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Longsheng, Ping An and the
Longji Rice Terraces

Longsheng lies 88 km north of Guilin at the border of one of the most underrated provinces in China: Guizhou. Many travelers never make it to Longsheng itself. The attraction of Longsheng lies 20 km away in a valley with at its slopes Ping An village. The area is know as Longji rice terraces and is home to Dong and Miao minorities.

The spectacular Longji rice terraces seen from Ping An
The spectacular Longji rice terraces seen from Ping An

I've been several times to Longsheng and Ping An and I think it's worth the effort, especially if you stay in Ping An and hike around in the surrounding hills and visit some villages.

Longji rice terraces seen from Ping An

There are basically two directions leading to Longsheng and the Longji rice terraces.

  1. From Guizhou
  2. From Guilin

In this article we cycle from Guilin to Longsheng. The continuing journey to Sanjiang is further explained here.

On the road to Longsheng
On the road to Longsheng shortly after Wutong

Most travelers simply choose to cycle out of Guilin in the direction of the Guilin airport and follow the direction to Longsheng on the G321 (total distance this way to Longsheng is 88km). But there's another nice road to explore, it leads north out of Guilin to the Qingshitan Reservoir and Dam. In May 2011, I visited the lake. It's well worth the effort and a nice break on the way to Longsheng. Here's the story.

No this is not Longji... but still on the main road G321

No this is not Longji... but still on the main road G321

The road from Guilin to the airport is not too bad. You can cycle mostly on the perpendicular bicycle road. About 15 km from Guilin, you will arrive at a circle with directions for going to Longsheng. The junction to Qingshitan Reservoir and Dam is also nearby and so is Wutong.

I had a breakfast in Wutong before cycling up into the hills north of me. It was all not very busy and I passed several villages with local markets. From Wutong to the last climb, 8km before the Longji junction you will have several shorter climbs but the last hill goes up to just over 800 meter altitude.

Last climb to the pass at 800 meter on the road to Longsheng
Last climb to the pass at 800 meter

After the last climb it goes all the way down to the Longji junction where it goes all the way up again. Especially the last few km to Ping An are nasty. I was there the first time on bicycle just after the road was open and got stuck in a thunderstorm. There are nicer places to enjoy a thunderstorm, trust me.

Just before the junction to Long Ji and Ping An
Just before the junction to Long Ji and Ping An

From the Longji junction it is still almost 20 km to Ping An with a few nasty little climbs to go. There's hotels and guesthouses in town and it's recommended to spend at least a night here and explore the hills and nearby minority villages. Entry to the terraces is a heft Y80. 

Longji village, from here you can see the famous rice terraces
Ping An, from here you can see the famous rice terraces

Should you prefer to stay in Longsheng town itself, that is fun for an afternoon too. The town has been exploding in the last years which includes several cheap and good hotels.

Longsheng town center

There's not a lot to in Longsheng but you can spend a pleasant late afternoon wandering at the market and spend some time at the pavilions at the riverside where the local population gathers after their work has been done.

People play jeu de boules, playing cards, singing and dancing or just chit chat after a days work. It's a really nice way to end your day in Longsheng

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