Archive for the ‘Guilin Travel’ Category

How to Visit Longji Rice Terraces

Monday, April 23rd, 2018
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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 the scenic area with their ticketing offices about 1km to the south of Heping Town (和平乡),  about 14 km to the southeast of Longsheng Country (龙胜),  76km to the north of Guilin (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 area mainly refers to the rice terraces in the three forest-fringed villages –  Dazhai Village (大寨), Tiantouzhai Village ( 田头寨) and Ping’An Village (平安寨).

Ping’An Village is about 16km to the northeast of the Longji Rice Terrace Ticketing Office ( Also the Bus Station and Parking Lot for Longji). Dazhai Village and Tiantouzhai Village are about 23 km to the northeast of the Longji Ticketing Office. 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 (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.

How to get to the Longji Rice Terrace Ticketing Office? 
The Longji Ticketing Office 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 from Guilin Qintan Bus Station and Guilin General Bus Station(76km), Guilin High speed train station and buses from Yangshuo (146km), Heping Town (1km) and Longsheng (14km).

But it is not advisable to go directly from Yangshou to Longji Rice Terraces due to the uncertainty of the shuttle service.  You’d better go back to Guilin  from which you go to Longji Rice Terraces by bus or book a day trip through your hotel tourist desk.

By the way, there is a non-stop shuttle between Guilin Airport and Yangshuo:

Timetable for the shuttles between Guilin Airport and Yangshuo:

Guilin Airport – Yangshuo Bus Station:09:30、11:00、12:30、14:00、15:30、16:30、18:00、20:00
Yangshuo Bus Station – Guilin Airport: 07:00、09:00、11:30、13:00、14:30、16:00、17:30、19:00
Bus fare: 50 yuan
Time: 2 hours

Note: There are numerous daily buses going from Yangshuo to Guilin and vice versa.

 

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.

Basically  you are able to take bus to the villages (Ping’An Village,  Dazhai Village and Tiantouzhai Village) directly from Heping Town or Longsheng and your bus will pass by the Longji Ticketing Office and the staff will be on board to sell the tickets.  That means 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 (16km), or further to Dazhai and Tiantouzhai (23km). 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

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.

How to Visit Daxu Ancient Town

Saturday, April 7th, 2018
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Guilin is a picturesque city, aft-lauded as “Guilin’s Landscapes is the best under the Heaven”.  The city is surrounded by rivers and lakes, and dotted with karst hills, a cityscape typical of a mesmerizing Chinese painting.

But Guilin’s fame doesn’t totally rely on its natural beauty, it also boasts several sites of historical importance and cultural value. Daxu Ancient Town (大圩古镇) is one of them, which used to be off-beaten path. Now Daxu Ancient Town has become a popular travel destination which attracts those who are interested in Chinese history, traditional buildings and culture.

So if you are planning Guilin tour, you may consider adding Daxu Ancient Town on your Guilin travel schedule. Basically a trip to Daxu Ancient Town from Guilin city center takes about 3-4 hours. It is located about 19 km southeast of Guilin city center.

The 40-minute public buses leaves from the back gate to Guilin General Bus Station (桂林汽车总站), heading for Guanyan (冠岩) and stopping at Daxun Ancient Town. Pay 10 yuan bus fare on board and the ticketing office doesn’t sell the tickets for Daxun Ancient Town. No entrance fee.

“Daxu” literally means “a big market”. Daxu Ancient Town used to be one of the four ancient market towns in Guangxi Province. The ancient town developed from Song Dynasty ( 960 -1279),  prospered in Ming and Qing dynasties ( 1368 -1911) and reached its peak during Republic Era of China ( 1912 – 1949 ).

Daxu Ancient Town’s only street runs along Li River for 2 km (on the east bank of the river), flanked by traditional one- and two-story wooden houses. Walking on the stone-flagged street brings you back to the past when it was a busy trade and market town. Today, the town is well-preserved and still inhabited by the locals from generation to generation.

Now follow me to have a glimpse of the ancient town.

The ancient town attracts more and more foreign tourists nowadays and I happen to meet some of them,  a busload of tourists from Spain.

a busload of tourists from Spain.

a busload of tourists from Spain.

They are talking and laughing, every much intrigued by the ancient Chinese houses and handicrafts.

every much intrigued by the ancient Chinese houses and handicrafts .

every much intrigued by the ancient Chinese houses and handicrafts .

The large original stone paved street tells us a historical past.

The large original stone paved street tells us a historical past

The large original stone paved street tells us a historical past

The two-story wooden house has ornate wood carvings and western style of handrails.

The two-story wooden house has ornate wood carvings

The two-story wooden house has ornate wood carvings

You will see some local food culture, herbal medicine and crafts arts are still preserved till today like distillery, bamboo craft and many more.

The traditional distillery

The traditional distillery

It is a leisurely place. Most of the inhabitants are seniors and kids with doors open, living an easy and slow pace of life.

 living an easy and slow pace of life.

living an easy and slow pace of life.

The Longevity Bridge is a single arch stone bridge, originally built in Ming Dynasty and rebuilt in 1899. The bridge is firm with many stone steps at the confluence of Li River and Ma River.

The Longivity Bridge is a single arch stone bridge

The Longivity Bridge is a single arch stone bridge

The 2 km stone flagged and cobbled street is interesting for a two-hour stroll,  immersing yourself into the traditional Chinese life – its historical culture and traditional buildings.

The 2 km stone flagged and cobbled street is interesting for a two-hour stroll,

The 2 km stone flagged and cobbled street is interesting for a two-hour stroll,

There used to be 13 docks along the street on the water edge at its peaks when it served as the local trade and commercial hub. Today, you can see some of them alive with water transportation and bamboo rafting activities.

There used to be 13 docks along the street on the water edge

There used to be 13 docks along the street on the water edge

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.

How to Visit Elephant Trunk Hill

Friday, September 4th, 2015
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Standing at the confluence of Li River and Taohua River, Elephant Trunk Hill (象鼻山)is one of the iconic landmarks of Guilin. But now it seems this site has been oversold and overpriced as it has been expanded into a large namesake park. Many years ago people could come here for a free glimpse of the hill which resembled an elephant drinking water by hist trunk. Now the side where the elephant trunk is visible is blocked by trees and high bushes deliberately planted to hide the rock trunk which people now have to pay 75 yuan for a peep.

So if you are attracted only to have a look at the hole in a stone on a river during your Guilin tour, you are advised to save your money and head for the nearby hotel known as the Golden Oriole Hotel 桂林万鹂金象酒店 and go up to the 7th floor sky garden ( the roof-top) for a glimpse of so-called Elephant Trunk Hill over a drink, more relaxing and comfortable. At night the Elephant Trunk Hill looks gorgeous!

 7th floor sky garden ( the roof-top)

7th floor sky garden ( the roof-top) of Golden Oriole Hotel

Today, the 75 yuan entry ticket doesn’t only allow you to have a glimpse of the moon-like hole in the rock hill, but also to hike the whole Elephant Trunk Hill along the stairs of stone steps to the top of the hill for panoramic views of Guilin city.

Folded Brocade Hill is a much better choice for panoramic view of the city with much cheaper entry fee. But if you still want to invent your time, money and muscle at the Elephant Trunk Hill, well it is not a very bad idea though the entrance ticket is a bit exorbitant and the walk takes much longer time due to the size of the park.

Follow me to walk though Elephant Trunk Hill. There are three entrance gates – No.01, No.02 and No.03. Basically you’d better enter the park through the No.03 Gate which is closer to the hill itself, easier for you to climb up. If you only want to see the hole of the hill, you should go through either the No.01 or No.02 Gate.

The green and lush lawn below the hill.

The green and lush lawn below the hill

The green and lush lawn below the hill

Starting to hike up along the stone stairs of steps.

Starting to hike up along the stone stairs of steps.

Starting to hike up along the stone stairs of steps.

Looking at the west from the hillside, you can see Taohua River.

Taohua River

Taohua River

Looking at the north, you are able to see the confluence of the two rivers – Taohua on the left and Li River on the upper right.

the confluence of the two rivers

the confluence of the two rivers

Snap some pictures on the summit where you can have clear views of the Li River, karst hills and the city.

Snap some pictures on the summit

Snap some pictures on the summit

Li River on the south of Elephant Trunk Hill.

Li River on the south of Elephant Trunk Hill

Li River on the south of Elephant Trunk Hill

The apartment blocks below at a distance seen from the top of the hill.

The apartment blocks below at a distance seen from the top of the hill.

The apartment blocks below at a distance seen from the top of the hill.

You are also able to walk to the north side of the hill on the open top where you have the chance to look at Huo Hill and Folded Brocade Hill on the north of the hill. Backtrack after hiking around the hilltop and walk down. Then cross Taohua River along the stone bridge linking the two banks. Continue to walk for a  good spot where you can clearly see the Elephant Trunk Hill.

You should walk across the stone bridge linking the two banks of Taohua River and move on to the place where you can clearly see the hole in the rock – Elephant Trunk Hill.

You should walk across the stone bridge linking the two banks of Taohua River

You should walk across the stone bridge linking the two banks of Taohua River

Try to locate a good spot for an iconic photo of the hill.

Try to locate a good spot for an iconic photo of the hill.

Try to locate a good spot for an iconic photo of the hill.

A group of foreign tourists come afar for visiting the trunk hill.

A group of foreign tourists

A group of foreign tourists

Posed like a fishing man, grasping a bamboo pole with two cormorants and putting on a straw rain cap.

Posed like a fishing man

Posed like a fishing man

A complete picture of Elephant Trunk Hill.

A complete picture of Elephant Trunk Hill.

A complete picture of Elephant Trunk Hill.

The park is more attractive to the domestic tourists due to the added entertainment in the park.

The park is more attractive to the domestic tourists

The park is more attractive to the domestic tourists

Any questions,  just drop a line.