Saturday, November 30, 2013
Longji Rice Terraces at Longsheng
The Longsheng Rice Terraces (simplified Chinese: 龙胜梯田; traditional Chinese: 龍勝梯田; pinyin: Lóngshèng Tītián) are located in Longsheng County, about 100 km (2 hours drive) from Guilin, Guangxi, China. The most popular are Ping An Rice Terrace and Jinkeng Rice Terrace.
The terraced fields are built along the slope winding from the riverside up to the mountain top, the highest part being 880 m in elevation while the lowest part is 380 m. The coiling line that starts from the mountain foot up to the mountain top divides the mountain into layers of water glittering in the sun in spring, layers of green rice shoots in summer, layers of golden rice in fall, and layers of silvery frost in winter. The terraced fields were mostly built during the Ming Dynasty, about 500 years ago.
Longji (Dragon's Backbone) Terraced Rice Fields received their name because the rice terraces resemble a dragon's scales, while the summit of the mountain range looks like the backbone of the dragon. Visitors standing on the top of the mountain can see the dragon's backbone twisting off into the distance. In an early morning, when the weather is fine, the sunrise on the summit of Longji Rice Terraces is magnificent.
They are often considered most beautiful in early June. At this time, water is pumped over the rice paddies and young plants are transferred to the main terraces.
Longsheng is home to four minority nationalities: Miao, Yao, Dong and Zhuang. The Yao and Zhuang nationalities live in Longji. The Yao have distinctive clothing and hair styles which set them apart from other ethnic groups. Yao women are famous for having the longest hair in the world. They never cut their hair. Instead they wrap the hair in a bun on top of their head in a style resembling an Indian turban. Free to look, ¥10 for a photo.