My Trip To Longji Rice Terraces (Part 1)

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, September 1, 2010 | Published in

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On my 3rd day in Guilin, China, my travel partner Jam, his friend and I visited Longji Rice Terraces (龙脊梯田) in Longsheng County. We planned to stay a night there.

Longji or Dragon's Backbone is so named because the rice terraces resemble a dragon's scales, while the summit of the mountain range looks like the backbone of the dragon.

After our breakfast of rice noodles, we took a bus from Guilin Main Bus Terminal to Longsheng (龙胜), which is about 90 km or about 2 hours drive from Guilin. However, instead of going to Longsheng, we got down at Heping Village (和平乡) on the way to Longsheng. This was because it was nearer and more convenient to go to Longji Rice Terraces from Heping Village.

Although we planned to stay overnight in Longji Rice Terraces, we had not booked any accommodation yet. But as luck would have it, we were approached by a lady in the bus who offered us her place for 30 yuan per person. Since she also offered to be our tour guide, we did not hesitate to accept her offers!

After getting down at Heping Village, we followed the lady whom we called as Da Jie or Big Sister. She had arranged for a van to pick us up to her village, Dazhai (大寨).

On the way to Dazhai, we passed by the Jinzhu (Golden Bamboo) Zhuang Village (金竹壮寨) where we stopped at a ticketing office to pay 50 yuan per person in order to enter the Longji Rice Terraces Scenic Area.



We arrived at Dazhai around noon. I forgot to take a photo of the entrance gate! There, a few ladies with baskets on their back approached us and offered to help take our luggage for 25 yuan. We however, declined their offers.



Although we had reached Dazhai, we still needed to walk about 20 minutes to reach Da Jie's house. After paying the driver 7 yuan each, we alighted from the van and followed Da Jie as she led the way.


Signboard showing direction to Dazhai village



Road leading to Dazhai village

Soon, we reached a rock that reads Da Yao Zhai (大瑶寨) which can be shortened to Dazhai.



Not far from the rock, we could see a bridge which was called the Wind-Rain Bridge (风雨桥). This bridge served as an entrance to Dazhai village. It was made entirely of wood and had a unique architectural design.



Once passed the bridge, the magnificent view of green rolling hills and rice terraces greeted us!


We continued to follow Da Jie as she led us to her house.



We saw many wooden houses like these!



These houses were special as they were made entirely of wood with no iron or metal. They were called Diaojiaolou (吊脚楼) which literally means "Hanging Foot House". It is so called because the columns on the first floor do not reach the ground but are suspended halfway.


Can you see the "hanging foot"?

The "hanging foot" is actually a very unique architectural design found mainly in south western part of China. You can see from here that no nails were used in constructing Diaojiaolou. I found that simply amazing!



Besides that, most of these Diaojiaolou houses are built on pebble slabs and not on the ground.


All these wooden houses were built using fir wood which was abundantly found in the fir wood forests!

I noticed that most of the houses in Dazhai were either two or three storeys high.




Before we knew it, we had reached Da Jie's house which was actually converted into a hotel!



It was called Jiu Jiu Hotel (久久旅馆).



In my next post, I shall tell you more about this hotel, what we had for lunch and what we did after that, so stay tuned!

FIRST COMMENTER

(58) Comments

  1. fufu said...

    wow nice village :) wish the area will be preserved well :) at least until i have visited lol i always impressed with chinese architecture... japanese too learnt the skill from chinese...ops, they were chinese too once upon a time... lol ops racism if i say so?

    September 1, 2010 at 4:39 AM
  2. M-Knight said...

    wow!!! nice place

    September 1, 2010 at 5:10 AM
  3. reanaclaire said...

    hi foong.. your china posts are an eye opener for me..guided tours wont go in to these fascinating places, right? only backpackers venture out on their own..that is why cheaper too.. looking forward to seeing the hotel and the food they served! :)

    September 1, 2010 at 8:12 AM
  4. lina said...

    tsk. tsk. tsk.... always willing to follow strange women around. :D

    September 1, 2010 at 8:23 AM
  5. lina said...

    Love the houses! Must be nice to spend a night there, esp since it's so cheap too.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:24 AM
  6. wenn said...

    wow, that's interesting..lovely views!

    September 1, 2010 at 8:24 AM
  7. lina said...

    I particularly like the 7th photo. The mountain look so green.

    All those are rice fields?

    September 1, 2010 at 8:24 AM
  8. ladyviral said...

    wow looks like a great relaxing place to be in!

    September 1, 2010 at 8:53 AM
  9. khengsiong said...

    "But as luck would have it, we were approached by a lady in the bus who offered us her place for 30 yuan per person."

    I would be skeptical of such offer...

    I like the buildings in that village.

    September 1, 2010 at 8:53 AM
  10. manglish said...

    ehhh very nice pics leh..weather so nice...

    September 1, 2010 at 8:54 AM
  11. Mei Teng said...

    It's interesting that structures can be built without the use of nails. Compare that with the many modern buildings and structures that we have. Some even collasped!

    September 1, 2010 at 9:11 AM
  12. eugene said...

    Hey, those wooden structures are really amazing, a marvell sight to behold.

    sometimes i wonder why are we not doing like what they used to do before,,,,,, so simply done

    September 1, 2010 at 9:14 AM
  13. eugene said...

    By the way,,,, proud to Malaysian ,,, and happy belated Merdeka to you too

    September 1, 2010 at 9:15 AM
  14. Caroline Ng May Ling said...

    so nice tehre's always someone to offer guide to u guys. ;)

    September 1, 2010 at 12:27 PM
  15. Caroline Ng May Ling said...

    the place really look like those in the films! nice village n very clean summore.

    September 1, 2010 at 12:28 PM
  16. Caroline Ng May Ling said...

    loving the greenery view! ;D

    September 1, 2010 at 12:29 PM
  17. Caroline Ng May Ling said...

    i like the way dey hang those lanterns! hehe btw, no car at there??

    September 1, 2010 at 12:30 PM
  18. HappySurfer said...

    I have to agree with Lina and KS about your 'habit' of following strange women. OMG it's a wonder you got off still in one piece. LOL!

    25 yuan for carrying baggage and having to pay for entrance to view the rice terraces? Gee! Hope the viewing was worth it.

    September 1, 2010 at 12:56 PM
  19. HappySurfer said...

    That is a beautiful village of unusual houses. Even the bridge looks amazing. How big is this village? Where is everybody?

    I like the longhouse in the second picture - kinda like chalets facing a beach at a resort location.

    My fav photo is the 9th one. It has a certain calmness in it. Thanks for sharing them all. We wouldn't have been able to see such beauty if not for your going off the beaten track. Kudos, Foong.

    September 1, 2010 at 1:13 PM
  20. Carol said...

    Thanks for sharing those pictures, you always share with us these beautiful pics and we people get to know more about these places..Nice village with such a calmness in it, loved the greenery and houses too...Thanks for sharing them with us...

    September 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM
  21. Suzanne said...

    Wow such a calm and beautiful place. Thanks so much for the pics. Please do keep posting pics of such new places.

    September 1, 2010 at 2:49 PM
  22. Faisal Admar said...

    haha at first i thought it's cameron highlands! :)

    thank you for sharing foong.

    September 1, 2010 at 2:58 PM
  23. handmade holiday gift ideas said...

    Wow, it looks like the whole mountain had been carved into the terraced rice padi! the closest one I’ve seen is at Ubud, Bali.

    September 1, 2010 at 4:51 PM
  24. Kelvin said...

    The rice terrace is beautiful^^

    September 1, 2010 at 7:22 PM
  25. Tekkaus said...

    Longji...aka Dragon's backbone? Wow...what a darn fancy name. :D

    September 1, 2010 at 8:25 PM
  26. Tekkaus said...

    Ouh...it was because it looks just like dragon scales? Are you sure it doesn't look like fish scales? :p

    September 1, 2010 at 8:26 PM
  27. Tekkaus said...

    It is called as Helping village? I thought it should be called peaceful village? :p

    September 1, 2010 at 8:27 PM
  28. Tekkaus said...

    Ouh....have to pay money in order to enter this sacred place huh? :p

    September 1, 2010 at 8:28 PM
  29. Bengbeng said...

    i like the beautiful architecture

    September 1, 2010 at 8:29 PM
  30. Tekkaus said...

    What? Helping to take your luggage need to charge another 25 yuan? They are really good at sucking blood now huh!

    September 1, 2010 at 8:31 PM
  31. Tekkaus said...

    Wow...those houses...they look so stunning! ;D Goodness

    September 1, 2010 at 8:31 PM
  32. Tekkaus said...

    How about nails? Not even a single nails were driven into these houses? OMG! They look so beautiful. :)

    September 1, 2010 at 8:32 PM
  33. Tekkaus said...

    This shows how good they are... :)

    September 1, 2010 at 8:33 PM
  34. eiling lim said...

    I am so impressed with the olden days on how people can build houses like than without a nail!

    September 1, 2010 at 9:03 PM
  35. [SK] said...

    hey, the banner at the entrance says "1st Longji International Photography Contest", you didn't take part in that??

    September 1, 2010 at 10:10 PM
  36. [SK] said...

    i like the houses in this place.. all made of wood and climbing up the hills.. very special indeed..

    September 1, 2010 at 10:12 PM
  37. [SK] said...

    special architecture huh?? the columns does not reach the ground but hanging?? hmmm, then by what the houses are supported??

    September 1, 2010 at 10:13 PM
  38. [SK] said...

    did you went up to the first floor and feel if the whole floor is floating in the air?? hahaha~~

    September 1, 2010 at 10:14 PM
  39. [SK] said...

    btw, are you one of the two guys in the photo climbing to the Jiu Jiu Hotel?? kekeke~~

    September 1, 2010 at 10:15 PM
  40. Che-Cheh said...

    Oh yeah absolutely stunning views. Feel like I've been there twice. Once with Jam and now with you. Haha

    September 1, 2010 at 11:42 PM
  41. Monica said...

    hmmm where is the hotel??

    September 2, 2010 at 2:22 AM
  42. Monica said...

    wow those houses.. very special indeed!!

    September 2, 2010 at 2:33 AM
  43. Bananazஇ said...

    Lovely wooden houses with the pebbles, btw any idea what is the purpose of the 'hanging foot' besides showing the unique state-of-the-art design with no nails? Aiyo why the shape of the stone with the word Da Yao Zhai looks like something very familiar one???haha..

    September 2, 2010 at 10:33 AM
  44. Erika Toh said...

    Fuyoh...it reminds me of Wong Fei Hung! xD I wanna go to China someday too~

    September 2, 2010 at 1:31 PM
  45. Okanagan Homes said...

    The post is really outstanding. The beauty of the place is mind-blowing. I must appreciate you for informing us about Longji. Bye.

    September 2, 2010 at 2:17 PM
  46. Ishmael Fischer Ahab said...

    Stay tuned? I will. ^_^

    That place is really nice. It is the first time I saw rice terraces located outside the Philippines. We have our own rice terraces here and it is called Banaue Rice Terraces.

    September 2, 2010 at 4:43 PM
  47. Mariuca said...

    I wonder how this so-called hotel was... am having the hardest time booking our hotel for vakasi cause hard to find "cheap" ones of good size and attached bath....

    September 2, 2010 at 11:17 PM
  48. Mariuca said...

    For us, before going vakasi sure must book hotel in advance...not as adventurous as u! :)

    September 2, 2010 at 11:18 PM
  49. Mariuca said...

    It looks very hot there but ur pics are awesome! :)

    September 2, 2010 at 11:19 PM
  50. EastCoastLife said...

    I'm back! Thanks for your message on FB.

    September 3, 2010 at 1:25 AM
  51. EastCoastLife said...

    I love the wooden buildings! So rustic and cosy looking. Can't wait to see the interior.

    September 3, 2010 at 1:25 AM
  52. Ayie said...

    hi foong!

    This reminds me of our planning trip (university curriculum trip)to the rice terraces. It's very refreshing there with simple and very basic life.

    September 3, 2010 at 3:38 PM
  53. acura said...

    Those wooden houses look very majestic. Please tell us more bout the hotel, must be a very unique place to stay.

    Btw, thanks for dropping by & being one of the 1st to comment on my revived blog ;)

    September 3, 2010 at 11:57 PM
  54. Life Ramblings said...

    the green rolling hills and rice terraces are absolutely gorgeous. reminds me of cameron.

    September 4, 2010 at 10:59 AM
  55. Twilight said...

    My friend's Guilin photos were so boring! I have asked him to view yours. Nice!

    September 13, 2010 at 11:01 PM
  56. Logistic Logo Design said...

    Simply perfect blog post - I save it on delicious - need more posts like this!

    April 19, 2012 at 6:01 PM
  57. melvin said...

    i love the houses in the village but i think when it comes to the rice teracces the banaue rice terraces in the philippines is better.love your photos and your blog!

    July 1, 2012 at 9:32 AM
  58. foongpc said...

    melvin, the rice terraces in Philippines is better? Really? Maybe I should visit it one day! So far, I have only been to Manila : )

    July 2, 2012 at 1:10 AM