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