Archive for the ‘Guangxi Travel’ Category

How to Visit Chengyang Wind & Rain Bridge

Friday, September 25th, 2020
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Chengyang Wind &  Rain Bridge (程阳风雨桥) often refers to the scenic area of the same name which mainly includes Chengyang Bridge itself and the eight Dong minority villages in the area. The scenic area is located 19km north of Sanjiang County (三江), Liuzhou in  Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. Entrance fee: 60 yuan.

Built in 1912,  Chengyang Bridge, also knows as “Yongji Bridge”,  is a covered bridge, an architectural wonder which features the unique blend of the bridge, the corridor and the pavilions.

The bridge has 3 piers, 2 platforms ( at the both ends), five tower-type pavilions with upturned multi-level eaves. Made of the cedar and stones, Chengyang  Bridge is 64.4 meters long, 3.4 meters wide and 10.6 meters high above the river known as Linxi River.

Chengyang Bridge is one of the 5 wind and rain bridges in this Dong minority region which include eight Dong villages – Ma An Village, Ping Village, Ping Tan Village Yan Village, Dong Village, Da Village, Ping  Pu Village and Jichang Village, collectively known as Chengyang Eight Villages.

Each  village has an impressive drum tower and an opera stage. The drum towers are the social places in the villages built like magnificent pagodas with multi-level eaves. One tall drum tower represents the center of a village.

You will also see hundreds of wooden houses, paddy fields and rivers with water wheels, a typical Dong minority portrait.

A visit to Chengyang Wind & Rain Bridge Scenic Area is often included in your travel plan when you are either planning  your Guiyang tour or Guilin tour since it is located in the mid-way between Guilin and Guiyang. Now Guilin, Sanjiang and Guiyang are connected by bullet trains, very convenient to visit the three places in one travel itinerary.

Follow me to have a glimpse of the Dong minority villages. The eight Dong minority villages are dotted in a large area, not easy for a day tripper to cover them all. Basically people would visit Ma An Village which is just across Chengyang Bridge, and nearby Yan Village and Ping Village.

The photo of Chengyang Bridge taken from its west end and its east end linked to Ma An Village.

Chengyang Wind & Rain Bridge

Chengyang Wind & Rain Bridge

Crossing the bridge

Crossing Chengyang Bridge

Crossing Chengyang Bridge

The river under the bridge known as Linxi River, limpid water with water wheels flanked by paddy fields with a background of wooden houses, a typical Dong village scene.

Chengyang Linxi River

Chengyang Linxi River

The Drum Tower at Ma An Village

Ma An Village Drum Tower

Ma An Village Drum Tower

The Helong Wind & Rain Bridge linking Ma An Village and Yan Village.

Helong Wind and Rain Bridge

Helong Wind and Rain Bridge

The Drum Tower at Yan Village

The Drum Tower at Yan Village

The Drum Tower at Yan Village

The Yan Village with the river flanked by wooden houses.

Yan Village

Yan Village

The Drum Tower at Ping Village

The Drum Tower at Ping Village

The Drum Tower at Ping Village

The Ping Village

The Ping Village

The Ping Village

The wooden House and Rice Fields

The wooden House and Rice Fields

The wooden House and Rice Fields

The narrow lane in the Dong Village

The narrow lane in the Dong Village

The narrow lane in the Dong Village

How to get there?
1. Take the bullet trains to Sanjiang from Guangzhou, Guilin and Guiyang. Arriving at Sanjiang South Railway Station. Then you take bus from the station to Sanjiang West Bus Station where you connect the local buses heading to Linxi (林溪) and get off at the stop of Chengyang Wind & Rain Scenic Area ( 6 yuan).

2. Take buses to Sanjiang from Guilin, Longji ( Longsheng) in Guangxi or Congjiang, Rongjiang or Guiyang from Guizhou. Then connect the local buses heading to Linxi (林溪) and get off at the stop of Chengyang Wind & Rain Scenic Area ( 6 yuan).

Where to Stay?
You are highly recommend to stay at Dong Village Hotel, a wooden 4-story house by Linxi River, just standing by another Wind and Rain Bride north of the world famous Chengyang Wind & Rain Bridge.

Each room has a balcony with a clear view of Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge. Contact Michael Yang: 0772 – 8582421.

Each room has a balcony with a clear view of the two wind and rain bridges.

Each room has a balcony with a clear view of the two wind and rain bridges.

Further Readings


Top 10 Things to do Guilin
How to Visit Longji Terraced Rice Fields
Li River Cruise
Daxu Ancient Town

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit Longji Rice Terraces by Bus from Guilin

Sunday, November 10th, 2019
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Dear Travelers,

We’d like to have the following quick guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors visiting Longji Rice Terraces from Guilin. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
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Plan your Guilin tour? Longji Rice Terrace (龙脊梯田), literally “Dragon’s Backbone Terraced Paddy Fields”,  is a large scenic area with their ticketing office building located about 1km to the south of Heping Town (和平乡),  about 14 km to the southeast of Longsheng County (龙胜),  76km to the north of Guilin city proper (桂林) and 146km to the northwest of Yangshuo (阳朔).

Longji Rice Terrace Scenic Area encompasses five natural villages – Dazhai Village (大寨) & Tiantouzhai Village (田头寨) (both Yao minority villages), Ping’An Zhuang Minority Village (平安寨), the Ancient Zhuang Minority Village (龙脊古壮寨)and Huangluohong Yao Minority Village (黄洛红瑶寨).

Longji Rice Terrrace Scenic Area mainly refers to the rice terraces in the three forest-fringed villages –  Ping’An Village (平安寨),  Dazhai Village (大寨) and Tiantouzhai Village ( 田头寨).

Ping’An Village is 18km to the northeast of the Longji Rice Terrace Ticketing Office Building ( Also the Bus Station and Parking Lot for Longji).

Dazhai Village and Tiantouzhai Village are 24 km to the northeast of the Longji Ticketing Office Building. Tiantouzhai is located on the hillsides above Dazhai Village. Both the two villages are roughly in the same area.

How to get to Longji Rice Terraces?
When we ask “How to get to Longji Rice Terraces?”,  actually we mean two questions –  How to get to the Longji Ticketing Office Building (the Tourist Service Center) and how to get from the ticketing office to the actual areas for viewing Longji rice terraces which mainly include the terraced paddy fields around Ping’An Village, Dazhai Village and Tiantouzhai Village.

You either visit Ping’An Village ( a separate ticket ) or Dazhai Village and Tiantouzhai Village ( another separate ticket ), or you can buy two tickets to cover the two areas.

To get to Ping’An Village, Dazhai Village and Tiantouzhai Village from the ticket building, you also need to purchase the shuttle bus tickets at the ticketing office.

How to get to the Longji Rice Terrace Ticketing Office Building by Bus from Guilin? 
The Longji Ticketing Office Building is in the service complex designed for Longji Rice Terrace Scenic Area which includes the ticketing office, bus station, toilets and other facilities.

The ticket office at the tourist center sell all-through tickets ( one ticket for all ) for Ping’An Village, Dazhai Village and Tiantouzhai Village. Each village has its own ticket check points.

There are daily buses directly getting to the Longji Ticketing Office Building from Guilin Qintan Bus Station and Guilin North Bus Station(76km)

There are three main bus stations in Guilin:
1) Guilin Qintan Bus Station 桂林琴谭汽车站
Add: 31 Cuizhu Road, Guilin 翠竹路31号
Tel: (0773)3832703
Departures ( to Longji ): 7:00-19:00 (every 15 minutes ); 25 yuan

2)Guilin North Bus Station 桂林汽车北站
Add: 76 Beichen  Road, Guilin北辰路76号
Departures (to Longji ): only 4 daily 8:25/11:40/13:40/17:20

3)Guilin South Bus Station 桂林汽车南站
No departure for Longji
Add: West of Kaifeng Road, Guilin 凯风路西侧

The Ticketing Office ( The Tourist Center ) at Longji

The Ticketing Office ( The Tourist Center ) at Longji

How to get to Ping’An Village,  Dazhai Village and Tiantouzhai Village from the Ticketing Office?
If you take a public bus from Guilin to the ticketing office in Longji,  you need to change for a local public bus to go further to each of the villages after you purchase your entry ticket.

If you take a car or van ( less than 9 seats ) to get to Longji Terrace, you can directly drive to each village. But you still need to purchase your ticket at the center before you go to each village.

At present, the official shuttle buses in Longji Rice Terrace Scenic Area are only designed for tourist groups instead of individual tourists. For those who come here organised by a travel agent need to purchase a 40-yuan bus ticket for the shuttle service shuttling from the ticketing office to Ping’An, Daizhai and Tiantouzhai.

It seems Longji Rice Terrace is not an individual tourist-friendly place where as an independent traveler, you are not allowed to use the shuttle service starting from the ticketing office. Instead, you have to take the local public buses outside the ticketing office to Ping’An (18km), or further to Dazhai and Tiantouzhai (24km).

It is an hourly bus ride with the bus fare at 40 yuan, a return ticket and valid for multidays. So keep your bus ticket for a return trip from the villages back to the ticketing office.

All the local public buses come from Longsheng, on to Heping Town and the ticketing office, so your bus ticket is also valid between the villages and Heping Town, or Longsheng. That means you are able to take bus to the villages directly from Heping Town or Longsheng as well as the Longji Ticketing Office.

Visit Ping’An Village, or Dazhai Village and Tiantouzhai Village?
For a day tripper from Guilin or Yangshuo, people don’t have enough time to cover the three villages and have to make a choice between Ping’An Village, and Dazhai & Tiantouzhai villages due to the limited time since each village involves 2-3 hour hiking. Ping’An Village is about 19km away from Dazhai Village & Tiantouzhai Village.

So choose Ping’An Village, or its competitors Dazhai Village and Tiantouzhai Village? Ping’An Rice Terrace area often represents Longji Rice Terraces since Ping’An Village was the first village in the scenic area developing rice terrace sightseeing tourism while Dazhai and Tiantouzhai are newcomers, beautiful competitors in a less touristy area.

Personally I highly recommend visiting Dazhai & Tiantouzhai since they have a much larger area put together of terraced paddy fields with more photogenic views. The upside is that they have a long cable car lifting you to the top of the mountain for a panoramic view of the terraced fields if you don’t have strong legs for hiking.

How to Visit Dazhai (大寨)& Tiantouzhai (田头寨)?
There is the same parking area and entrance to the two village with Tiantouzhai Village perched on the hillsides and Dazhai Village at the foot of the hills. There are three high viewing platforms in the area – Platform No. 1, No 2 and No. 3.  You may hike from Dazhai to No.02 Platform in Tiantouzhai and up to the No.01 Platform on the summit. The Platform No.03 can be reached by the cable car service starting from the parking lot and by the entrance. Cable car: 70 yuan single and 120 return tickets.

For a fast glimpse of the massive terrace rice fields, you may take the cable car up to the Viewing Platform No.03.  For hiking lovers, you may hike up from Dazhai Village along the trails with English signposts. The time hiking up to No.01 and No.2, then back to the entrance takes about 4-5 hours. The last return bus from Dazhai to the ticketing office or Longsheng leaves at 5:30 pm. So carefully schedule your travel time for a day trip to Longji.

The Parking Area by the entrance to Dazhai Village and the Cable Car Station.

The Parking Area at Dazhai Village Longji

The Parking Area at Dazhai Village Longji

Take the cable car up the Viewing Platform for a bird’s-eye’s view of the magnificent terraced paddy fields.

Take the cable car at Longji Terraced Paddy Fields

Take the cable car at Longji Terraced Paddy Fields

The Dazhai Village and the surrounding rice terraces viewed from the Platform No.03.

The Dazhai Village and the surrounding rice terraces

The Dazhai Village and the surrounding rice terraces

A close-up view of the rice terraces.

close-up view of the rice terraces

close-up view of the rice terraces

The Panorama House Hotel and the Viewing Platform No.01 on its left side with the red flag.

Panorama House Hotel and the Viewing Platform No.01

Panorama House Hotel and the Viewing Platform No.01

The Viewing platform No.01 is the best place in Longji to see the sunrise.

The Sunrise at Longji

The Sunrise at Longji

The terraced rice fields viewed from the Platform No.01.

Longji Rice Terraces Viewed from Platform No.01

Longji Rice Terraces Viewed from Platform No.01

Snapping pictures of the rice terraces below.

Snapping pictures of the rice terraces

Snapping pictures of the rice terraces

The terraced paddy fields known as “Seven Star flying to the Moon”.

Seven Stard flying to the Moon

Seven Stars flying to the Moon

The  “the Thousand Terraces of the rice fields ” viewed from the Platform No.02

the Thousand Terraces of the rice fields

the Thousand Terraces of the rice fields

Recommended Hotels
1) Dragon’Den Hostel (大寨青年旅社):  Tel: 0773 – 7585780  Located in Dazhai Village
2) Meijing Lou (美景楼): Tel: 0773 7585678  Located in Tiantouzhai Village
Panorama House Hotel (全景楼大酒店):  On the summit of the mountain Tel: 0773 – 7585688

How to Visit Ping’An (平安)?
Many individual trippers favor Ping’An Village simply because it is closer to the ticketing office, saving time and another factor is Ping’An is more developed with better catering service and it is learned that even some foreigners run a bar restaurant there.

There are two Viewing Platforms – from the No.01 Platform you can catch the stunning view of the so-called “Nine Dragons and Five Tigers”, a metaphor vividly depicting the terraced paddy fields resembling dragons and tigers; from the No.02 Platform you ‘ll see ” Seven Stars Accompany the Moon” that refers the seven high terraced platform and the watered platform that resembles the Moon, a fantastic view.

The view of “Nine Dragons and Five Tigers ” at Ping’An Village

Nine Dragons and Five Tigers

Nine Dragons and Five Tigers

The Seven Stars Accompanying the Moon at Ping’An

The Seven Stars Accompanying the Moon

The Seven Stars Accompanying the Moon

The Ping’ An Village

Ping'An Village

The Ping’ An Village

Recommended Hotels
1) Longji Holiday Hotel (龙脊酒店): Tel: 0773 7583545
2) Liqing Hote (丽晴饭店) Tel: 0773 13878352092

Best time to view the terraces?

Every year, the end of May and the beginning of June are the good season for viewing the terraces filled with water, when the terraces seem to be a layer of mirror.
The end of July and the beginning of August are all green.
The end of September and the beginning of October are good time for viewing the golden yellow terraces.

Hassle-free Guide Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for your Guilin guided tours:

Guilin City Tour from US$69 p/p
Guilin Li River Cruising Tour from US$95 p/p
Guilin Longsheng Guilin Day Tour from US$109 p/p

Guilin Yangshuo 3 Day Tour from US$229 p/p
Guilin Yangshuo Daxu Town 4 Day Tour from US$305 p/p
Guilin Longji Rice Terraces Yangshuo 4 Day Tour from US$369 p/p

Guilin City Bus Tour RMB 470 p/p
Guilin City Half Day Bus Tour RMB 350 p/p

Guilin Li River Yangshuo Cruising Bus Tour RMB 480 p/p
Guilin Longji Terrace Bus Tour RMB 490 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Things to do Guilin
How to Visit Chengyang Wind & Rain Bridge
Li River Cruise
Daxu Ancient Town

Visit Huangyao Ancient Town from Yangshuo or Guilin
How to Visit Xingping
Impression Liu Sanjie Mega Performance in Yangshuo
Biking through Shili Scenery Gallery in Yangshuo

Any questions, just drop a line.

Visit Huangyao Ancient Town from Yangshuo or Guilin

Sunday, July 28th, 2019
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Huangyao Ancient Town (黄姚古镇) is one of China’s Top 10 most beautiful ancient Towns. Most of the local residents in the town have the surnames of “Huang” and “Yao”, hence Huangyao Town.

It is located in the northeast of Zhaoping County (昭平县) of Hezhou City (贺州) in Guangxi Province, 190km and 129 km to the southeast of Guilin (桂林) and Yangshuo (阳朔) respectively, and 60km to the west of Hezhou (贺州).

The high speed railway line between Guangzhou and Guiyang stops at Hezhou, which makes Hezhou a jumping off point to get to Huangyao. You may take the high speed train to Hezhou from Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Guilin and Guiyang. At Hezhou, you switch to the local buses heading to Huangyao Ancient Town.

Alternatively you also can take the long-distance buses directly to Huangyao from  Guilin ( 3 hours ) and Yangshuo ( one an half hours ) and Guangzhou (over 7 hours ).

From Guilin, you take the bus from Guilin Passenger Bus General Station (桂林汽车总站). There are two daily buses from Guilin to Huangyao Ancient Town: 8:30am and and 1:30 pm. The return bus starts at 2:00pm from Huangyao Ancient Town. But the bus service is a bit erratic and you can also take the local bus from Huangyao to Hezhou where you either take the high speed train or bus back to Guilin.

From Yangshuo, there is only one daily bus which leaves from Yangshuo General Bus Station to Huangyao Ancient Town at 8:30am and returns from Huangyao Ancient Town at 2:00pm to Gaotian (高田) where you connect the local Van ( 3.5 yuan per person at the  time of my writing) back to the Yangshuo South Bus Station. Then you take the bus from the Bus Station to the downtown of Yangshuo at the bus fare  1 yuan.

If you are going to plan your Guilin tour or Yangshuo tour, a side trip to Huangyao is highly recommended. The 100 yuan entry fee is worthwhile for a China traditional culture and folklore day trip.

The idyllic charm permeates the 1000-year-old well preserved old town. The ancient town is surrounded by the picturesque karst hills and circled by the three rivers. The original old town dates back to 972 AD in Song Dynasty (960 -1279). It used to be an importtant trade hub at the confluence of the the three provinces’ borders of Guangdong, Guangxin and Hunan.

The eight well-preserved stone flagged streets are flanked by over 300 one- or two-story stone and brick houses of Lingna style. The whole town is laid out according to Nine Palaces and the Eight Diagrams (Ba Gua). The town is teemed with water, bridges, temples,  old Bayan trees and massive karst peaks,  a perfect blend of the people and nature. Old Banyan trees,  clean water, flagstones and couplets are the four wonders in the town.

It is a scenic drive from Guilin or Yangshuo to Huangyao Ancient Town.

Scenic Drive

Scenic Drive

The parking lot and entrance to Huangyao Ancient Town.

Huangyao Ancient Town Entrance

Huangyao Ancient Town Entrance

This is Longmen Banyan tree, named after its twisted limbs with a history of over 800 years.

Longmen Banyan tree

Longmen Banyan tree

The stone flagged street is flanked by the two-story brick houses of Lingnan style.

stone flagged street

stone flagged street

Dailong Bridge was built in the 4th year of the reign of Wanli Emperor in the Ming Dynasty and rebuit in the 23rd year of  the Qianlong Emperor in the Qing Dynasty (1758)

Dailong Bridge

Dailong Bridge

Walking in a maze of the old streets in Huangyao.

Walking in a maze of the town.

Walking in a maze of the town.

Pay 10 yuan for  a leisure bamboo rafting.

Pay 10 yuan for a leisure bamboo rafting.

Pay 10 yuan for a leisure bamboo rafting.

The rivers circle the houses in the town.

Water and Houses

Water and Houses

Xingning Temple was built in 1755.

Xingning Temple

Xingning Temple

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Escorted Guilin Tour
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself bus route and prefer the hassle-free guided tours,  here are some options for Guilin guided tours:

Any questions,  just drop a line!