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Had a Hiking Tour in Longji Rice Terrace

Post Time: November 20,2013 By Vicky Lu

I saw Yuanyang Rice Terraces for the first in the BBC documentary film "Wild China". I could not imagine in diffuse clouds mountain rice, which could form such a beautiful natural picture. After watching the film, how many times I was temptated by the dividing lines and coordinated color in the rice terrace. However, in addition to Yunyang Rice Terrace in Yunnan, China still has another beautiful terrace, which attracts so many crazy photographers as the same. It's "Longji Rice Terraced" in Longsheng County, Guilin, Guangxi.
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Many people only know the Lijiang River in Guilin; in fact, Guilin Longji Terrace is not inferior in any respect. Longji Terrace is a national AAAA level scenic spots, 22 kilometers away from the Guangxi Longsheng County, 103 kilometers away from Guilin downtown. 

Longji terraced scenic spot area includes three areas: one is Pingan Village, Dazhai Village and Longji Village (Longji Ancient Zhuang Village). This time, we started the hiking from Pingan Village to Longji Village. Car can only drive to Longji Terraces Scenic Area parking lot, and then we parked the car there and started the hiking. Before the entrance, we had to buy tickets. Each ticket is 80 yuan per person. We took the special bus up to the mountain. The bus ticket is 30 yuan per person, including round-trip fare. The special bus stopped at terrace viewing area in Pingan Zhuang Village.Got off the bus, we needed to walk into the Zhuang Villageand it took approximately ten minutes.

There are quite a lot of tourists here, but housing prices are not as expensive as we thought. It is basically between 100 to 280 yuan or so. We stayed in a house of the local resident in Pingan Zhuang Village. The inn was not best viewing position for Longji terrace, but far away from the busiest locations, very quiet and comfortable. In the front residential house, there was an open platform that could sit here and chatted over tea. Across the streams under the col, we could overview the architectural landscapes of the village.
In different seasons, there is different beauty in Longji. The best time for Longji terrace tour is within 15 days after the mid-autumn festival and within 15 days after the annual Lunar New Year on April 15. But every season has its characteristics. For example, in March every year, Longji canola flower bloom, visitors can see the terraces with flowers blooming; from April to mid-June, it is time for late planting irrigation, when it could take the photos of the beauty of reflection in the water; from 7 July to September, visitors can see the terraces in green; from mid-September to November, it is the harvest season, Longji terraced is wearing the gold color and the scenery is quite beautiful; from December to February, there is beauty of winter, perhaps you can see the snow here. 

Longji terrace is located on Longji Mountain which is 1,916 meters above sea level, in Longsheng County in Guilin. It is a large-scale group of terraces. The terrace has the highest elevation of 1180 m and the lowest elevation of 380 meters. Here is divided into Jinkeng Dazhai Yao terrace viewing area, Pingan Zhuang terrace viewing area and Ancient Zhuang Village Longji terrace viewing area. We stayed at the Ancient Zhuang village, so the main terrace viewing areas includes Pingan Zhuang Village terrace scenic view area and Longji Ancient Zhuang terrace scenic view area.

Longji terrace area covers a total area of 66 square kilometers and the elevation is between 300 to 1100 m. The slope is mostly from 26 to 35 degrees. The maximum gradient is of 50 degrees. Although it was raining when we had the hiking, we could also enjoy the green terrace in the rain fog. The layers of terrace fields are covered with a layer in green, exceptionally seductive.

There are mostly ethnic minorities living in the village in Longji terrace area, mostly including Zhuang, Yao nationalities. Most of the houses here are typical wooden structure. As the houses were built on the hillside, most of the houses are stilted architecture (Diaojiaolou). 

Fortunately, the stairs are not refurbished by cement. They are still made with ancient stones, retaining the original style. But they are very slippery, especially some are mossy. You must be careful for the road where very few people walked on it.

Tiles on the roof are black, although it looks a bit dull, but it is regarded as a very significant feature of stilted architecture (Diaojiaolou). Looking from the long distance, it is black, giving a sense of mystery.

Terrace Fields includes mostly North Zhuang Pingan Terrace and Jinkeng Hung Yao Terrace. Pingan Terrace is the carrier of Zhuanghzou culture in the northern Guangxi, while Jinkeng Terrace is the cradle of the Red Yao nationality style. 

The wooden pillars of houses on stilts were carved in the past, simple and elegant. But the original color is faintly visible now. It can be easy to see that when the houses were built, many of them are used in wood tenon. They would be pieces of wood tied together, making the crane foot Mulou become so strong.

In some scenic places, in order to meet the needs of tourists, there opens many bars and restaurants. Indeed, it is another kind of feeling sitting here drinking tea or wine. Some foreign tourists is favorite to chat or in a daze in such a place. Many of the inn here are on hanging feet wooden building, the accommodation condition is not much good. Many of them have no separate toilet and bathroom. But once you open the window, you can see the beauty of the residential houses.

From the Yuan Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty, this place has had farming experience of 650 years. It is the local people here who make Longsheng Longji become nationally renowned for its natural landscape, leaving the most valuable asset for the future generations.

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Vicky Lu

Position: Travel Consultant

Someone once said: “Or travel, or reading, either your body or soul should be always on the way”.Travel is one of my favorite hobbies. Travel can broaden my horizon and experience the thing I never do before. I think the important thing during a travel is about what you learn along the way in that journey and to always keep your mind open about what you see before you get to the destination.

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