breathtaking longji rice terraces

longji valley rice terraces local lady and baby chinaTravelling through China may be a challenge for some, but when Rachel Wasser was an Intrepid leader she loved helping her groups discover why the effort was worth it…

“A highlight of the Beijing to Hong Kong holiday is definitely the time we spend in Longji. This area is such a unique and breathtaking sight, it’s hard to compare it to anything else!

We spend time on a local bus winding our way up into the hills to be dropped off at the gate to Dazai village. From here we walk about 45 minutes up into the terraces to our first guesthouse, passing the local school and people dressed in their local Yao minority dress carrying fire wood and other supplies on horseback. We are welcomed like family in this big wooden house and treated to some of the freshest and most delicious food in China. We spend the night playing cards and learning new Chinese words, while resting up for the next day’s hike.

In the morning, after a breakfast of banana pancakes, we head out for our 5 hour hike to Ping’An village. The scenery is beyond words – with its unique terraces for growing rice, alongside bamboo trees and chestnut forests. Despite the few challenging hills, much of the hike is spent walking around over the stones, passing waterfalls, cows and locals harvesting rice.

Our local guide gives us lots of local insight along the way, improving our knowledge on the Yao and Zhuang minorities who live in the area. We get a great lesson on how they grow and harvest the rice in the area too. We finally arrive to our guesthouse in Ping’An and collapse, while another mouthwatering Chinese banquet is prepared for our lunch. After some food and a hot shower we can all relax on the patio with a cold Pi Jiu, beer, and watch all the activity of life in the surrounding rice terraces.”

Holiday in China with Intrepid on trips like this great small group adventure:
China Adventure – 26 days

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* photo by Charlene Mitchell – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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Hi, we did a 12 day tour of China 3 years ago which included Longji rice terraces and I have to agree with you, the terraces were one of the highlights of our tour. We were told they were more than 700 years old, imagine that, and all formed without the modern machinery of today. I bought a book about the terraces which shows them in all seasons and I must say I’d love to be there for each season, they are absolutely stunning, the food was wonderful and the people gracious and helpful. I hope to go back there one day and actually stay overnight.

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