My last post on Guilin travelogue was on 4th May 2020. It's more than a month now. I was afraid people will disturb me with weird emails if I write on my journey during the Movement Control Order (MCO). Now that the MCO has been eased, I will continue my write up before I have totally forgotten about my journey.
You can check out my other Guilin Travelogue here :
Why Travel all the way to The Longsheng Rice Terraces?
My first rice terraces view was in Bali. I was supposed to travel to Sapa last year but can't find time during the good view season. I only free by the end of the year and made this impromptu trip all the way to Guilin. I read about the Longsheng Rice Terraces (Dragon's Backbone) are famous with its extraordinaire view of rice terraces. Oh! by the way, the Longsheng Rice Terraces is also known as Longji Rice Terraces.
I was quite nervous during this trip. I read about the December view is not that good since it is offseason.
When is the best time to visit Longji Rice Terraces?
I read the best time to visit the Longji Rice Terraces is during the month of May, June, September and October. You will get to see a different view in each season.
May to Mid June month - you will get to see mirror like watery fields.
July - mid-September - for those who love the greenery view on the rice terraces
End of September to October - This is the fall harvest season and also peak season. It will be crowded with local and foreign tourist who would like to catch the golden harvest view.
I was at Longji Rice Terraces on the 28 - 30th December 2019 and the view was magnificent!
To me, a chance to stay in a wooden house built on the side of a mountain, surrounding by cascading rice terraces with a backdrop of the karst of mountains is like a dreamy experience.
The Longji rice terraces are split into two sections, Ping'an Zhuang village terraced fields and Jingkeng Red Yao Terraced fields. Both villages housed its own minority tribes. Ping'an for Zhunag people and Jinkeng for Yao.
What is the difference between these two villages?
Ping'an is bigger and more developed mainly for tourism while Jinkeng is less commercialized and consist of small villages along the mountainside.
I was well aware of my ability, so I chose to stay in Ping'an. for my convenient. I read the Jinkeng has more scenic view compare to Ping'an. Not many hiking trails at Ping'an area compare to Jinkeng too. Not many trails, I can visit with my knee condition, in a day though. But if you an avid hiker, you can start from Jinkeng up to Ping'an.
Anyway, the entire village in Ping'an is still built out of stilted wood houses and I came across most of them still dress traditionally and do their farming using hard labour bare hand. Most people in Ping'an area are super nice and accommodating to foreigner too. Some of them can speak English. The owner of Bed and Breakfast place hcan speak English too.
I started my first morning at Longji with breakfast from the place I stayed. You have not many choices here. I inform the owner beforehand that I am a vegetarian. So my morning breakfast is this delicious freshly made vegetable noodles soup and freshly brewed mountain coffee. I can taste the mountain sweet vegetables in this soup. It was awesome when you enjoy a hot meal during the cold weather. Yes! It was super cold at between 7 to 9-degree Celcius.
I was planning to start my trekking after breakfast but a bit disappointed the weather is getting really bad. From the mist covering all the terraces to the heavy rain which make be breathe out smoke due to cold.
The rain finally stops at around 2:30pm. I jumped out of the bed to head down. I can't miss the timing or lose the opportunity. Tomorrow I am checking out from this place and back to Guilin City.
Best place to visit at Ping'an Rice Terraces
1. Seven Stars with the Moon viewpoint
2. Nine Dragons and Five Stars viewpoint
3. Longji Ancient Zhuang Village
4. Ping'an Tiantou Village
The location of the place I stayed is in the heart of Ping'an Village. To be exact its halfway in between the Seven Stars with Moon viewpoint and the Nine Dragons and Five Stars viewpoint.
I started my journey quite late in the afternoon due to bad weather. It was thick mist covering all the terraces and then heavy rain for quite a long time since morning. I was so worried about the whole morning. Tomorrow is my last day here and will be checking out at noon.
I visit the first hiking trail which is Seven Stars with The Moon point. The path took me through the alleys with rows of rundown wooden shops and also some cafes. Just walk upwards follow the staircase.
I made a few stops along the way since it was after rain and the staircase is wet and quite slippery. During peak season, some of these cafes along the staircase will charge some Yuan for a peek of the rice terraces view. I was quite lucky to visit during the off-season and most of them were closed. So I got to free view.
After a long walk, I manage to reach the top viewpoint. I was so glad to be able made to the top.
The view is totally spectacular with some contract colour. I bought a cup of hot Loh Hon Ka with ginger tea for 5 Yuan from the seller at the bottom of the lookout point.
Enjoying the late afternoon Longji Rice Terraces view with hot tea in hand was kind of awesome refreshing feelings. I feel complete! hahaha
I walked down from the viewpoint to start my journey to Nine Dragons and Five Tigers hiking trails. The rain came on and off due to the wind blow.
I love the Nine Dragons and Five Tigers trail the most because the local government has put an effort to build a concrete pathway along the terraces. Previously, the trails were full of plank wood and it kind of dangerous if the weather is wet. The work is still in progress during my visit.
I manage to walk all the way and enjoy the gorgeous contract colour view surrounding me.
I was glad to make my way here at the end of the year, despite all the negative review I read for Dec season.
The beautiful view from the top with brownish and tones green colours rice terraces traversing the horizon miles.
After enjoying all the spectacular view from the top, it was time to make my way down through all those staircases. It was a difficult climb down for me. That is the thing about having a bad knee. isk isk isk... I almost get lost in the maze of villages house by the time I made it down.
I reached the B&B almost dark and the rain started to fall really heavy. Out of sudden, my knee feel really weak and I lose my balance right in front of the B&B. I hit my bottom hard. I landed in the hospital for knee surgery after came back from this trip. I am still unable to resume all active activities and have to caution.
I had the local style dinner on my last night here at Longji Rice Terraces. The menu for that night is fresh bamboo shoots stir-fried with sour vegetables and some stir-fried tofu too. Awesome delicious dinner. By this time my knee has swollen and hurt so much. Not to mention my back pain is killing me at the same time.
I have a slight fever that night.
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