Hike the Longji Rice Terraces
China › Ping'an
Added by Michael Gabbert
Visit one of the most beautiful and unique landscapes in China, with opportunities to hike throughout the rice terraces and interact with people of the nearby villages.
The terraced fields of Longji offer some of the most spectacular scenery in China. Located 62 miles north of Guilin, the terraces take about 2.5 hrs to get to by car from the Guilin airport. The drive twists through some beautiful scenery itself before reaching the village of Ping’an.
The rice terraces at Longji, also known as Dragon’s Backbone, date back over 500 years ago. The village itself feels very traditional, and so do the methods and farming you’ll see as you explore the area. Once you arrive at the village, you’ll have a number of options to explore with the overall scale of the fields comprising of over 40 square miles. My favorite area was the ‘Seven Star Around the Moon’ – a lookout point which is a 30 minute walk from the center of the village. This area gives you a panoramic view peering south over layers upon layers of rice terraces and the village of Ping’An. It's also the perfect spot to catch the sunset. Beyond that, there’s other colorfully named spots within the terraces such as the ‘Nine Dragons and Five Tigers’, ‘Thousand-Layer Terraces’, & Golden Buddha Peak’ areas to visit.
While a day trip in and out of Longji can be done, the distance to get here warrants a 1 ½ to 2 days of exploring. The village itself is a fascinating place to wander throughout and it has plenty of restaurants and hotels/hostels. I stayed at the Longji Star Wish Resort. While the word resort is a bit of a stretch, the place was more than I needed and the English speaking staff was much appreciated.
Another area I would recommend is the Longji Aniceient Zhuang Village and accompanying rice terraces. A 40 minute hike west along a simple walking path from Ping’An, these terraces are just as beautiful as those in Ping’Anand the village itself is much less touristy.
If you can plan your visit for the perfect times, aim for May and October. These will align with the typical seed-time and harvest times of the year. That said, as you can imagine, these terraces are so unique that seeing them and any point would be a sight to see. Enjoy!
- Hiking Shoes
- Water (although there are plenty of places to buy more in the villages)
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This is a little more "out there" for non-Chinese speaking travelers in China but definitely worth the iconic views! For a clear sunset/sunrise it's simply amazing. For photographers, I'd suggest going in winter when they have not planted the rice yet (Jan-Feb, although avoid the weeks around Chinese New Year). This way you can get the famous "glass like" pictures of the sky and clouds reflecting upon the unplanted clear waters of the terraces. Once the rice is planted it is just not the same. The only other easily accessible similar views in China that would rival these are probably the Yuanyang Rice Terraces in Yunnan Province.
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