Located in the hills northwest of Yangshuo lies an area with the beautiful name Longji, which translated into English means “the rice terraces on the backbone of a dragon.” The glittering, green fields swing their way gently up the slopes to lofty heights that are far away from the noisy tourist regions in the lower altitudes. Probably due to the climbs up the steep stairs and walkways being not that easy, the rice terraces breathe a sense of tranquility that is rare in modern China. In the midst of these rice fields lies Ping’an village, a place where time has almost stood still.
The traditional wooden houses are crowded together, as if they want to be as close as possible, and on the front steps, old women feed chickens and dogs lazily guard door ways. Although the region is well developed and houses now have water and electricity, the lifestyle is very simple and the area around Ping’an village is home to the Zhuang minority. Many women still wear the traditional clothing, colorful scarves and embroidered blouses to work in the rice fields. And because of the couple guest houses and short journey between Guilin and Yangshuo, the village is now a popular spot to spend the night and watch the sun rise over the rice terraces the following morning from the Seven Stars Around The Moon or the Nine Dragons And Five Tigers viewpoints. Sunrises here are spectacular any time of the year, as in spring, water glitters on the newly irrigated fields like silver ribbons, in summer the bright green of the growing rice takes over, during the harvest time in fall the slopes are golden and in winter, everything is covered in a layer of white.
Ping’an Village is situated about 150 km northwest of Yangshuo in a region called Longsheng. It’s easy to get there by taking the bus to Guilin, then switching to another bus leaving from the same terminal to Longsheng. Busses leave regularly and the whole journey should take you about three hours. From Longsheng, it’s a 20-minute walk up the hill to reach Ping’an nestled into the rice fields.