Hiking Guide for Longsheng Rice Terraces
Named after their likeness to a dragon’s backbone, Longji terraced fields are famous for their undulating landscape, with winding and flowing curves. Walking along the field ridges, you can not only admire the beauty of nature but also feel the wisdom and power of local farmers and the charms of minority culture.
Choose the Best Rice Terraces to Visit
Nine Dragons and Five Tigers
Longji terraced fields are on Longji Mountain, about 2 hours northwest of Guilin. They are divided into three main parts: Ping’an, Jinkeng, and Longji.
Ping’an Zhuang Terraced Fields: These are the largest rice fields in Longsheng County and are at the heart of the Longji fields. Two well known vantage points are “Seven Stars Surrounding the Moon” (七星伴月) and “Nine Dragons and Five Tigers” (九龙五虎), both of which are must-visit places for hikers and photographers.
Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields: These are higher than the Ping’an fields and look like naturally formed pits. Two popular vantage points are the “Golden Buddha Peak” (Jinfo Ding, 金佛顶) and “West Hill Music” (Xishan Shaoyue, 西山韶乐).
Longji Ancient Zhuang Terraced Fields: These are home to the oldest and largest building complex on stilts in Guangxi Province. Featuring well-preserved buildings from 600 years ago, the complex is big and may take half a day to explore.
How to Get to Longji Terraced Fields from Guilin
1. Direct Bus (Recommended)
|Departure Location||Departure Time||Duration||Price||Arrival|
|Guilin Railway Station||Peak Season (April–October): 8:00, 9:00, 10:30, 12:30, 14:00, 15:00
Off Season (November–March): 9:00
|2.5–3 hours||CNY 50||Jinkeng Terraced Fields Parking Lot|
|Guilin North Railway Station||CNY 65|
|Guilin West Railway Station||CNY 65|
|Yangshuo Biliandong (碧莲洞) Tourist Parking Lot||Peak Season: 8:00, 9:00, 10:30, 13:00
Off Season: 8:00
|4–4.5 hours||CNY 70|
|Buses from Jinkeng back to Guilin depart at 9:00, 10:30, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 16:00; those to Yangshuo leave at 9:00, 12:00, 14:00 (or only at 13:00 in the off season).|
2. Guilin–Longsheng County–Three Different Entrances of the Terraced Fields
First take a bus from Guilin to Longsheng county town (CNY 15, 2-hours’ drive, departing at 8:00, 9:10, 11:00, 12:00, 13:10, 14:00, 15:10, 16:10, 17:10, 18:20), then transfer to a bus to the entrance of the terraced fields you want to get to.
To Ping’an: Take a bus from Longsheng Bus Station to Ping’an Parking Lot (CNY 6.5, 1-hour’s drive, runs at 7:30, 9:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00). You’ll get to Ping’an Village from there in 20 minutes by foot.
To Jinkeng Dazhai: Take a bus from Longsheng Bus Station to Giant Tiger Mountain (Dahushan大虎山), costing CNY 8 and taking an hour. The bus runs every 20 minutes between 7 am and 5 pm. Then you will need to transfer to a minibus for Jinkeng Dazhai, at a cost of CNY 3.
To Longji Ancient Zhuang Village: You’ll reach Longji Ancient Zhuang Village if you walk 40 minutes from the “Seven Stars Surrounding the Moon” of the Ping’an Scenic Area.
3. Book a Driver-Guide Tour
To take the easy way out, you are recommended to book a driver-guide to visit Longji, especially if you want a day trip or a hike with kids.
Book our Driver Guide: One-Day Tour to Longji Rice Terraces. Then you’ll enjoy:
- a trek through the amazing Longji terraces and mountain village;
- a friendly and knowledgeable English-speaking guide; and
- hotel pickup and drop off.
The Best Time to Go for Your Hiking Trip
Terraced Fields in Summer
Longji terraced fields yield different views according to the season. Generally the months May to October are the best:
- End of May to the beginning of June: The fields are as smooth as mirrors, after watering.
- Middle of July to the end of August: The terraces are completely green, as the rice grows up vigorously.
- October is the best time, when the rice is ready for harvest and the fields offer a golden vista. It is advisable, however, to avoid visiting during China’s National Day holiday (October 1st– 7th).
The Best Hiking Routes
For hiking enthusiasts, the Longji fields can be divided into different sections according to different features and levels of difficulty.
1. Leisurely Family Hike: Longji Ancient Zhuang Village – Ping’an
- Difficulty rating:★★
- Hiking time: 2 hours
- Features: in-depth Zhuang cultural experience, most child-friendly section, first-time visit, day-trip, suitable for everyone
- Detailed route: Ancient Zhuang Village–Seven Stars Surrounding the Moon–Nine Dragons and Five Tigers–Ping’an Village
Get off at the parking lot of the Longji Ancient Zhuang terraced fields. Before your hike, you can wander round this old minority village. Then, on walking up along the hiking route for about 35 minutes, you’ll reach the “Seven Stars Surrounding the Moon” (七星伴月) platform.
Next to the platform there’s a Zhuang restaurant with local cuisine and great views of terraced fields. The most unique food here attracting your kids’ attention will be bamboo stuffed rice, sticky rice with a fresh bamboo flavor.
Besides, the stalls around the platform exhibit different kinds of minority ornaments, clothing and embroidery, all of which are handmade by local villagers.
Walk on for 30 minutes and get to the highest point of Ping’an Village, “Nine Dragons and Five Tigers” (九龙五虎), with a vantage point for observing the sunset.
After enjoying Ping’an terraced fields at their best, you can step down along the trails paved with stones. Another 30 minutes later, you’ll reach Ping’an Zhuang Village.
2. Jinkeng Dazhai Rice Terrace Hiking
- Difficulty rating: ★★★
- Hiking time: 4 hours
- Features: the largest terraced fields, Red Yao culture, suitable for ordinary hikers
- Detailed route: Dazhai Village–Tiantou Zhai–Thousand-Layer Terraces–West Hill Music–Tiantou Zhai–Golden Buddha Peak
Walk up about half an hour from Dazhai Parking Lot to get to Tiantou Zhai, the highest village in the area, and then trek up another half an hour to Thousand-Layer Terraces (千层梯田).
The fields here have the most beautiful shape. Hike northeast for about one and a half hours to “West Hill Music” (Xishan Shaoyue, 西山韶乐), the best place for observing a sunrise.
Then walk back to Tiantou Zhai, which will take 40 minutes. After lunch and a layover at the village, march down the hiking route and find your way to “Golden Buddha Peak” (Jinfo Ding, 金佛顶), the furthest, highest and most rewarding attraction.
The peak is the perfect place for admiring sunsets. This part of the trek will last more than half an hour.
- Please note that there are many confusing forks along the hiking route and be careful not to get lost. Feel free to tell us if you need help!
3. Ping’an – Tiantou Zhai – Jinkeng Dazhai (or Vice-Versa) Hiking Route
- Difficulty rating: ★★★★★
- Hiking time: 5-6 hours
- Features: suitable for strong and experienced hikers
- Detailed route: Ping’an Village–Seven Stars around the Moon–Nine Dragons and Five Tigers–Zhongliu Village–Thousand-Layer Terraces–West Hill Music–Tiantou Zhai–Golden Buddha Peak
From Ping’an to Dazhai (or vice-versa) is the most classic hiking route in Longji. Basically it incorporates Routes 1 and 2 above. You’ll obtain a comprehensive view of Longji via this route. So pack well and be prepared to tramp over hill and dale!
Sample Itineraries for You to Consider
- Plan A: Ancient Zhuang Village–Ping’an Village–Seven Stars Surrounding the Moon–lunch time–Nine Dragons and Five Tigers
- Plan B: Dazhai Village–Tiantou Zhai–Thousand-Layer Terraces–West Hill Music–Tiantou Zhai–lunch time–Golden Buddha Peak–descend to Dazhai Parking Lot by cable car
If you are planning to hike the terraced fields with your kids, join our One-Day Longji Rice Terraced Fields and Minority Villages Tour and start your fabulous family time!
- Day 1: Dazhai Village–Golden Buddha Peak for sunset–overnight in Tiantou Zhai
- Day 2: West Hill Music for sunrise–Thousand-Layer Terraces–Tiantou Zhai for lunch–downhill to Dazhai Parking Lot
Jinkeng Terraced Fields
- Day 1: Dazhai Village–Golden Buddha Peak for sunset–overnight in Tiantou Zhai
- Day 2: West Hill Music for sunrise–Thousand-Layer Terraces–Tiantou Zhai for lunch–downhill to Dazhai Parking Lot–get to Ping’an Village by tourist bus and stay overnight
- Day 3: Nine Dragons and Five Tigers for sunrise–Seven Stars Surrounding the Moon–Ancient Zhuang Village for lunch–end your trip and leave Longji
If you have any other ideas, you are welcome to create your own Longji trip with us.
Hiking with Kids
Making Bamboo Stuffed Rice with Kids
The beautiful terraced-field scenery and authentic minority rural life in Longji make it a place where kids can enjoy nature and experience rural lifestyle, such as farming in the fields or feeding poultry. Here are some ways you may be able to improve your family hiking tour:
- Tour Ping’an Village and the Ancient Zhuang Village.
- If you really want to appreciate Jinkeng Terraced Fields, it would be better to take the cable car to and from Golden Buddha Peak.
- Get your kids involved in some local activities to help them have a more impressive experience of rural life. For example, pay a visit to a local family, learn how to make oil tea or bamboo stuffed rice, or try farming in the fields.
You will hardly be able to arrange these things on your own, however. So contact us if you want to add these experiences to your Longji trip!
Longsheng Rice Terrace Hiking Tips
- 1. Do not hike alone.
- 2. Hire a local guide to avoiding getting lost in the mountains.
- 3. Avoid hiking during the hottest hours in summer, usually from 11:00 to 15:00.
- 4. There is a luggage-carrying service costing around RMB 50 per piece.
- 5. Large luggage can be stored at the tourist service center at the foot of the mountains.
- 6. There are many family inns and hotels at the fields. Choose accommodation based on your hiking plan.
- 7. You can ask for a hiking map from your hotel.
- 8. Recommended food: bamboo stuffed rice, local chicken.
Hiking Longji Terraced Fields with China Travel
Family Tour in Longji
It may not be easy for non-Chinese-speaking travelers to visit Longji by themselves, but we can “save” you by laying on the following options:
- 1-Day Longji Terraced Rice Fields and Minority Village Tour
- 4-Day Guilin, Yangshuo and Longsheng Tour
- 5-Day Guilin and Longji Tour from Hong Kong
Back to Longji Rice Terraces