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See the Great Rice Terraces in China

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Rice terraces are hilly or mountainous slopes claimed from nature for cultivation, usually by minority peoples. Some are hundreds (or even thousands) of years old. They make spectacular places for hiking and photography. We have listed, according to popularity, China’s best five rice terraces, so you can choose the most suitable area based on your itinerary.

The Longji Rice Terraces — Best in All Four Seasons

The Longji Rice Terraces (a.k.a. the Longsheng Rice Terraces) have become one of the most important tourist destinations in Guilin.

Best Time to Visit

The Longji Terraces are worthy of visiting four times in different seasons. For mirror-like irrigated terraces, go mid-April to late June; for green terraces, go July to mid-September; for golden terraces, go late September to mid-November; and for silvery-white terraces go late December to early February after snow fall.

Sunrise over the Longji Rice Terraces should not be missed. Hotels are available among the terraces. Stay at least one night there, get up early in the morning (as early as 4 o’clock in the morning), hike to a high place, and wait for the moment when the sunshine pierces the horizon.

Yuanyang Rice Terraces — Amazing in January and February

The Yuanyang Rice Terraces are situated in the southern Ailao Mountains, dug out by the Hani people. Different from the Longji Rice Terraces, the Yuanyang Rice Terraces do not have so many layers, but they are outstanding for their grandiose area with shallower slopes.

Best Time to Visit

After the harvest, when the terraces have been irrigated, is a good time for appreciating Yuanyang's Rice Terraces, and the best time is from January to March, when seas of clouds on the terraces are more likely. In early spring (from late February to March), the terraces are decorated with lots of flowers, including pink peach blossom and white pear blossom. Besides an umbrella, warm clothes are necessary, because the temperature differences there are big.

The sunrise and sunset views attracts many photographers. See Photography Tips at Yuanyang Hani Terraces for popular photography places in the Yuanyang Rice Terraces.

Jiabang Rice Terraces — Mysterious Terraces with Cloud and Mist

Guizhou Province is a good place to experience ethnic cultures and customs; there are many ethnic villages in Kaili and Southeast Guizhou. There are five notable rice terrace areas in Guizhou, and the most famous one is the Jiabang Rice Terraces in Southeast Guizhou.

Best Time to Visit

You can appreciate mirror-like terraces from April to June, and gold terraces from September to October. The wet weather gifts Jiabang Rice Terraces mysterious scenery with cloud and mist almost every early morning.

Ziquejie Rice Terraces — Magnificent but Remote Rice Terraces

The Ziquejie Rice Terraces are an almost undiscovered heritage of ancient rice farming. They are honored with the appellation "the Terrace Kingdoms", because of their variety and large areas (the largest single terrace covers about 2 square kilometers or 250 acres).

Best Time to Visit

From March to early May, you can see mirror-like irrigated terraces; From late May to early June, you can see green grain seedling terraces; And in October, you can see golden terraces.

Yunhe Rice Terraces — China’s Most Beautiful Terraces

The Yunhe Rice Terraces are recognized as the most beautiful rice terraces in China. The entire area of the Yunhe Terraces is 51 square kilometers (20 square miles), covering mountains, hills, and valleys.

Best Time to Visit

From May to late June, you can see For mirror-like irrigated terraces; in October, you an see golden terraces. You can see with seas of clouds in the early morning, especially during spring and summer. Being further north, you are more likely to see terrace scenery with snow or rime in the winter. In the Yunhe Rice Terraces, the best times for photography are early morning and at dusk.