9 Most Beautiful Rice Terraces in China

Written by Sally Guo Updated Jun. 29, 2021

Terraced fields play an important role in Chinese agriculture. In order to survive in a difficult environment, people in ancient times wisely built numerous terraced fields on the hills which have been photographers' favorite destinations. Travelers can experience the agricultural wonders and also get marvelous photos which are diversified a different times. Most terraced fields are located in the south of China because of geographical conditions.

April to May is the best time to take some excellent photos like mirrors. The rice-terraced fields turn to a golden sea in autumn. In addition, the terraced fields are different even in the morning or afternoon. Here China Travel recommends the top 10 rice terrace fields for your fantastic photos of the Chinese countryside.

1. Longji Rice Terraces in Guangxi

22 kilometers away from Longsheng County and 80 kilometers away from Guilin, Longji Rice Terraces is one of the best places to see some magnificent terrace fields. Built since the Yuan Dynasty, the terraced fields have been one of the most spectacular rice terraced fields in China after several hundred developments. Yao people and Zhuang people in the area cultivated on the high mountain with an average altitude of 1916 meters.

Dazhai Village is the best time to see a sunrise or sunset in the Long Rice Terraces. It is about a 6 to 7-hour hike from Ping'an Village to Dazhai Village. Guzhuang Village, Ping'an Zhuang Village, and Dazhai Yao Village are the most famous spots in the area. Travelers can visit Guzhuang Village or Ping'an Village to experience the unique Zhuang People's life and Yao people's culture in Dazhai Village.

2. Yuanyang Rice Terraces in Yunnan

Listed as a world heritage site in June 2013, Hani Rice Terraces is located in the south of Ailaoshan Mountain, Yuanyang County, in Yunnan Province. The fields, also known as Yuanyang Rice Terraces, are a masterwork by Hani People. Extending along the Red River (Hong He), it is the largest terrace field in China. There are about 170,000 acres of terrace fields only in Yuanyang County which is the core area of the fields.

The fields are mainly divided into 3 scenic spots including Bada, Laohuzui (the Mouth of Tiger), and Duoyi Tree areas. All the terraced fields are situated on the hills with a degree from 15 to 75. The highest mountain has about 3000 terraced fields from the bottom to the top. Hani people mainly live in the south of Yunnan Province and Hani Rice Terraces is a great place to enjoy their unique life. Travelers can not only view magnificent terraced field scenery but also experience Hani people's and Yi people's culture.

3. Yunhe Terraced Fields in Zhejiang

Yunhe Terraced Fields is the largest terraced field in Central China located in Chongtou Town, Lishui City, Zhejiang Province. Travelers can see a sea of clouds, original villages bamboo forests, streams, waterfalls, and rimes in the area. Yunhe Terraced Fields is easily reached from Hangzhou and Shanghai. It has more than 1,000 years of history since the early Tang Dynasty.

The terraced fields scatter in mountains and valleys with an altitude between 200 to 1400 meters. Nowadays, Yunhe Terraced Fields has become a hot destination to take wedding photos for new couples. Of course, a lot of photography lovers head to take some excellent photos of the terraced fields and Chinese countryside life. The fields in four seasons are different scenery which is reputed as one of the most beautiful terraced fields in China.

4. Jiabang Terraced Fields in Guizhou

In the northeast of Jiangbang Village 80 kilometers away from Congjiang County, Jiabang Terraced Fields is a beautifully natural picture less traveled by visitors. The terraced fields are about 10,000 acres in the area. April and May are the most beautiful scenery without rice plants like an uncommon natural Chinese painting.

Miao, Zhuang, Dong, Yao, Shui, and Han People live in the Jiabang Terraced Fields. Travelers can experience local ethnic minorities' culture and unique festivals. Miao people's New Year and Lusheng Festival, Zhuang people's New Year, Yao people's Medicine Bath, and Shui people's Mao Festival are the most famous local festivals which are the best time to experience local unique life and culture. Beautiful Jiabang Terraced Fields appears in the 7th episode of A Bite of China which is a famous documentary describing Chinese food.

5. Jiangling Terraced Fields in Jiangxi

A large scale of cole flowers in Wuyuan in spring is a paradise of flowers. It is a marvelous natural scenery that attracts numerous travelers from around the world. The cole flower fields make Wuyuan the reputation of the most beautiful village in spring. The cole flower fields are the Jiangling Terraced Fields. It is a representation of Wuyuan's countryside scenery consisting of several villages lying along the river and terraced fields on the hills.

Chen Fuli (a famous Hong Kong photographer) won a Gold Medal in the International Photography Competition in Love Will Tear Us Apart which is directed in the Jiangling Terrace Fields. It is deeply loved not only by travelers but also by some famous directors such as Feng Xiaogang. Travelers should not miss the cole flowers on the Jiangling Terraced Fields in spring.

6. Ziquejie Terrace Fields in Hunan

As one of the top 8 new famous attractions in Hunan Province in the Middle of China, Ziquejie Terrace Fields is in the west of Xinhua County, Luodi City, Hunan Province. It has been built since the Qin Dynasty (221 BC – 206 BC). With a 2000-year history, it is less known by travelers compared with Longji Terrace Fields and Hani Terrace Fields. The fields spread on the hills with an altitude between 500 to 1000 meters in Shuiche Town.

It still keeps the traditional natural irrigation system which can offer enough water for the plants. You can also enjoy ethnic minorities' life including Miao, Yao, and Dong's life. Travelers will be taking their breath away standing in front of the large-scale terraced fields.

7. Gaoyao Terrace Fields in Guizhou

Gaoyao Terraced Fields spread from the bottom to the top of one mountain. It is situated at Gaoyao Miao Village in Danzhai County in Guizhou Province. The magnificent terrace fields are becoming a new popular destination for travelers and experienced photographers. September is the best time to enjoy the gold sea of the fields. In addition, local Miao people celebrate the New Rice Eating Festival during the period. Travelers can get some excellent photos of golden rice terraces.

Gaoyao Miao Villages is only 8 kilometers away from Danzhai County and about 80 kilometers away from Kaili (the center of the southeast of Guizhou Province) Travelers can stay in a hotel in Gaoyao Miao Villages or Danzhou County. The original Miao people's culture is another highlight of Gaoyao Villages.

8. Shangbao Terraced Fields in Jiangxi

Shangbao Terraced Fields is the largest Hakkas people's terraced fields and one of the famous terraced field destinations in China. It is located in the Shangbao Scenic Area in Chongyi County, Ganzhou City, Jiangxi Province. The terraced fields are surrounded by Huaxian Peak (the 2nd highest peak in the south of Jiangxi Province). Several Hakka villages are scattered in the terraced fields, and Nanliu Village is the most famous village among them.

Shangbao Terraced Fields is 50 kilometers away from Chongyi County and around 130 kilometers from Ganzhou City. The highest fields are about 1260 meters. Spring is the best time to visit the Shangbao Village. Late May is the perfect time to take some photos of watered fields without rice plants. There are Hakka bonfires at night for travelers to experience local culture and life. The snowy terraced fields in winter are a new highlight of Shangbao Terraced Fields.

9. Youxi Terraced Fields in Fujian

Located in Lianhe Village in Youxi, Youxi Terraced Fields is the most beautiful terraced field in Fujian Province. It is convenient to reach Fuzhou - the provincial capital of Fujian Province. Youxi County is an ancient county with a long history. The terraced Fields were originally built in 741 in the Tang Dynasty and stretch around 1,667 acres. People in the area rely on terraced fields for generations.

Travelers can see local farmers are toiling in the fields and it is a fantastic picture when the terraced fields are surrounded by fog and smoke. It is a great place to escape from the crowded city. At the same time, Youxi is the birthplace of Famous educator Zhu Xi in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).

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