Longsheng – The Most Amazing Rice Terraces in China

Longsheng – The Most Amazing Rice Terraces in China

Longsheng Rice Terrace in China

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Longsheng (which means Dragon’s Backbone) Rice Terraces is the most amazing terrace in China! Students from Omeida Chinese academy went to visit the Longsheng Rice Terraces to enjoy the beautiful scenery.It’s a beautiful, picturesque place to visit.

History

Construction of the terraces began in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). It continued until the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when construction was completed. The rice terraces are the culmination of both the profound wisdom and strenuous labor of the Zhuang people.

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During Different Seasons

The linked together rice terraces vary from season to season. In spring, the water is irrigated into the fields and the terraces look like great chains or ribbons hung on the hillsides. During summer, green waves rush continuously down the mountainside from heaven. The theme of autumn is the harvest, with the mountainside decorated with the gold of ripened millet. Coming into winter, the whole mountain will be covered with white snow, just like dragons playing with water.

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Ethnic Minorities

As well as its amazing scenery, the Longsheng Rice Terraces is also the area to visit in order to experience China’s ethnic minorities’ culture. The Zhuang and the Yao nationalities live here, though mainly it is the Zhuang people. The women dress in unique and colorful costumes, singing and dancing. Guests also can join in with them to enjoy the original Zhuang life and culture. You can even stay with local families enjoying both the local tea and wine.

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Geography

The Longsheng Rice Terraces covers an area of 66 square kilometers (about 16,308 acres) and spans an altitude between 300 meters (about 984 feet) and 1,100 meters (about 3,608 feet). It is said, ‘Where there is soil, there is a terrace’. From the valley, to the mountain summit, to the bordering forest, to the cliff walls. Even though the rice terraces are large, it is made up of numerous patches no more than 1 mu. A mu (currently call shimu) is a traditional unit of area in China and is about 0.16 acres. The smaller ones look like snails while the bigger ones look like towers. The outline is very smooth with gradients between 26 degrees and 35 degrees.

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Different Terraces and Villages

Located in the west side and closest to Dazhai Village, the Thousand-layer Terraces are suitable for sunrise and sunset watching. Here, you can watch layers upon layers terraces piled up like a stairway reaching to the sky and the villages of Yao people.

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The Longsheng Rice Terraces contain three villages. They are Ping’an Village (平安寨), Jinkeng Village (金坑大寨) and Guzhuang Village (古壮寨). Ping’an Village is the one most visited by tour groups, while Jinkeng Village is higher up and larger with the availability of cable cars (RMB 70 one way, RMB 120 round trip).

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Eyal and Mark are enjoying their hiking trip along the rice terrace!

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The bird view from the top down is amazing and uncanny. While climbing up to the mountaintop, visitors can experience the rural lifestyle of local villages. These are mainly dwelled by Yao and Zhuang minorities.

Guides

At the entrances of the village, local women gather to offer to carry your bags in bamboo baskets attached to their back. The fee is RMB 20-25, varying with the weight of your bag. Surprisingly, some senior local women have English skills advanced enough to act as your tour guide. They will likely approach you once inside the village, while walking along the paths, or you can enquire at the entrance. You can ask for a map at the entrances to the villages (they are not automatically given) to orient yourself with the area. The area is well signposted, with maps at regular intervals as well. It is usually clear which way you need to walk.

Sanne, Valerie, and Patricia were very excited to be here for their first time in the Longsheng Rice Terraces.

Hiking Time

A short hike through Ping’an to the summit takes about 2 hours to complete, depending on fitness. Jinkeng is slightly larger so may take more time. It is possible to hike between Ping’an and Jinkeng in about 3 hours, but inquire with guides at the villages. Longer hikes spanning more than one day are possible and will allow you to access more beautiful and less touristy areas of the mountain.

Congratulations on the successful Saturday activity visiting the Longsheng Rice Terraced. Join Omeida Chinese Academy and start your adventure now!