The Longsheng Rice Fields, also known as the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces (龙胜梯田) are among the most beautiful in China. Located in Guangxi province, this beautiful region has a history that goes back as far as more than 600 years when the rice fields were created. From Guilin it is possible to book a day trip at your hostel, but you can also take the bus and stay here for a few days.
The rice fields are so beautiful that you come for the stunning views and beautiful walks. Two villages where you can stay are Dazhai and Ping’an. I stayed in the nice village of Dazhai and made some nice walks there. Best time is in summer, when the fields are in full bloom. So let’s go to the Longsheng Rice Fields!
What would you like to know about the Longsheng rice fields?
- History of the Longsheng rice fields – Here’s what you need to know
- Practical Information – Best time to travel? Tickets?
- Sightseeing – What to do in this beautiful area?
- Accommodation – Where to stay?
- Transportation – How to get to the Longsheng rice fields?
History of the Longsheng rice fields – This is what you need to know
Longsheng or Longji rice fields? Both names are correct, although the town of Longsheng is further north and Heping is the gateway to this beautiful region of China. It was the photographer Li Yashi in 1990 who made the Longsheng rice fields famous with his stunning pictures. However, the history of the region dates back to more than 700 years.
The rice fields in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) are said to have been created by populations such as the Yao and the Zhuang. Incidentally, this was only a small part of the area and it expanded during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) over an area of more than 66 kilometers in size. The rice fields are located at an altitude of between 300 and 100 meters and still the Yao and Zhuang live in this valley and cultivate the rice fields.
Practical information – Best time to travel? Tickets?
Those who visit this beautiful region in Guangxi province come mainly for the beautiful views of the rice fields. The best travel time is in May and October. In May everything is planted and the environment reflects beautifully on the water, in November the harvest takes place. But actually you can come here perfectly all year round, even in winter.
A ticket to enter the region you buy at the town of Hepingxiang. Don’t panic, you pass by here and in the bus a lady comes along who sells the tickets. Then you get on the right bus towards Ping’an or Dazhai. A ticket costs about 80 yuan.
Sightseeing – What to do in this beautiful area?
Are you planning to visit the Longsheng rice fields via a day trip from Guilin? If so, the options are limited and you will come here mainly for taking beautiful pictures and a little walk. But do you have the time and really want to explore the area properly? Then here are a few interesting ideas.
Hike between Ping’an and Dazhai: This hike between the two main villages of this region brings you along the most beautiful views of the rice fields. The trekking takes about 4 to 5 hours and is quite tough. But you get a lot in return, including a glimpse of the daily life of the inhabitants. Arriving at the end point you can arrange a cab back to your village and a restaurant to reflect on the beautiful route. On the website China Highlights you will find a map with more information about this hike.
The cable car at Dazhai: I stayed in Dazhai and there was the possibility to use the cable car. I didn’t do that to explore so much of the area myself. If you would like to explore the area, but not walk too much. Then this is a great option. The entrance to the cable car is at the bus stop and at the top you have a great view of the Golden Buddha, one of the most beautiful views in Dazhai.
Finally, you can also hire a guide who will take you past the most beautiful spots of the Longsheng rice fields and tell you more about this beautiful region in China.
Accommodation – Where to stay at the Longsheng Rice Fields?
Are you planning to spend a few nights in the Longsheng region? Then you have a number of options. What you do need to take into account is where yout hotel or hostel is located. It is a hilly area and some hotels can be found higher up the mountain. Not convenient if you have a lot of luggage. Another option is to have someone carry your suitcase or backpack. In general, this costs around 25 yuan.
Ping’an is the most famous place of the Longsheng rice fields and this is the area where the Zhuang minority lives. Here you will find 80 hotels and hostels and there are plenty of nice restaurants to dine. Among tourists, this place is particularly popular. Explore the Ping’an rice fields, go in search of the nine dragons and five tigers or the seven stars around the moon. By the way, these are names for beautiful views in this part of the Longsheng rice fields.
Dazhai is located further away and is part of the Jinkeng rice fields. This is the area where the Yao minority lives. Dazhai is ideally suited for people who like to explore the area by cable car, without wanting to walk too much. In addition, there is much more peace and quiet here, because most tourists go to Ping’an.
I myself stayed in Lost in Beauty Guesthouse. This is run by a friendly and good English speaking owner with excellent rooms and beds. The food in the evening is also very good. He is also very helpful with good tips and help for your further journey through China. Really a must.
Tiantou is a third option to stay. It is located near Dazhai and thus is also part of the Jinkeng rice fields. One disadvantage is that it is higher than Dazhai and therefore you have to carry your luggage with you. Or you can have that done, because an advantage here is that you are completely surrounded by the rice fields. The choice is yours …
Transportation – How to get to the Longsheng Rice Fields?
There are a few ways to get to the Longsheng Rice Fields. First, you can book a day trip through a hostel. However, you must take into account the travel time, which can take at least 4 to 5 hours. The advantage is that you do not have to arrange anything.
Another possibility is to go on your own to the rice terraces and stay a few nights. From Guilin, buses leave for the area several times a day from Qintan Bus Station (琴潭汽车客运站). It’s important to indicate that you want to go to 龙胜梯田, but for me the person I bought the ticket from on the bus knew right away where I was heading. On the way, they pay close attention to you and explain exactly where to get off. Then you get on a bus to Longsheng.
Next destination in China?
After the Longsheng Rice Fields, it is best to take the bus back to Guilin from the village where you are staying. Even if you continue traveling north, as I did. From Qintan Bus Station there is also a bus to the beautiful town of Fenghuang.
Do you have more tips, ideas or comments about this Travel Guide to the Longsheng Rice Fields in China? Then feel free to leave a message below.