In the Zhuang village, one of the local specialties was bamboo sticky rice. Glutinous rice was soaked in water and mixed with corn, mushroom and carrot. The mixture was then stuffed into a bamboo section then roasted over a charcoal fire. The fragrant rice would swell to fill up the whole container and form a delicate layer of rice paper coating the entire length of bamboo. It was delicious.
It’s probably one of the earliest convenience foods. Locals would take the prepared raw bamboo packets with them as they went into the forest to work. For lunch, they would build a fire and cook the bamboo packets. Et voila! Lunch on the go. The best part was that the packaging is biodegradable and left in the forest. Free hands to take timber back to the village.
For the tourists’ bamboo rice, grills were put behind the restaurant. Check out the nifty built-in handle carved out of the bamboo.
At the Dong village, we ducked into this little noodle shop for lunch. It was the only food shop in the vicinity and it had only one dish on the menu. The best part was watching our noodles made before our eyes outside the little shack. This was mingling with the locals at its best.
As we eagerly waited for our noodles, this group of boys happily slurped theirs down. They were eating with such gusto, it had to be good.
And it was! This version was slightly lighter than the one in Yangshuo. It had far more fresh vegetables (pumpkin shoots, very yummy) in it and there was the option of adding extra chilli to taste. Wonderful. It cost all of ¥3 per bowl.