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“Be aware of misleading trekking times and paths”
Review of Ping'an Village

Ping'an Village
Book In Advance
More Info
$85.00*
and up
Guilin Bus Tour of Longji Rice Terraces at...
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 4, 2013

This was our favorite place in China, where we spent 3 and a half weeks. We arrived on a tourist bus from Yangshuo that was taking people for a day, so we separated at PingAn.
The village is growing strongly and many of the wooden buildings are modern. However, the whole feeling of a village still remains. It is really nice to walk around and go to the scenic points. However, I was mislead by the trekking maps (I do not speak Chinese, so there may be better guides in Chinese but I could not find any proper trekking map anywhere).
We were told that the village of Dazai was easy to reach in 4 hours. However, when we asked Chinese people (pointing to the map) they sent us to the car park -as they believed we would like to go by car). Once we found another Chinese person better at sign language, we started the right path but then we got lost a few times as there are major logging operations with many different paths that are not signalized and leave to dead ends. At some point of the way you have to walk around a dam (with the water to your left if you are going from Ping An to Dazai), and at some point later you have to turn right to leave the asphalt and start an unpaved path. This was really not intuitive. Then most of the path to Zhongliu -a small village between Pingan and Dazai- is on stones, making it really really nice.
Zhongliu is a really attractive village (expect a long-haired lady asking you for money in exchange of a photo - but do not dismiss her if you want to get some water or food). There is no roads near the village, adding to the enchantment. But instead of the planned 2 hours to get to Zhongliu it took us 4 hours to get there. From there to Dazai, it is other 4 or 5 hours, assuming you doo not get lost. We couldn't do it in time, so we came back to Pingan.
I strongly recommend it though. Just make sure you get precise indications.
Other scenic points are accessible in much shorter times, like seven start with moon in about 10-20 minutes trekking from Pingan.
In the Hotel that we booked ahead we paid £40 per night for a room with stunning view. We thought it was well worth it, but then we found that people that came on the same day were paying half of that. Unless you go in high season you can avoid reservations and then bargain hard. Still, it was all well worth it.

4  Thank Carlos A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 24, 2013

Construction is going on everywhere - buildings rise straight up from the hillside, constructed from platforms anchored only by bamboo poles. Workers wearing flip flops carry heavy loads in buckets on poles; others have donkeys to do the work.
There are some interesting local crafts, including combs made of horn (you can watch the craftsmen making them), but a lot of the rest of the stuff looks machine made and imported from elsewhere in China. Caveat emptor.
Despite the rapid growth, the place is pretty, and interesting. However hiking in poor weather was not our idea of fun. Our visit coincided with the unusually late rain that was left over from the typhoon in the Philippines. Normally, the weather would have been dry and warm.

2  Thank Naomi R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2013

I loved the steep winding, cobblestone streets, the old wooden houses, and the views over the rice terraces, but mostly I loved the warm smiles and openess of the people who made us feel welcome. My son and I were invited into a village hall where a celebration was taking place, and even though we couldn't communicate with words, we were treated to a meal and made to feel like very special guests. What a treat!

1  Thank ethoward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2013

Although there are a lot of newer buildings in this village, it still conserves it´s charm of the old time. You can only walk up here (but they build a little street), so it´s still quiet, there are only small stone-path through the village. People are very nice. And there are already enough restaurants and shops, so you can everything you might need. Around are a lot of lookouts and walking routes, but a lot of steps!

2  Thank Lars1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 8, 2013

The 5 of us joined a group for a day-tour from Guilin. Booked through CITS and paid RMB300 each (we later found out that the entrance fee itself was RMB80). The tour coach took about 2 hours to get us to the highland terminal. Thereafter, we still had to change to a local bus that drove quickly (quite scary) up the windy road to the Ping'An village entrance gateway.

Once we walked up and arrived at the village proper, we were taken straight to a restaurant for lunch. Tried the bamboo rice, steamed fish and wild vegetables. Quite OK, but we paid tourist-prices. Muslim tourists should also note that the rice contains bits of pork!

After the lunch, we were given about 1.5 hours to wander around. Walked to the top marked by 3 flags. Not the best time to see the terraces as it was rather hazy and also after the harvest season. Still it was a good hike and I enjoyed seeing the local handicrafts for sale along the way. Bought a few embroidered wall hangings and cushion covers, and a stone that looks like a piece of meat.

It was a mad scramble to make our way down at the scheduled meeting time. So staying there a night would have greatly helped. Only thing is that transport has to be arranged and there's the added burden of having to bring along your bags.

Reason for the short stay in Ping'An (about 2.5 hours) was to also allow an afternoon visit to the Yao village to see the show put up by the long-haired ladies. They invited men in the audience to participate in mock weddings. Lots of fun and laughter, and be prepared to have your bottoms pinched by them on the way out! (a custom of theirs). I thought that it was all rather staged and would have preferred to spend more time just wandering around the villages.

2  Thank Malaysiantraveller68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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