Longji Rice Terraces.
Our stay in Ping’ An village in Guangxi Province was the shortest we stayed at any one spot during our flash visit to China, it was the place that left the most lasting impression.
If my partner and I were to plan our trip with the knowledge we have after the fact, I would have certainly wanted to stay in this area for two days, instead of the half a day and a bit of a morning.
The area where you can find the terraces is so huge, and the paths so narrow and steep, you really need time to be able to properly explore this beautiful area.
Due to our time constraints we weren’t able to do some proper hiking (also the heat was not very pleasant for such an endeavour) and visit some of the designated viewing points. It also must be said that the signage was a bit confusing for two foreigners in a hurry.
The area is called ‘Longsheng Various Nationalities Autonomous County’, meaning that there are several minority groups living in their own villages, each with their own ancient traditions and customs. To be able to visit at least one of them and walk/hike along the meandering paths in the rice fields, at least two entire days would be recommended. To be honest, you could probably stay for 4 days and not get bored.
Though we weren’t in the season to see actual rice plants in the terraces, they made for fantastic views. The changing light reflected in the water of the terraces. After every bend or corner the view would change.
We stayed in the most basic of family operated hotels, but it had a great view from the balcony. Walking through the mountain village (more like hiking up and down the small streets) was also a nice experience. And like our visit to the Great Wall of China, there were not very many tourists in the area during our visit.
Of course I knew China is an enormously diverse country, and I had visited some cities before, but I never imagined I would find the travel, the people and the places so nice.
The list of places yet to visit still has many places that need to be crossed off, but I certainly wouldn’t mind a less hasty return to China some time in the future!
In the last image you can see a pretty tall man in a red jacket, just to give you an idea how large these rice terraces are!
As per usual: all images are copyrighted by JW Amsterdam and not to be used without prior consent. Images are also available as gorgeous prints.