National Geographic : 1979 Oct
g, 543 SNA SCENE as timeless as China, farmers and water buffalo plow under nitrogen-richvetch to fertilize the soil at a commune outside the city. Subtropicalrains provide waterto flood the paddiesfor planting. Mechanical buffalo (below) are efficient but few, and theirfodder-gasolineat two dollars a gallon-isscarce. Although agriculture,industry, and crafts are traditionalin Guilin's economy, some pollutingfactories have recently been removed to enhance appealfor tourists. In the countryside west and south of Guilin, a third of the people belong to minority ethnic groups such as the Zhuang. They were considered barbarians 2,000 years ago by the Hans, who were extending their empire into the region.