"Hiking" Longsheng Things to Do Tip by John195123

Longsheng Things to Do: 17 reviews and 53 photos

  Yao woman standing at trail's edge
by John195123

While Ping'An is by no means off the beaten path in China, assessed by the souvenir vendors and touts that reach the level of harassment, it's still not a hugely popular destination in the winter. If you're in China and want to see rice terraces, there are plenty to see around here. They are not pristine, you are not alone. They have largely been turned, especially in Ping'An, into a tourist site, even though they are still cultivated. You may not find hordes of Hans gallavanting up and down them, but by the insistence of the locals on their hotels and you getting a photo of them with their hair down (I'll talk about Yao women in the Local Customs section), they are used to tourists and, sadly, rely on the tourist dollar.

Regardless, if you can shake the Yao women, follow the paths in town to wherever they go. There are signs that point you uphill to two scenic areas, and along the way are great views, some of which offer you the opportunity to have your photo taken with a local girl in traditional dress. The views of the terraces and the valley can be great if it's not cloudy, and you can walk to two other villages, Zhonglu and Dazhai (look for the bathroom in the crook of the hill, and follow the sign. It takes a bit of navigating as the trail isn't always clear, but it's a nice walk through valleys and paddies and a heck of a lot of patience with the Zhonglu touts. Best of luck there. Maybe it was just the low season when we went, but anyway...

If you want pristine, no hassle rice terraces, I suggest the Hmong's region of Lao Cai, at the northern border of Vietnam. Just don't pay them for pictures and screw up their lifestyles. (At least, when I was there, I don't think that there were too many tourists, just a few travelers. I may be wrong.)

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  • Written Feb 27, 2008
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