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  • Rick

China #6: Longji Rice Terraces in LongSheng (龙胜龙脊梯田)

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Sights: Longji Rice Terraces (龙脊梯田)

Region: Longsheng County, Guilin Prefecture, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region


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Story #5: Scenic Spots in Guilin City (桂林市)

Longji Rice Terraces is one of the more spectacular rice terraces in China and is the most well-developed. It began constructions in the Yuan Dynasty some 750 years ago and is the effort of the Zhuang (壮族) and Yao (瑶族) ethnic minorities. Be amazed at how the wisdom of these people turned the hillsides into tiered paddies.

Longji (龙脊 means Dragon's Backbone) has several sites of interest, including two major scenic areas for travellers — Ping'an Terrace of the Zhuang people (平安壮族梯田观景区) and Jinkeng Terrace of the Red Yao people (金坑红瑶梯田观景区). A third terrace of the Zhuang people (龙脊古壮寨梯田观景区) is also opened for sight-seeing and is a cultural site of the Zhuang minority — it is also the most original. All three terraces are accessible with a single ticket.

There is also a Huangluo Long Hair Tribe Village (黄洛红瑶长发村) where ladies of the Yao tribe kept very long hairs and are the longest in China — tickets sold separately.

Ping'an Terrace is popular among tour groups as there are lesser grounds to cover. The village is on higher ground with a road leading to it from the main entrance. This allows tourists to check out the sights without having to walk up and down the hill slopes. It is naturally the most touristy and crowded.

Jinkeng Terrace is less touristy as it has the largest area to be covered on foot. The road from the main entrance will lead to Dazhai Village (大寨) at the foot of the hills. To see the various sights around Jinkeng Terrace, one will have to hike up and down the hills. There is also a cable car station for tourists to get to one of the peaks without having to hike. For backpackers, Jinkeng is the obvious choice.

Getting From Guilin City to Longji Rice Terrace

Longji Rice Terraces is about 75Km from Guilin City. If going by public transports, one will have to go to Guilin Bus Station and change to a bus bound for Longsheng (龙胜). The bus will actually pass by the entrance to Longji Rice Terraces. To get to Ping'an Village or Jinkeng Village, you will have to wait for the local bus.

The better alternative is to go for private transport services that will send you from a pick-up point in Guilin City directly to either village — which I did by booking through the friendly staff at This Old Place International Hostel in Guilin.

Hiking to Tiantou Village (田头寨)

After arriving at Dazhai Village, it took me about an hour to hike up a hill with my backpack to Tiantou Village, where the hostel that I booked was situated.

Above was a Wind & Rain Bridge (风雨桥) common to the ethnic minorities. Everyone would need to go through it to get into Dazhai Village. And a view of Dazhai Village from a higher point (below).