The Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields
The Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields are one of the three main terraced field areas (the other two are Longji Ancient Zhuang Terraced Fields and Ping'an Terraced Fields) in the Longji Terraced Fields Scenic Area in Longsheng County.
Why Visit Jinkeng
Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields is farther than the other two terraced field areas from the tourist entrance. A less-visited tourist area, Jinkeng (金坑 'Golden Hollow') is less touristy and the scenery is more spectacular than the Zhuang areas. It attracts lots of photographers every year.
The Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields include Dazhai Village, Xiaozhai Village, Tiantou Village, Xinzhai Village, Zhuangjie Village, and Xiabu Village. Dazhai Village is the main tourist center with many hotels and guesthouses located nearby.
The Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields are 880 meters to 1,180 meters above sea level. The highest mountain called Fupingbao is about 1,900 meters in elevation.
The main viewing points are Xishan Shaoyue (西山韶乐 'West Hill Music'), Dajie Qianceng Titian (大界千层梯田 'Large-Scale Thousand-Layer Terraces') and Jinfo Ding (金佛顶 'Golden Buddha Peak').
Xishan Shaoyue is the highest terrace area (altitude 1,180 meters) of the three, and it is the best place to enjoy the sunrise and sunset.
Dajie Thousand-Layer Terraces has impressive and numerous terraces, all the hard work of the local people.
There are cable cars up to the third viewing point Golden Buddha Peak, the only attraction with cable car access in Longji Terraced Fields Scenic Area. The cableway is 1,580 meters long, takes 20 minutes, and costs 75 yuan one way. Enjoy the splendid terrace scenery from the cable car and the peak.
The Red Yao
The Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields are the core heartland of the Red Yao (Younuo 优诺or "Long-haired Yao") ethnic group. As well as the amazing scenery, people also come to experience the Red Yao culture. In the villages the long-haired Yao ladies dress in their unique and colorful costumes.
In the evening the hospitable Yao people invite guests to join in their singing and dancing parties. It is a wonderful chance to experience a minority ethnic group's daily life.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields is from April to late October. During these months the farmers grow rice in the terraced fields.
Visitors can enjoy different scenery in different months: watery fields like mirrors in spring, green fields in summer, and golden fields in late summer and autumn. In winter the weather is too cold to plant crops, and the fields are either bare mud/soil or snow-covered.
In the villages all the restaurants/guesthouses serve local food, such as bamboo-tube rice, fried smoked bacon with bamboo shoots, braised chicken, and fried fresh vegetables. A few of the restaurants can cook simple Western food like french fries and pizza.
Most hotels in the Jinkeng area are basic ones. In the villages the locals have built traditional-style wooden guesthouses for tourists. The basic facilities may be supplemented with hot showers, air conditioners, a TV, and some of them have free Wi-Fi. Dazhai Quanjinglou (全景楼 'Panorama Lodge') is the best hotel in Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields. It is located at 'West Hill Music' viewing point and the standard is similar to a three-star hotel in the city. The hotel has 26 rooms and most of them have great terrace views.
There are also youth hostels (Dazhai Jinkeng International Youth Hostel and Dragon's Den Youth Hostel) for backpackers. The price is not much different between youth hostels and the local guesthouses.
How to Get There
There are many public buses operating from the parking area of Guilin Railway Station to Longsheng Bus Station. Or you can take a bus direct to Longji Terraced Fields Scenic Area. Normally the drive takes 2 hours and the fare is about 40 yuan.
Walk a few minutes from the bus stop to the ticket counter and buy an entrance ticket (80 yuan), then take the shuttle bus and tell the driver which village you're going to visit. It takes about 50 minutes to get to Dazhai Village and the fare is 15 yuan or 30 yuan for a round trip.
The last shuttle bus from Dazhai Parking Lot back to the ticket counter is at 16:00. So if you wish to go back to Guilin on the same day, you should leave the village around 3pm.
From Dazhai Parking Lot it is about half an hour's walk up to Tiantou Village, and another half hour or so to 'Panorama Lodge'. Wear your walking shoes. There are lots of roughly hewn stone steps. Locals with back baskets are ready to carry your luggage up from the parking lot for a reasonable fee. Bargain!
Dazhai Village Tours
If you're looking for a Dazhai Village tour, China Highlights can help you arrange a private trip. Traveling with our private transport, personal driver, and professional English-speaking tour guide means no hassles, all the help you need, and more time to enjoy the experience!
Questions and Answers About The Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields
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I updated this article on March 14, 2014
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