Guangxi, China Longsheng 2002.06.20 - 06.21

Longji Terraces

We tried to reach Yangshuo from Zhaoxing in one day. Maybe it's possible other days but not this one. The bus from Liping reached Zhaoxing at 09:45. Driving at a quick pace, passing buses from other originations along dirt roads, we reached an ugly bus hub in the city of Sanjiang at 14:00 in time for the last 14:30 departure to the next metropolis called Guilin (which is only 65km north of Yangshuo). Unluckily, the 14:30 Guilin bus was cancelled. Not wanting to remain in Sanjiang (if you saw it, you'd understand), and wishing to continue towards Yangshuo, we decided to board a bus to Longsheng, a town one-third of the distance to Guilin.

Other travelers raved about the rice terraces 25km south of Longsheng. For this reason we chose Longsheng to overnight between Sanjiang and Yangshuo. Once again, all information in the Lonely Planet China guide pertaining to access to the Longji Terraces and surrounding accommodation was completely outdated. But we found our way regardless.

The short 25km bus ride to Ping'an, a town high among the rice terraces, took a full 2 hours. At the termination, a ticket window wanted ¥30 per person admission to walk a 1-hour loop with two viewpoints of the terraces. We asked for a student discount but were denied. Masami wanted to see the terraces. Wes had already seen enough in Nepal, Yunnan, and Guizhou, and couldn't mentally justify forking over another ¥30 to see another. Wes waited while Masami walked the loop.

90 minutes later, Masami returned with her report. Yes, the terraces are pretty, but not as stunning as those seen from the roadside in Yuanyang, Yunnan. The ¥30 admission was a waste of money.

If you aren't going to Yunnan Province and you love the beauty of a terraced hillside, we wouldn't discourage you from going to Longji. A bus departs the Longsheng bus station at 07:30, 09:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, and 17:00 for Ping'an. The front window is clearly marked "Longji Terrace" in English. Return buses are at approximately the same time. The fare is ¥6.5 each way. Overnight accommodation is available in Ping'an beyond the ¥30 entrance.

Viewpoints on the 1-hour walking loop from Ping'an Village look down on beautiful rice terraces. The ¥30 admission fee is better saved if you have time to visit Yuanyang, Yunnan Province instead.

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