On clear days, you can see far into the mountains, and on rainy days, you can watch the clouds float low and brush over the terraces and nearby Karsts. See how people lived in ages bygone as the terraces are too narrow and fragile to support modern farming equipment. The local ethnic minorities are also very welcoming and happy to share their culture that has been largely unchanged for hundreds of years.
Longji Rice Terraces Map
- Entrance Fee: Adults: 100 CNY, Seniors and students: 60 CNY
- Hours of Operation: 24/7
- Suggested visiting time: 1.5-2 days
- Location: Longji Town, Longsheng County, Guilin
Ping’an and Jinkeng
The Longji Terraces cover several different villages and a huge swath of land. Included in these are the:
The most famously beautiful terraces are around the Ping’an (Peace) village, home to the Zhuang ethnic minority. It takes about 2 hours to hike this area, and expect it to be a bit more crowded with tourists than other parts of the Longji terraces.
The rustic houses of the locals- built on stilts and traditionally 3 stories- make for great scenery in tandem with the golden/green rice fields. The area has many modern accommodations as well, many hotels and hostels, transportation, and dining facilities available.
Ping'an Rice Terraces
Some of the best sites to see in Ping’an:
- The 7 Stars and Moon, where some small piles of rocks rest in the shape of a field shaped like a crescent moon.
- 9 Dragons and 5 Tigers- 9 Rice terrace ridges split off from one, like the backs of so many dragons, and along them are 5 rocks resembling tigers.
Jingkeng is home to the Red Yao ethnic minority. This area is less crowded, but takes longer to visit (4-5 hours). These terraces are much larger than the Ping’an terraces, so hikers should be prepared for a workout.
Although cablecars go to the height of the terraces (Golden Buddha Peak), the cablecars are not good for getting to nearby accommodation, so it’s best to walk from the peak if you are staying in a hotel nearby. There is accommodation all along these terraces: at the foot of the climb, near the carpark, during the climb, at the middle of the terraces, and at the top, as well (about an hour or 2 from the carpark).
Jinkeng (Dazhai) Rice Terraces
Some of the best sites to see in Jinkeng:
Celebration West Mountain (西山韶乐) is the highest point in Longji at 1180 meters (3,870 feet). The broad panorama photos from here are so beautiful, odds are that if you have seen any pictures of the Longji terraces, it has been a picture from the West Mountain.
Golden Buddha Peak (金佛顶) provides the best view of the sunset in the area. Additionally, there is a cable car for those who wish to save time/effort. The hike to the top not using the cable car takes 2-3 hours, but using the cablecar only about 20 minutes.
Transportation To Longji
There are daily buses going from Guilin Qingtan Bus Station and Guilin North Bust Station to Longsheng Bus Station (龙胜汽车站), where you will need to pick up another bus to different entrances of Longji Rice Terraces.
Guilin Qintan Bus Station 桂林琴谭汽车站
- Address: 31 Cuizhu Road, Guilin 翠竹路31号
- Departures (to Longsheng): 7:00-19:00 (every 15 minutes ); 25 yuan
- City Bus lines that go to Qintan Bus Station: 1, 2, 12, 23, 91
Guilin North Bus Station 桂林汽车北站
- Add: 76 Beichen Road, Guilin 北辰路76号
- Departures (to Longji ): only 4 daily 8:25/11:40/13:40/17:20
- City Bus lines that go to Guilin North Bus Station: 1, 20, 99
From Longsheng Bus Station to different entrances of Longji Rice Terraces:
- Longsheng – Dazhai: departs every 20 minutes from 7:00-17:00; 9 yuan
- Longsheng – Ping’an: departs at 7:30, 9:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00; 9 yuan
By Tour Bus:
Many travel agencies have tour buses that go to the fields once or twice a day. Talk with either your hotel or any local tour companies to get the specifics. You will typically be given a time and a pick-up location for going to the terraces and for leaving them. Prices will vary based on the nature of the trip (usually vary from 60 to 100 CNY), if it is part of a larger tour, the car will most likely be included in the tour price.
As for a private day tour, have a look at: Driver Guide: One Day Tour to Longji Rice Terraces and Mountain Village.
Unfortunately, there are no longer public buses available to Longji from Yangshuo.
By Tour Bus:
Tour buses are available in Yangshuo just as they are in Guilin, by the same means. Talk to either local tour agencies or the front desk at almost any hotel for pick-up information about tour buses going to the Longji Rice Terraces.
Transportation From Longji
Almost all of the hotels in the Longji can organize private cars, and vans. Additionally the same tour and public buses coming from Guilin and Yangshuo can bring you back.
The Best Times to See the Longji Rice Terraces and Take Photographs
The period between May and June is a great season to see the farmers transplant the rice seedlings to the terraces. The water-filled fields reflect the blue sky and the clouds floating just above among the mountain tops.
From May 25th to June 10th is the best time to photograph the rice fields filled with water. Use backlighting to avoid underexposure in capturing the reflective pools.
Spring and summer views of Ping'an Rice Terraces
During June, visitors can also see the last of the rice seedling transplantation. By July and August the fields are in full growth, and the fields have a lovely green luster. The clear skies, happy and hopeful villagers, and verdant fields make for beautiful midsummer pictures.
Mid-July is great for the green growth everywhere, just after dawn and just before dusk make for the most picturesque times.
September, October, and November are all good times to see Longji. Many visitors agree that the golden colors of Autumn make for some of the most beautiful scenery that the terraces have to offer.
The week before and after Mid-Autumn day (which varies each year according to the lunar calendar) is great for pictures. The golden fields are ready for harvest, and in the morning and evening pink clouds and godrays will sometimes greet you.
Autumn and winter views of Jinkeng Rice Terraces
January and February are the two most beautiful Winter months. A silver lining of snow rests on the mountains making for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make sure you come prepared for the cold.
In the winter, pay close attention to the weather, snow is not all that common, so schedule your trip when snow is expected or has recently fallen in Longji.
Further Photography Notes
Besides the aforementioned lookout places (Seven Dragons and Five Tigers, Golden Buddha Peak, etc.) Qixing Banyue is another site with easy transportation and a beautiful lookout, at 800 meters above sea level.
Finally, the locals have many unique customs and cultures which also make for very unique pictures, visiting during local celebrations and holidays can make for fantastic photography.
Hiking the Longji Rice Terraces
A full hiking trip around the Longji Rice Terraces is not for the faint of heart, as a complete hike around the area is about 25 kilometers (15.6 miles), but some of the most beautiful overlooks are worth hiking to.
Route 1: Ping’an Area
Around Ping’an, a hike of 1-1.5 hours (full circuit) will take you to see the Nine Dragons and Five Tigers (Viewpoint 1), as well as the Seven Stars With Moon (Viewpoint 2). Further along there are the Thousand Layer Terraces and Golden Buddha Peak. There are many well-posted signs that indicate where to go in Ping’an and the viewpoints around it.
Route 2: Ping’an to Zhonglu and Dazhai
This 2 hour hike takes you by Viewpoint 1 and along a lake and valley.
Fortunately, Ping’an, Longji, and Dazhai villages all have accommodation available. From high-end boutique hotels to travelers hostels, there are many options for a wide range of visitors. The vast majority of the hotels are in Ping’an and Dazhai villages, as they are the largest cities nearby.
A room of local inn in Longji
The hotels near Dazhai village and the villages adjacent to it (Tiantouzhai and Zhuangjie) are much lower cost and plentiful.
1. Dragon’s Den Hostel
Frequently rated one of the best value places to stay in Longsheng, the cozy wood accommodation rests among the beautiful stepped fields of Tiantouzhai village, about a 40 minute walk from Dazhai. The price varies from 129 to 228 RMB per night.
At the tour desk, visitors can arrange sightseeing and hiking trips, as well as transportation to different parts of Longji or back to Guilin. The restaurant features Chinese and Western food. At the Dragon’s Den, you can expect a touch of the quant rural life in Longji, with all the modern amenities like air conditioning and WIFI.
2. The Wood House
The hike is worth it! Located in Tiantou village, near Dazhai, the Wood House is a great boutique hotel with fantastic service, atmosphere, and location. It takes about 120 RMB for one night. Guests at the Wood House tend to appreciate the home-cooked meals and great advice on hiking and activities in Longji, as well as the good amenities.
3. Wisdom Inn
With an English Speaking manager, a beautiful view, and airport transportation service, the Wisdom Inn is rated as one of the best-value places to stay in Longji. Visitors typically like the beautiful view of the surrounding area and the picturesque bamboo wood design. The price varies from 300 to 500 RMB per night.
The hotels in Ping’an are more expensive and boutique, but much further off the beaten trail. If you want to avoid the tourists and enjoy yourself in a homey and relaxing environment, then Ping’an is the place for you to stay.
1. Terrace Villa
The 30 minute climb up the hill is rewarded by one of the best hotels in Longji and a stunning view from above of the rice terraces. The food, hospitality, and English speaking manager make this one of the highest-rated spots to stay amongst visitors to Longji. The amenities (such as washing machines) are useful for those on extended trips in China. It takes about 100 RMB for one night.
A room of Baike Hotel near Ping'an Entrance
2. Baike Hotel
The Baike in Ping’an is known for its great amenities, English speaking staff, airport transport, good food, and comfortable atmosphere. The food and helpfulness of the staff make it especially popular among western visitors. The price varies from 429 to 879 RMB per night.
3. Longji One Hotel
For those looking for something more luxurious in Ping’an, look no further than the Longji One Hotel. Organic traditional food is available as well as a helpful English speaking staff and nice rooms/atmosphere. The price varies from 450 to 860 RMB per night.
- The harvest time in Longji begins from early October so if you want to see golden-field vistas, visit the place before harvest.
- You can have porters help bring big luggage up to your hotels from the bus drop off points- yes, it needs some walk from the foothill to your hotels.
- Watch out snakes when hiking in the mountains of Longji in summer!
- Recommended local food: bamboo stuffed rice.