg-en-Lavaux near Vevey, Switzerland, on March 7, 2016. (Denis Balibouse / Reuters) #
11
An ethnic Hmong woman walks in a rice field in Mu Cang Chai district, Yen Bai province, Vietnam, on September 26, 2015. (Hau Dinh / AP) #
12
Hmong ethnic hilltribe women thrash bunches of paddy against a wooden box as they harvest rice on a terrace rice field in Mu Cang Chai district, on October 1, 2013. (Hoang Dinh Nam / AFP / Getty) #
13
The sun illuminates rice terraces in Mu Cang Chai district, Yen Bai province, Vietnam on September 27, 2015. (Hau Dinh / AP) #
14
Photo taken on March 6, 2014, shows the scenery of terraced fields in Yuanyang County, China. UNESCO's World Heritage Committee added China's Honghe Hani Rice Terraces to its World Heritage List on June 22, 2013. (Yang Zongyou / Xinhua Press / Corbis) #
15
Tourists walk to the the Inca terraces of Moray near the town of Maras in Cuzco, Peru, on February 17, 2010. (Enrique Castro-Mendivil / Reuters) #
16
Paddy fields at Dangniu village in Congjiang county, China on August 25, 2016. (AFP / Getty) #
17
A Google Earth satellite view of a significantly terraced slope beside a village in China's Yunnan province. (© Google, Inc.) #
18
Two farmers work in terraced rice fields near the village of Tiantou in Longsheng county, in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on April 11, 2016. (Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty) #
19
Rice terraces near the Dong minority village of Ping'an in China's southwest Gangxi province, on September 17, 2003. (Peter Parks / AFP / Getty) #
20
Photo taken on February 20, 2016, of rice terraces in Yuanyang County, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Yunnan Province. (Chen Xingyu / Xinhua Press / Corbis) #
21
Ethnic H'Mong farmers work on terraced rice field in La Pan Tan village, in Vietnam's northern remote district of Mu Cang Chai, on September 27, 2009. (Nguyen Huy Kham / Reuters) #
22
A view of a rice paddy along the mountain slopes of Banaue city, Ifugao province, north of Manila, on April 16, 2008. (John Javellana / Reuters) #
23
Hmong ethnic hilltribe women harvest rice on a terrace rice field in Mu Cang Chai district, in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai, on October 1, 2013. (Hoang Dinh Nam / AFP / Getty) #
24
A farmer walks amid a terrace paddy field in Suichuan county, Jiangxi province, on June 1, 2013. (China Daily / Reuters) #
25
Terraced rice fields of the Honghe Hani Rice Terraces in Yuanyang county, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, China, on January 12, 2016. (Yang linhua / Imaginechina) #
26
Rice fields in Mu Cang Chai district, in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai, on October 2, 2013. (Hoang Dinh Nam / AFP / Getty) #
27
Ethnic Hmong villagers harvest rice in Mu Cang Chai district, Yen Bai province, Vietnam, on September 27, 2015. (Hau Dinh / AP) #

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