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Dazhai Rice Terraces

Dazhai, China

June 11, 2015 – June 13, 2015

Full Dazhai Photo Gallery Here.

Our next destination was the remote and very photogenic rice terraces in Dazhai, China.  Located high in the mountainous region of Longsheng county in Guangxi province, the hills are covered in miles and miles of delicately made terraces, maintained in the region for hundreds of years.

The region is remote  and will take a few bus transfers, to ever smaller and more crowded buses, and finally a 45 minute long hike from Dazhai up into the hills and nearby Tiantou village.  The hills are dotted with many small rice terraced villages, and Tiantou village is one of the most remote that is set up for tourism, and perhaps the most beautiful of them.

Hiking in the rain. Our bus dropped us off at the bottom of the hill, but our hostel was located up near the top of hill where the steep rice terraces are.
Hiking in the rain. Our bus dropped us off at the bottom of the hill in Dazhai, but our hostel was located up near the top of hill where the steep rice terraces are.
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A gondola can be seen in the distance on our way up to Tiantou village.
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The view in front of our hostel in Tiantou village.
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The view from our room.

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We tried some of the local specialty bamboo rice.

Hiking to Ping An

Dazhai is just one of many small terraced villages dotting the countryside, and if you have time you can visit the others either by bus or, if it is not raining too hard, on foot.  Ping An, perhaps the most popular of the various villages is about a 3.5 hour hike from Dazhai.  It is recommended that you hire a guide, as the unmarked trail seems to wander about randomly with plenty of off shoots, none of which have anything in the way of signage.  We lucked out and joined some other hikers from our hostel who had already arranged for a guide.  Ask your hostel or guest house about guides, most villages have several on hand to guide tourists around.

The hike to Ping Ann from Dazhai.
The hike to Ping An from Dazhai.
We passed many smaller and more remote rice terraces along the way.
We passed many smaller and more remote rice terraces along the way.
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We visited in mid-June, when the rice terraces are full of water.

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Ping An is a very photogenic village, which when combined with its easier access by bus, makes it very popular and crowded with visitors. We hadn’t spotted so many foreigners in one spot since Shanghai.  There are plenty of great views, but the village has ten times the tourists of Dazhai/Tiantou and feels a bit ‘touristy’, but well worth a day trip.  We took a bus back to Dazhai and hiked back up to our hostel, which was much easier the second time without our large packs.

The View from Upper Dazhai

We spent a second day at the rice terraces, and it turned out to be a very rainy day.  We spent most of our time relaxing on sofas in the nice common area of our hostel.  By late afternoon, the rain let up a bit so we decided to hike up to the highest viewpoint above Dazhai and Tiantou village.  We found an uncrowded view which easily rivaled the more popular Ping An, in fact we thought it was better.

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The view above Tiantou village.

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Dazhai in the distance.
Tiantou village in the distance.

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From here we made our way to our last destination in mainland China, the beautiful pointy karst mountains of Yangshuo…

 

One thought on “Dazhai Rice Terraces”

  1. I am traveling to the Longji Rice Terraces with a few friends and was hoping to go on a hike or two while there. I plan on staying in Dazhai or Tiantou. Do you have any recommendations on websites that show hikes available? I generally like to do the lest touristy stuff so your hike up the mountain interests me much more than the hike from Dazhai to Ping’an. Also any other websites that you could point me to that would help me plan my trip. – Thanks

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