Discover the Longji Rice Terraces in Guilin, famously referred to as the "Dragon's Backbone" due to its unique terraced fields and the long-haired Yao minority women living in the area.
This location offers a beautiful blend of nature and minority culture, providing the opportunity to engage with two main minority groups residing in the nearby villages.
For photography enthusiasts, two main minority villages stand out as ideal spots: Dazhai (meaning "big tribe" in Chinese) village and Ping An village.
Dazhai village is renowned for its local Yao minority women with exceptionally long hair, some of whom have hair that measures over a meter in length. This village boasts over five exceptional photography locations with diverse views, perfect for capturing stunning shots of the sunrise.
On the other hand, Ping An village is relatively smaller in size, but its unique valley and surrounding mountains offer high possibilities for capturing mist enveloping the village after a rain shower.
Best Time For Photography & Two Festivals To Experience
The best season to capture the flooded rice terraces is from January to mid-June, during which the rice terraces in Ping An village, as well as some parts of the terraced fields in Dazhai village, are submerged in water.
For those seeking to capture the picturesque golden rice terraces, the ideal time is from mid-September until October 20th, before the harvesting begins.
Moreover, there are two notable celebrations of the Zhuang and Yao minority culture that you should not miss, as they offer excellent opportunities for photography and cultural exploration.
The Shuyang Festival is observed in Ping An Zhuang village on the sixth day of the fifth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. The upcoming celebration is scheduled for June 11, 2024.
The Dazhai Red Yao minority village celebrates the Clothes Drying Festival on the sixth day of the sixth lunar month. The upcoming celebration will be on July 11, 2024.
Would it be worthwhile to spend the night in the village?
Absolutely, especially for photographers.
Numerous hotels and hostels are available in the village, some of which cater to Westerners and offer amenities such as a Western-style breakfast, spacious and tidy rooms with a view of the rice terraces, comfortable mattresses, and English-speaking staff.
Staying overnight in a hotel situated atop the mountains would provide the perfect chance to capture breathtaking photos of the sunrise over the rice paddies and the golden shimmering of the flooded fields.
What do the photos look like in each month?
#1 Longji Rice Terraces in January
During the rainy season in spring, it is difficult to witness the sunrise and sunset. Nevertheless, capturing images of the clouds and fog nestled between the mountains and village can make for a captivating photograph.
#2 Longji Rice Terraces in February
#3 Longji Rice Terraces in March
#4 Longji Rice Terraces in April
#5 Longji Rice Terraces in May
The locals begin clearing the fields and inspecting the irrigation system. By May, the weather is expected to improve.
#6 Longji Rice Terraces in June
#7 Longji Rice Terraces in July
#8 Longji Rice Terraces in August
#9 Longji Rice Terraces in September
#10 Longji Rice Terraces in October
#11 Longji Rice Terraces in November
Visiting the rice terraces in November is not recommended as the fields will be barren with no rice and the irrigation process has yet to begin, making for a less interesting experience.
#12 Longji Rice Terraces in December
Minority People - the true hosts of Longji
Even 80-year-old grandmothers in Dazhai village, who are part of the minority group, have long black hair and wear traditional handmade embroidered dresses.