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Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces, Longsheng
Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces
Located approximately 27 kilometers (about 16 miles) southeast of Longsheng County, a vast region of rice terraces stretches layer upon layer, coiling around from the base of Longji (the dragon's backbone) Mountain to its summit. This is the most amazing terrace in China, the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces. Construction of them began in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and continued until the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when construction was completed. The Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces are the culmination of both the profound wisdom and strenuous labor of the Zhuang people.

Now, the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces covers an area of 66 square kilometers (about 16308 acres) and spans an altitude between 300 meters (about 984 feet) and 1100 meters (about 3608 feet). It is said, 'Where there is soil, there is a terrace', be it in the valley, with swift flowing river to the mountains summit with its swirling cloud cover, or from bordering verdant forest to the cliff walls. Even though the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces is large, it is made up of numerous patches no more than 1 mu (it is a traditional unit of area in China, currently call shimu) (about 0.16 acres). The smaller ones like snails while the bigger one like towers. The outline is very smooth with gradients between 26 degrees and 35 degrees.

Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces, Longsheng
Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces in Spring
Local Residence of Zhuang Nationality
Local Residence of Zhuang Nationality
The Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces is a beautiful natural picture. The linked together rice terraces vary from season to season. In spring, the water is irrigated into the fields and they look like great chains or ribbons hung on the hillsides. When the onset of summer, green waves rush continuously down the mountainside from the heaven. The theme of autumn is the harvest, with the mountainside decorated with the gold of ripened millet. Coming into winter, the whole mountain will be covered with white snow, just like dragons playing with water.
Women of Yao Ethnic Minority
Women of Yao Ethnic Minority
Zhuang Minority People
Zhuang Minority People

As well as its amazing scenery, Longji is also the area to visit to experience Chinas ethnic minorities' culture. The Zhuang and the Yao nationalities live here, though mainly it is the Zhuang people. The women dress in unique and colorful costumes, singing and dancing. Guests also can join in with them to enjoy the original Zhuang life and culture, and even stay with local families enjoying both the Longji tea and the Longji wine.

Travel Tips: 
1. Getting from Guilin to to Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces:
1) take through bus at the parking area of the Guilin Railway Station.
Ticket Fare: around CNY 50 
Duration: 2.5 hours
Note: Better reserve the tickets from the hostels on the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, such as Mei Jing Lou (Beautiful Scenery Inn), Quan Jing Lou (Panoramic View Inn) and Jing Guan Lou Guesthouse. 

Mei Jing Lou: 86-773-7585678 
Quan Jing Lou: 86-773-7585688
Jing Guan Lou: 86-773-7585608

2) Take regular bus at Guilin Qintan Bus Station.
Ticket Fare: around CNY 16-18. 
Duration: more than 2 hours
Passengers can get off at the fork leading to the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces and then take the tourism bus to Dazhai Yao Village Rice Terraces. The bus ticket fare is about CNY 7. 

3) Take through bus at Guilin Qintan Bus Station.
Ticket Fare: about CNY 27. 
Duration: 2 hours.
Arriving at at Longsheng Bus Station, passengers need to change the tourism bus to Dazhai Yao Village Rice Terraces. The ticket fare is CNY 9.

2. Getting from Dazhai Yao Village to Ping’an Zhuang Village:
1) Take regular bus (Dazhai Yao Village – Longsheng Bus Station) and get off at Er Long (Double Dragon) Bridge. Then change a van to Ping’an parking lot and walk 20 minutes to Ping’an Zhuang Village.  
2) Walk from the fork between No.1 and No.2 viewing platforms on Dazhai Yao Village Rice Terraces to the Ping’an Zhuang Village. It takes 3 to 4 hours. 
Note: Better hire a local guide to do the trekking together with you. If not, take the slate path for the Ping’an Zhuang Village.

3. Festivals:
Tourists can enjoy themselves at the following festivals:

Cole Flower Festival (March to April) Tourists will be amused by the sea of cole flowers.
Spring Plowing Festival (May to June) It’s a good opportunity for photography enthusiasts to shoot beautiful pictures of the rice terraces. Also they can take part in the photo competition to win prizes.      
Sunning Clothes Festival (June 6 on Chinese lunar calendar) Yao minority people have a tradition to sun clothes today. Afterwards, they perform folk dances and songs in the village in celebration of the festival. Tourists can take this chance to appreciate Yao people’s traditional costume and wonderful performances.
Golden Autumn Cultural Festival 
(September to October)
During the festival, tourists can enjoy folk performances of the Yao Minority and join the campfire party at night.

4. Recommended Itinerary:
Day one Take through bus from Guilin to Dazhai Zhuang Village and then finish visiting No.1 and No.2 viewing platforms in the afternoon.
Day two Appreciate the sunrise at the No.1 viewing platform and visit No.3 viewing platform. Then walk to Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraces for a visit. Afterwards, take bus (Ping’an Zhuang Village – Guilin) back to Guilin.  

Admission Fee: CNY 80 covering Ping'an Zhuang Village and Dazhai Yao Village Rice Terraces

Note: 
Children below 1.4 meters are free of charge.
Opening Hours: 08:30 - 17:30
Best Time to Visit: May, June, September and October, especially April 15 to 30, and August 15 to 31 on Chinese lunar calendar