Longsheng Rice Terraces, also called the Longji Rice Terraces, are located in Longsheng County, about 100 kilometers from Guilin, Guangxi, China. Longji means ‘Dragon Backed Mountain’. When the paddies are full of water in spring, it is said to resemble the scales on the back of a dragon.
A coiling terrace line that starts from the mountain foot up to the mountain top divides the mountain into layers of water in spring, layers of green rice shoots in summer, layers of rice in fall, and layers of frost in winter.
The terraced fields were mostly built about 650 years ago. The Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces is a beautiful natural picture. 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.
When the onset of summer takes in, green waves rush continuously down the mountainside from the heaven. Built along the slope winding from the riverside up to the mountaintop, the terrace rice fields unfold an amazing natural picture.
The coiling line spirals up from the mountain foot to the top, making the mountain looks like huge snail seen afar. It is said, “Where there is soil, there is a terrace.” It spreads in the valley with clear rivers flowing along the foot of mountains and the white cloud swirling around the mountain summit.
The Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces is a beautiful natural picture. The linked together rice terraces vary from season to season. Spring In spring, the water is irrigated into the fields and the terraces look like great chains or ribbons hung on the hillsides.
Summer When summer approaching, it is magnificent as green terrace after terrace cascade down the side of the mountain into the valley below. Autumn the theme of autumn is the harvest, with the mountainside decorated with the gold of ripened millet. From Longsheng, the Longji terraces are a further hour or so by local bus.
Buses can take you straight to either one of the villages from Longsheng, enquire which village beforehand, if you have one in mind for late-arrival accommodation purposes. Once there, travel between the two villages is straightforward.
It’s faster if you change buses at Heping instead of Longsheng – one village before Longsheng, but there is no Bus terminal and you have to wait on the road and also some taxi drivers will bother you. Notify the conductor of your final destination so they can tell you where to get off.
Those who stay the night at the terraces have the opportunity to wander further afield. A popular trek is to the Yao minority village of Dazhai. This walk affords some diverse scenery and takes about 3 hours one way.
Rice is still farmed here today and the Longji Rice Terraces are home to some of China’s ethnic minorities. The village of Ping’An, which is essentially the base camp for exploring the terraces, has a 600 year history and is populated by the Zhuang people. A few hours walk away is Dazhai, a town populated by the Yao ethnic minority. The Yao women are famous for growing extremely long hair.