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The Longsheng Rice Terraces, also called the Longji Terraced Fields or Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces, offer some of the most fantastic scenery in China or indeed the world.
Beautiful when the sun reflects in the water of the rice fields and glowing with yellow ears when the harvest is ripe, Longji ('Dragon's Back') is a feast for the eyes...
Read on to find out the best spots for rice terrace scenery, best times to visit, and more.
The Longji Rice Terraces cover several village areas in Longsheng: Ping'an, Jinkeng (Dazhai), Ancient Zhuang Village (Guzhuangzhai), Huangluo Red Yao Village, etc.
The Longji Rice Terraces cover several village areas in Longsheng County. The most popular terraced field areas are around Ping'an ('Peace') village, where Zhuang minority people live, and the Jinkeng ('Golden Hollow') area, home to the Red Yao.
|Major Villages||Ethnic Minority||Crowds||Status||Cable Car||Time Needed to Visit|
|The Ping'an Terraced Fields||Ping'an||Zhuang||Crowded||Commercial||No||2 hours|
|The Jinkeng Terraced Fields||Dazhai, Tiantou||Red Yao||Less-crowded||More rustic||Yes||4–5 hours|
The Ping'an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields (平安壮寨梯田) are the first rice terrace area in Longsheng to be developed for tourism. They have the most roads/paths, hotels, and facilities. It's the most touristy area.
The terraced fields are around Ping'an Village and two smaller hamlets, inhabited by the Zhuang minority. The villagers live in traditional wooden three-story stilted houses.
The area is well-equipped with modern facilities, where dining, accommodation, and transportation are very convenient with over 80 hostels and hotels available.
It takes about one hour to walk from the car park to the rice terrace view spots above Ping'an. Don't worry if you are not fond of walking, we can arrange a car to take you up there. But we still recommend walking, as you will have different views of the village and the terraced rice fields at every turn.
The best places to enjoy the scenery of the rice fields in Ping'an are:
The Jinkeng Terraced Fields are farther from the tourist entrance than the Ping’an Terraced Fields. The rice terraces are much higher and larger than the Ping'an rice fields.
There are cable cars going from the car park to Golden Buddha Peak (one of the best views spots). It is a good option for travelers who are not good at walking to enjoy the scenery. Golden Buddha Peak is an hour's walk from the accommodation, so the cableway is not very convenient for getting to hotels.
Hotels: It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the car park to Dazhai village at the foot of the rice terraces. There are hotels at the foot, in the middle, and near the top of the rice terraces. Hotels at the top of the rice terraces require 1½–2 hours' walking from the car park.
Don't worry if you wish to stay at hotels at the top of the rice terraces, or if you are not good at walking, we will arrange a car to take you to up to the middle (the roads don’t go any higher). Also don't worry if you have a lot of luggage: we can arrange the Red Yao women with back baskets to help you.
The best places to enjoy the scenery of the rice fields in Jinkeng are:
Longji Old Zhuang Village (龙脊古壮寨), 3 km (2 mi) southwest of Ping'an Village, is the most traditional and least modernized Zhuang minority village in Longsheng. It is the top choice for those interested in history and culture. The village boasts the oldest and the largest stilted building group in Guangxi Province.
Huangluo Red Yao Village (黄洛红瑶寨), 1 km south of Ping'an, is known as the ‘World's Top Long Hair Village'. It is a tradition for girls to wear long hair in Huangluo, and over 60 women have over-one-meter-long black hair. The longest is 2.1 meters!
There are long hairs shows at this village, but we don't arrange the shows for our customers as they are not natural, and too commercial. If you are interested in this village, our guides are happy to take you there and facilitate a more rewarding time with the Red Yao and explanation of their culture.
For those who like outdoor exercise, there couldn't be a better choice than to hike at the Longji Terraced Fields. There are many good hiking trails between the villages. The most popular two options are:
There are a considerable number of small paths, which may easily lead to getting lost, so a tour guide may be necessary to help you find the right way.
The uncut stone paths have many twists and turns, and some sections are steep, so please mind your step.
The Longji Rice Terraces offer outstanding scenery for photography. The two best seasons are:
See more on Photography Tips for the Longsheng Rice Terraces.
You can enjoy different sceneries in different months. Spring and autumn are the most popular times to take photos and go hiking.
Longji Terraced Fields Scenic Area is 95 kilometers (59 miles) from Guilin. There are no direct buses from Guilin to Longji. The most convenient and time-saving way to get there is to take a private tour with a private car and driver.
Unlike most other travel agencies who use the main road to save the toll, we use the expressway for a smoother, safer, and 30-or-so-minutes shorter journey. We can take you there within 2 hours.
If you wish to go alone, you can take the express bus from Guilin to Longsheng County Town and then another bus from the town to the Longji terraces area. It takes about 3 hours.
Alternatively, you can take regular bus at Guilin Qintan Bus Station and get off at Heping, a village before Longsheng, and then take a tourism bus to Ping’an or Dazhai. This takes even longer.
The accommodation is mainly around Ping'an, Dazhai, and Tiantou. It is quite basic. Most of the hotels are local stilted buildings, with a limited hot water supply. Some of the rooms have washrooms, some don't. You can really experience local life if you stay in a guesthouse.
Here are some hotels we recommend based on our field inspections and our customers’ feedback: Longsheng Li An Lodge, Pingan Inn, Longji Panorama House Hotel.
If you have heavy luggage, you can have it stored at the entrance of the scenic area. The local people will enthusiastically offer to help you carry your luggage up the terraces in back baskets. It is about 50 yuan per suitcase.
1. Touring the Longji Rice Terraces requires a whole day due to 2-hour’s driving per way and the huge size of the scenic area. So, if you want to cover Yangshuo and Longji as well, you are recommended to have 4 days at least in Guilin.
2. Some travelers consider travelling from Yangshuo to Longji. We don’t recommend as it is a long drive, about 3 hours. It is more advisable to drive from Guilin.
3. It is not recommended to arrange the Longji day tour on your departure day so as to avoid missing your flight.
4. If the limited condition of Longji’s accommodation doesn’t meet your requirement, you can get back to Guilin for overnight stay.
5. Some authentic experiences would enrich your Longji tour. We can help arrange a home-visit to a local’s house and create a chance for you to learn to make oil tea, bamboo-tube rice, or embroidery.
Here is a sample itinerary for your reference:
See more details.
Longji is full of beautiful scenery and ethnic customs. Travelling with us, you will not only see amazing scenery, but also have a chance to enjoy some authentic ethnic experiences.
Just tell us your interests and requirements, and we'll tailor-make your own unique tour. You may want to start your custom tour plan from one of our expertly designed sample itineraries: