It’s no secret that the rice terraces of China have become one of Thierry’s favorite subject’s to photograph. From the country’s northern border to the southern, there are a number of beautiful terraces. In this post, we will deep dive into the Longji rice terraces. They are spread over 66 square kilometers of hillside in China’s Guangxi Province. The multiple levels and sheer span of the paddies give the impression of ribbons strew across the mountainside.
The Longji Rice Terrace is often called the Dragon’s Backbone. It is said to have gotten its name from the resemblance of the different levels to a dragon’s scales, that come together at the mountain to form the back. Construction on the beautiful landmark began in the 1200’s and continued through the Qing Dynasty in the early 1900’s – yes, that’s a 700 years of development. They are an impressive representation of ingenuity and perseverance.
What to see?
The area can be divided into two main visitation points: The Ping’an Terraced Fields and the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields
Ping’an Terraced Fields: This section of the paddies are the oldest and most developed. It is also the section where you can find the Ping’an Village, which is home to the Zhuang minority peoples. The locals live in traditional three-story wooden houses, however visitors can find a number of modern dining and accommodation facilities in the area.
Jinkeng Terraced Fields: This area lies farther from the terraces’ main tourist entrance. It is home to a number of Yao minority villages, including one of the main attractions the Big Village, Dazhai. Visitors find this part of the area less crowded with equally beautiful and unique views.
If looking for a more immersive outdoor experience there are a number of trails and paths that weave their way through the terraces. First-time visitors are recommended to go with a guide since it is easy to get lost on the endless small paths that break off of the main trail.
Experiencing the Seasons
Along with its practical uses for rice production, the terraces are an incredible sight to feast your eyes on. They offer visitors a beautiful view year round. In the spring, they are filled with water that play off the sun’s light throughout the day. During the summer, bands of rich green flutter across the hilltops. Fall is harvest time with ribbons of yellow, ripened millet covering the terraces. In the winter, there is a stillness that blankets the area with clean, white snow.