LONGJI RICE TERRACES
Longji Rice Terraces, Unique Landscape Combining Natural Beauty and Human Intelligence
The Longji Rice Terraces (“Longji” literally means “dragon’s backbone”) are located in Longshen County, about 100 kilometers from Guilin. The name came from the fact that the rice terraces resemble a dragon's scales, while the summit of the mountain range looks like the backbone of the dragon.
The Longji Rice Terraces are the culmination of both human wisdom and strenuous labor of the local people. Despite of having a lot of mountains and hills, the southern provinces in China lack plains to cultivate rice. To solve the problem of food, the ancient people built terraced fields for water conservation which made it possible to grow rice in hilly areas. Construction of the terraces started more than 600 years ago from the Yuan Dynasty (A.D.1271-1368), and continued until the early Qing Dynasty (A.D.1644-1911). For hundreds of years, the terraces built along the mountains have not only improved the local farming conditions and increased the output of grains but also benefitted the ecology of the mountainous area. Nowadays, they have also become hot scenic spots for tourists and photographers.
The terraced fields are built along the slope winding from the riverside up to the mountain top. A coiling terrace line that starts from the mountain foot up to the mountain top divides the mountain into layers. In spring, the water is irrigated into the fields and the terraces look like ribbons hung on the hillsides. When summer comes, green waves rush continuously down the mountainside bringing a refreshing view. During the harvest season, the mountain is decorated with the golden ears of rice. In winter, the whole mountain will be covered with white snow, just like dragons paddling in water. It’s a place you may visit in any season.Besides amazing sceneries, it is also a wonderland for backpackers to experience China’s ethnic minorities' culture.