Hike the Dragon’s Backbone, Longji
Hiking the Dragon’s Backbone sounds like an adventure in a fantasy novel and, to be fair, the scenery is storybook worthy. Commonly known as the Dragon’s Backbone, others refer to it as the Dragon’s Spine. But everyone is talking about the terraces and layers of rice fields that weave through the Chinese landscape for miles in an extraordinary and mesmerising pattern. What you see will depend what time of year you visit. Tranquil water reflects the sky in spring, green rice shoots appear in summer, there’s a golden hue to the crop in autumn and the area can be prettily frost-covered in winter.
This full day hike starts in the little village of Pingan. It’s home to Zhuang people and some Yao people and you’ll have time to briefly explore before setting off to the ancient Longsheng rice terraces. The route you’ll take includes stopping at the major viewing points and platforms to get the best photos – trust us, you won’t want to forget these views. You’ll stop in a Zhuang village for a local lunch and try some local cuisine, perhaps the area’s speciality of Bamboo Rice, where rice and spices are squeezed into a bamboo tube and fire-roasted.
Hike to the best vantage points to view the rice terraces
Mingle with the locals in a Zhuang village