Longsheng in brief
Longsheng County, or rather Longsheng Various Nationalities Autonomous County, is located 87 kilometers from Guilin City, on the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It lies at the foot of Yuecheng Mountain. Most of the county occupies a high plateau surrounded by mountains with the highest mountain - Nanshan (South Mountain) rising 1940 meters above sea level. It has a monsoon climate, no burning summer and bitter winter. It is a great place to beat the summer heat as well as to experience ethnic life.
There are mainly Yao and Zhuang ethnic tribes in Longsheng. However, what makes this small county particularly standout are the splendid terraced rice fields and hot springs. Other terraced fields may be lovely either, but the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces(or Longji Rice Terraces) is indisputably the most spectacular of the lot. Located 22 kilometers from the county town, it climbs more than one thousand meters, seemingly endless with big and small paddy fields. It is the engineering feats of Zhuang people and stands like a monument to the strength and industriousness of them. In spring, it looks like layers of silver ribbons, in summer green waves, in fall golden pagodas and in winter white pleated skirts. Such a blend of magnificence and grace gives it the name "the number one wonder on earth".
Located 33 kilometers to the northeast of Longsheng County, Longsheng Hot Springs Forest Park is famous for its beautiful surroundings and high quality hot springs, which spring up from rocks that are 1200 meters below ground with temperature fluctuating between 45℃ and 58℃. They are identified by experts as natural mineral water that can be used for both medical treatment and drinking.
History of Longsheng - A secluded farming town
In ancient time, Longsheng was known as "Sang Jiang", a part of Guilin Prefecture. In the year of 1956, it was renamed as Longsheng Various Nationalities Autonomous Region. In the past, Longsheng was a hideaway and people had to make a living by farming due to its mountainous terrain and poor transport. Its iconic Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces is a reminder of the history. Dating from Yuan (1271-1368) Dynasty, it was done by hand and finished in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The ancestors may never imagine that the rice terraces they did with blood and sweat would one day become such a charming land. The Dragon's Bone Rice Terraces have been crucial to the survival of local people since ancient time.
Longsheng Nowadays – A hot tourist destination
Today, Longsheng is far more than isolated. It can be easily reached by national road 321 which links Guangxi Province with Hunan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces, and makes Longsheng a trade and tourist destination. The rice terraces belong to two ancient villages: Ping’an Village and Dazhai Village. Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terrace belongs to Zhuang people and the Jinkeng Rice Terraces, which is less splendid than the former, belongs to Hong Yao People, a branch of Yao ethnic group. The villages and terraces were built on hillside with stone paved paths leading to outside. Tourists who go to Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces will have to climb the stone path. On the way to the summit, you can buy handcrafts made by minority people and visit the stilted houses, and at the summit, enjoy the sights of Seven Stars Accompany the Moon and Nine Dragons & Five Tigers. On the way back to Guilin, tourists usually have lunch at local restaurants, and then have a spa in the Longsheng Hot Springs National Forest Park, or pay a visit to Yijiangyuan Scenic Spot. Some even spend overnight in the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces scenic area or the Longsheng Hot Springs National Forest Park.