Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces

Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces

Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces
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Joel K
Vancouver, Canada3,729 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
We walked and observed the people working their plots of land among the terraces. Vistas of the various terraces, the hills undulating from 300 to 1100 meters in height. We walked into the Ping An Village and had lunch in a private home that offers people visiting.
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CoisDeZweed
Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands853 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Couples
We went on a hike from Dazhai to Ping'an. This is an explanation on how we did this. 

One maybe essential thing is downloading the app MAPS.ME and download the map of the province. The map shows the necessary walking trails leading towards Ping'an. You can also just ask the locals that you meet during the way, but we found the signage to be quite poor.

Also: wear decent footwear. Hiking boots. Not you white new Nikes or flipflops :).

We have arranged a bus at our Guilin hostel (Ease Hostel) to take us to Dazhai. This was 50Yuan per person. It left in front of the New Plaza Hotel (across the train station). But some busses pick you up though. 

The entrance fee was 95Yuan which you pay when you pass the gate of the area with the bus.

The bus takes you to the parking lot of the rice terraces near Dazhai. There you can take a cable car to Golden Buddha Viewpoint, or you can just walk up this steep climb if you are fit. And you should be fit if you want to go hike to Ping'an :)

From there we first hiked towards Damao Jie Village. This was a trail of stairs.

Then you must follow the trail towards Zhongliu Village. The shortest trail from Damao Jie Village had suffered from a landslide the past month or so and there is a new road. The trail has been fixed a bit, so you can still take it. But you need to pay attention to where the trail starts. Don't follow the big new dirtroad, there is a trail leading down on the left side of the road. 

Then you can easily follow the maps.me map. You will also cross some other villages before reaching Zhongliu. Especially near villages there are trails which are not on maps.me, which look like a possible right way. Just ask if you are not sure.

In Zhongliu, asking the way is necessary. There are a lot more paths in the village than maps.me shows. But make sure you ask more than one villager. We found out that some villagers are not very honest.

Leaving Zhongliu, you will end up a big new dirt road. Walk a bit to the right end you will see a trail on the left of the road. This will lead straight to Ping'an. This trail will eventually result in a tarmac road (on which another landslide has happened) leading towards the Ping'an Rice Terrace Viewpoint 'Nine Dragons, Five Tigers. Don't worry, there are no actual tigers and dragons present at this viewpoint.

Then it is an easy way into the village. Finding your hotel might be more challenging... But most of them are on maps.me. Or ask the villagers.

The total hike was between 14 and 15 kilometers. You will climb and descent a lot during the hike. The first part (Buddha Viewpoint) is the hardest climb. Right after Zhongliu you will have the last long climb and then you will descent much towards Ping'an.

You can arrange a bus ticket back to Guilin at you hotel in Ping'an. It costs also 50Yuan. It brings you back to the New Plaza Hotel.

The views during the hike are amazing! You really don't need to go to all the viewpoints across the areas first. You will be walking in the mountains, forest, along the terraces on different levels, in villages. It is very divers!

Enjoy! Have a great hike! 

And if you find this useful, let me know by clicking the button.

Written June 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mat m
NYC41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The terraces are every bit as awe-inspiring as I had imagined they would be, and certainly worth the trip to Guilin.

However, under no circumstances should you take the stupid guided tour. We only had one day to see the terraces and were worried that we would not make it back in time to catch a train that night, so we opted for the guided tour, thinking that it might be difficult to navigate the terraces on our own. We also thought the guide might be an interesting source of information. We were wrong on both counts.

The guides do not "guide" you in any way. Their sole purpose is to drag you to an annoying "traditional village" in an attempt to coerce cash out of you. In fact upon arriving at the village we were informed that there was going to be a performance, which would cost an additional 50 RMB per person. This was especially infuriating as we had already paid for the trip and been told there would be no additional charges. It turns out that you can opt out of the performance, but our guide did not make this clear at first and there was much angry shouting (both from myself and from disgruntled chinese tourists) before we learned that the performance was not mandatory.

Unfortunately you have to wait for the rest of the group during the performance and there isn't much else to do in the village.You end up wasting hours being harassed by local junk peddlers when you should be hiking through the terraces. All of the tour buses drop you off at this boring little village and you have to wait around for over an hour until your tour bus takes off again. When we finally arrived at the actual terraces, hours later than we should have (the tour bus also cruised around Guilin for an hour after it picked us up), our guide simply went off to do her own thing, never telling us anything about the terraces, nor even recommending a path to take.

You can easily avoid this mess by either hiring a car to take you to the terraces, or simply by taking a local bus to Longshen. In either situation you simply pay for an admission to the terraces once you reach the base of the park. Hired cars are expensive but not as expensive as the completely pointless guided tour.

Book a hotel in Longshen. There are plenty of nice hotels in the foothills that offer excellent views of the terraces without tour groups milling around.
Written May 23, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

orchidpat
Merritt Island, FL199 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
When we were planning our trip to China, I read the reviews on Tripadvisor and kept seeing Lilly Lu's name, so I e-mailed her. With less than 3 days in the area, I couldn't imagine that we would see so much. Lilly met us at the Guilin airport and took us up to the Longji rice terraces. In the rain, we climbed to our lovely hotel in the Ping 'An village. The next morning, before any tour groups arrived, we hiked the rice terraces, taking in the most beautiful scenery imaginable. On our drive to Yangshuo, we stopped for a tea ceremony and then Lilly put us on a raft to view the most beautiful part of the Li River. An hour later, she met us on the bank of the river, and took us to Yangshuo. We had already made arrangements to stay at the MorningSun hotel, which was charming and right in the middle of town. That night Lilly arranged for us to see the Sanjie Liu Light Show on the river. The next day, a peaceful raft trip on the Yangdi River, a visit to one of the beautiful caves in the area, and a bike ride through the countryside rounded out a perfect 3 days. Originally, we were planning to stay in Guilin at a western style hotel and take the tourist boats to Yangshuo. I can't believe how much more we saw at less than half the price.....thanks to the postings on Tripadvisor!
Written September 5, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kllady
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2011
We visited the Longji Rice Terraces at Ping 'An Village on 7 June 2011. They have just began to fill in the water to the rice terraces a week ago. Friends who visited Longji at end of May complained that the rice terraces then was just brown and muddy fields. According to our tour guide, it will take about 15 days to fill in water (via open bamboo pipes) to the entire rice terraces. We saw workers planting young rice plants in some terraces and others digging up mud to shore up the bunds/edges of the terrace as the water reaches it.

The journey to Longji from Yangshuo takes about 3 hours and through winding roads in some places. On reaching the base of Longji, it is a 20 - 30 mins climb up stone steps to Ping 'An Village where most of the restaurants/hotels are located. There are sedan chairs with men to carry you up and down the steps for those who cannot make it on their own... which I saw from a few sedan chairs with the men carrying it huffing passed me, that those who were in the sedan chairs are mostly overweight western foreigners and some unfit, wealthy looking Chinese. After reaching the Village for lunch and some needed rest for the tired knees, the walk round and up the rice terraces was surprisingly easy as it is on flat ground... (I am a 60 year old lady and was afraid of not being able to complete the climb but curiosity got the better of me). The walk on flat stone slabs all the way up was just like hiking through the countryside and the gradient is so subtle that I did not realise that we are already so high up at the top until we came upon the workers right before our eyes, working on the rice fields where before we had seen them from afar below as just specks of figures in the horizon.

There were no real danger of falling over the edge of the hills (which was my initial fear) as most of the walk paths are on the inside edge of the terrace fields and at certain places where the walk paths are actually at the edge of the hills, the walk paths are wide or there are thick hedges at the edge that acts like a fence. Anyway, I forgot to remember my initial fears as I was so absorbed with the sights before me at every turn.

The entire walk from Ping 'An Village level to the walk round and up the hills, and eventually down to the other side/alternative exit of the rice terrraces took about an hour.
Written June 27, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Manleyq
China/US6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dazhai is further than Ping An and believe me, the place is not touristy cause it has only been developed a couple of years ago and the scenery is so much better. Most of the local people live and work in the dragon backbone's terrace, so unless most of the touristy places, Dazhai remains true to its identity and regional culture.Dazhai has some local lodgings ( which I find quite decent, some of them are ensuite with a reasonable price) Not many people know but you can now reach Dazhai easily by booking a bus with any hostels in the area ( I stayed with Shuidao Tiantou, a lovely little hostel in Tian Tou Zhai, once you arrive in Dazhai, u need to walk 30-40 minutes to reach Tiantou Zhai, the walk is not difficult, watch up for the slippy stone steps though), u can ring 07737585655 for bus-booking, it s 40 RMB single ticket from Guilin and they usually pick you up from Guilin Railway Station.
Written April 13, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Liz B
Cape Town Central, South Africa86 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
If you avoid the guided tours and take public transport (or, if you are well-heeled, your own private guided tour) this is an absolutely wonderful destination. Ping An village is set amid the rice terraces and is not accessible to traffic so you have to walk up the hill (about 20 mins) to get there. There are porters who will carry your luggage in baskets on their backs for 20rmb. It is WELL worth it so don't try and save!)

Ping An has really great quaint guest houses - all made of wood -- with brilliant views. I stayed at the Countryside Inn and the bed was comfortable (by Chinese standards -- it was pretty hard compared to Western beds), the linen was clean, the bathroom had hot water albeit in a shower that sprayed the whole room. The dining room downstairs was great. There was a big central table where everyone and anyone just hung out when they arrived or wanted to eat, but they also had individual tables where you could dine alone if you chose to. The receptionist was so cool. We sat round the table just chatting about whatever for about an hour.

The walks are amazing. The scenery is beautiful and you hardly see a soul while you are out walking. You can walk to local villages and see some really historic homesteads.

I would really recommend going to the rice terraces, but not on a one day guided tour. You need to have some free time to wander around and find somewhere that has a view for a meal.

The English there is fantastic compared with the rest of China. Amazing how quickly the local vendors can learn languages when tourists start flooding in.
Written December 6, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PLTWhitehall_MI
Whitehall, MI34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2011 • Solo
I specifically chose a tour offered by the company China Spree, so that I could take a hiking tour of the Dragon Spine Rice Terraces. (I didn't find another company that offered the experience.) Although the day was occasionally misty, the weather was warm, and the views were beautiful. Over centuries, the Zhuang and Yao minorities have sculpted step-like terraces for growing rice in the hills of Southwest China. In the Spring, when I was there, the terraces are filled with water. On my next visit, I would love to be there in the Fall, when the rice ripens, and the terraces are golden waves.
We hiked between the villages following stone paths. (There are rides available for those that can't quite make the climb.) At the top we enjoyed not only the gorgeous views, but sweet Longji Tea. On the way down, we stopped for lunch, sampling among other local dishes, bamboo rice. For me, the day was everything that I had hoped it would be.
Written November 5, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IGetAroundALot
London, UK51 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
We took a tour from Yangshuo which turned into the most irritating day we spent in China. The tour starts at 7.30ish but you spend half an hour travelling around hotels picking up people. The drive then took another 2 to 2 1/2 hours to get to the terraces. But, you don't get taken to the terraces. Instead you are taken to a village where the young women don't cut their hair and they put on a show that you have to pay 50RMB extra for. If you don't want to see the show then your only option was to hang around getting hassled to buy something and wait for everyone who did. They said the show would only take an hour but we actually ended up waiting much longer. About 12.30 you get back on the bus to drive on a little further to get on another mini bus to drive a little further to the bottom of the terraces. You have to pay extra for this bus too which noone tells you about. We finally got up to the terraces about 1.30 only to be told it was time to have lunch. Of course that was extra too. The day we went the weather was dreadful. It started to pour with rain and the people we met coming down from the terraces informed us that there was visibility just 10 minutes earlier. Basically, if we didn't have to hang around waiting for the women with the long hair show then we would have seen the terraces. We were also told to be back at the bus by 3pm. Considering it took about 20-30 minutes to reach the top from where the bus dropped us off, we only actually had about 30 minutes free time to explore. We were so annoyed that we skipped lunch and waited at the top for the clouds to clear. Luckily, about 10 minutes before we were about to start our descent the clouds did clear and the view was astounding. I would recommend going to the terraces but just not from Yangshuo.
Written May 6, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Je55e
OuterSpace7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 • Couples
We started from our Hotel in Ping'An (Longji One Art Hotel, which by the way is highly recommended) at 8:30 in early September. Our first stop was the 'Nine Dragons and Five Tigers' viewpoint with a nice overview of the Ping'An rice terraces. We walked on natural stone path through the beautiful scenery. Plenty of signs guided the way.
We then continued our way on a concrete road towards Zhongliu. Where the road ended we missed our path and took a detour through an hillside area that used to be rice terraces but has been burned down. Graveyards left and right made this a kind of spooky detour. Back on track we walked through jungle forest on natural stones. Long pants seem advisable as there are plenty of Moskitos. We also saw some snakes, so watch your step! Along the way there are shelter where village people sell water and postcards. After about 2 hours we reached Zhongliu where you can find several ways through the village. Villagers give you instructions how to get further to Dazhai - if you ask them or not. Right after the main village we took the invitation of a local family to have lunch in their home. They cooked rice, potatoes and vegetables. Be careful with the rice wine, the women continue to 'campai' until you are drunk. Lunch for 2 persons was 50 RMB.
Back on track we made our way to Dazhai. We highly advice to detour to the 'Music from Paradise' viewpoint located much higher than the cable car further down the hills. Plenty of guest houses provide food and beverages along the way.
We then descended through the rice fields to Dazhai where we took a private car at the parking lot (120 RMB) back to Ping'An where we reached our hotel at around 5pm.
Although other hotel guests decided to take a private guide, we walked on our own. The way was easy to find and we did not feel that there is a need for a guide.
By the way, as Google Maps Offline is no longer available for China, we recommend the Maps.me App which has excellent hiking maps.
Written September 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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