Rising from riverside to mountain top, the terraced rice fields at Longsheng are a spectacular sight. Their highest point is 1100 metres. They were mostly built in the Ming Dynasty, about 500 years ago, mainly by the Zhuang and Yao people, who cleverly constructed the terraces to make use of limited arable land and water resources in this mountainous area. The appearance of the terraces changes with the season – water glistening in spring, layers of green rice shoots in summer, golden rice in the autumn, and silvery frost in the winter.
We visited the terraces in April (spring) 2012.
Click on any photo to enlarge.
Thousands of tourists flock to see the terraces. They walk up through the villages, where there are many stalls, and cafes.
The terraced rice fields are said to resemble a dragon’s scales, appearing like chains or ribbons. In the photo above, there is a man lower centre, to give a sense of scale.
The rice fields are tended by people from several minority groups, who also pose for tourists as they walk up to the top.