Reposted: July 19 2019
Off-season at the Longsheng Rice Terraces in Guangxi Province, China, where I quietly celebrated 1 year of travels.
These rice terraces are in Guangxi Province. Commonly known as Longsheng or Longji Rice terraces but aren't exactly in Longsheng.
The name 'Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces' simply comes from what they look like.
It took me the best part of two days to get here from Xijiang, in neighbouring Guizhou province.
But was well worth the effort - long days in numerous buses over mountain roads and the language barrier resulting in some delays and a very expensive hotel in Rongjiang having been given the infamous 'mao' treatment, mao is the Chinese equivalent of Niet, which means the cheapies are brothels and don't have licences to accept foreigners.
There was no other choice regarding the hotel so I just relaxed. It was the plushest hotel I stayed in, in a long long time and really at 200RMB, it was hardly a fortune.
I continued my journey to Longsheng via Sanjiang.
Construction of the Longji Rice Terraces 龙脊梯田 (Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces) began in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and continued until the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The minority people here are Yao in Tiantouzhou or Zhuang in Ping'An, the two areas.
Map from chinahighlights.com showing the location of the terraces in relation to Guilin and Longsheng. If you take a Guilin-Longsheng bus 0r vice-versa, you can get off at Heping and wait for the bus that goes to Dazhai where the Jinking Red Yao terraces are. I stayed at the Tiantou village.
So when you arrive in Dazhai, 30Km from Longsheng which in turn is 88Km from Guilin you will be, most likely met by some women from the hotels up the hill and some who will offer to carry your bags up.
I was met by the woman from Tian Ti hotel. She speaks OK English and her mum was there too to carry my bags. They might be bent over with old age but don't underestimate their strength.
A great big house and they can whisk you up some Chinese culinary delights while you drink a beer. Awesome mum and daughter team. The old lady will fuss over you the whole time you are there. The men of the household...are... well, useless.
There are 4 viewpoints, 1, 2 and 3 and another with no number, in the vicinity and all are linked with numerous stoned paths. But sadly, in the offseason, the terraces are NOT filled with water. Some dispute by the locals against the authorities who take the entrance fees and not one single RMB makes it's way to the villagers.
Looking down on Tiantouzhou.
My host family; mother and daughter, at the Tian Ti hotel, just 40RMB a night through the steam of 'meat' hot pot on my 365th day of travels.
Low cloud moved in on my last morning and horrendous rain. I checked out and headed back down the hill and reached Guilin by 4 pm.
This is a great spot. So peaceful. I wish I could have stayed longer. But with just a 30-day visa, time is always running.
This post originally appeared on my other, now defunct, travel blog and is based on my travels in December 2014.
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Travelling the world solo, since 1992, as a low budget backpacker.