Rice Terraces

Guangxi Province.

We are in north-central Guangxi province and have cycled into the Dragon’s Backbone area to hike for three days in the Longji rice terraces.

We are staying in the village of Huanglou in home of a Yao family (another fascinating minority group) who just built a huge new home. They rent out four rooms on the third floor and we are the only guests, which is very relaxed.

Actually, the family is relaxed. We have been going high speed, marathon hiking through spectacular terraces during the day and non-stop downloading and editing photos and video each evening.


Bruce cycles across a swinging bridge into the Yao village of Huanglou. The family we stay with lives in the large home on the right.

Tass in our third floor room with a balcony over looking the river.
The father watching NBA basketball in the large family room on the first floor.

Huanglou fills with Chinese tourists for an hour each day when the Yao women do traditional dances. Then the tourists file back onto the buses. Most tourists stay at the village of Ping An, which is charming and fun to visit despite the crowds. The majority of tourists only hike a short distance to the popular overlooks. We get up early and hike much further and enjoy more solitude.

On our third day we hike nine hours to spend the night in the village of Tinatou. The main paths are all flagstone steps, so even when it is pouring rain we can hike without slogging through mud. We stumble across the most spectacular terraces of all when we get lost passing through Zhonglu village along the route.


Two Yao women we meet on the trail sell Bruce a hat and scarf. They kept pinching Bruce on the butt, which is their way of showing they like men.

To see such beauty in an area so transformed by human activity is amazing. It is the changes that people have made to the land over the centuries that make the area so magical. The hikes are as beautiful as any we have done anywhere in the world.

A farmer uses a horse to plows his terrace near the village of Ping An.

Tass hikes to Tinatou using our new Arkel front bike panniers, which can convert into a great backpack.
Guangxi Province
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