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Longji And Yangshou: Visiting Chinas Beautiful South From Hong Kong


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Geralda Durham



Welcome to the mesmerizing southern region of China, where natural beauty meets cultural intrigue. The journey from Hong Kong to Longji and Yangshuo will take you through stunning landscapes, picturesque villages, and unique experiences that will leave an indelible mark on your travel memories.


Longji, also known as the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, is located in the mountainous region of Guangxi province. This awe-inspiring landscape boasts cascading rice terraces that stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a breathtaking panorama that changes with the seasons. On the other hand, Yangshuo is a charming town nestled amidst karst limestone peaks and winding rivers, offering a laid-back atmosphere and opportunities for outdoor adventures.


Getting to Longji and Yangshuo from Hong Kong is relatively straightforward. You can opt for a flight to Guilin, the nearest major city, and then take a bus or hire a private car to your desired destination. Alternatively, a popular and more scenic option is to take a cruise along the Li River, allowing you to soak in the beauty of the surroundings as you make your way to Yangshuo by boat.


Once you arrive in Longji, immerse yourself in the enchanting world of the rice terraces. Marvel at the intricately carved landscape created by generations of local farmers who have skillfully shaped the slopes over centuries. Take leisurely walks along the winding trails that traverse the terraces, allowing you to fully appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty and tranquility of the area. Don’t forget to capture the stunning views and vibrant colors with your camera.


As you explore the terraces, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the ethnic minority villages of the Zhuang and Yao people. Experience their unique customs, traditions, and way of life as you interact with friendly locals. Learn about their farming techniques, try your hand at traditional crafts, and enjoy warm hospitality in the homestays or guesthouses available in the villages.


The gastronomy of Longji is as delightful as the scenery. Indulge in local delicacies, such as bamboo rice, freshly picked vegetables, and locally produced rice wine. Sample the flavorsome dishes prepared with organic ingredients cultivated in the terraces, and savor the unique culinary experience that blends tradition, culture, and natural ingredients.


From Longji, embark on a scenic journey along the picturesque Li River to reach Yangshuo. The river cruise offers postcard-worthy views of towering limestone karsts reflected in the tranquil water, creating a serene atmosphere that is nothing short of mesmerizing. Keep your camera ready to capture the magical landscapes that unfold around every bend of the river.


Upon arrival in Yangshuo, take advantage of the many outdoor activities on offer. Embark on a bamboo rafting adventure down the Yulong River, gently drifting past lush countryside and idyllic villages. Rent a bicycle and explore the surrounding countryside, pedaling through picturesque rice fields and along winding paths that lead to hidden gems.


In the evening, treat yourself to a mesmerizing performance of the Impression Sanjie Liu Show. Set against the backdrop of the Li River, this outdoor performance showcases traditional Chinese culture through dance, music, and elaborate costumes. The combination of the natural surroundings and awe-inspiring performances will leave you enthralled.


As your journey to Longji and Yangshuo comes to an end, you’ll cherish the memories of the breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cultures, and warm hospitality you experienced along the way. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat amidst nature or an adventure-filled getaway, this beautiful region of southern China will captivate your senses and leave you longing to return.


Getting to Longji and Yangshuo

Getting to Longji and Yangshuo from Hong Kong is a relatively easy and rewarding journey. There are several transportation options available to suit your preferences and travel style.


If you prefer a faster option, you can take a direct flight from Hong Kong to Guilin Liangjiang International Airport. Many major airlines operate flights between the two cities, making it convenient to reach Guilin. From the airport, you can take a bus or hire a private car to Longji or Yangshuo. The journey from Guilin to Longji takes approximately 2-3 hours by road, while the journey to Yangshuo is around 1.5-2 hours.


For a more scenic and leisurely travel experience, you can take a cruise along the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo. This river journey offers stunning views of the karst limestone peaks and picturesque countryside. The cruise typically takes around 4-5 hours, and upon reaching Yangshuo, you can easily arrange transportation to Longji.


Once you arrive in Longji, you can explore the area on foot. There are trekking trails that lead you through the rice terraces, allowing you to take in the beauty at your own pace. Alternatively, you can hire a local guide who can provide insightful information about the terraces, the local culture, and take you to less crowded spots with the best views.


To reach Yangshuo from Longji, you have a few options available. You can take a bus from Longji to Guilin and then catch another bus or a taxi to Yangshuo. The journey takes around 2-3 hours. If you prefer a more scenic route, you can hire a private car or arrange for a transfer service directly from Longji to Yangshuo, enjoying the picturesque countryside views along the way.


Once you arrive in Yangshuo, the town is easily explored on foot or by renting a bicycle or electric scooter. The compact size of Yangshuo makes it convenient to navigate and discover its many attractions, including the famous West Street, local markets, and scenic spots.


Overall, the journey from Hong Kong to Longji and Yangshuo is an adventure in itself, offering both convenience and picturesque sights along the way. Whether you choose to fly or take a cruise, the stunning landscapes and cultural experiences awaiting you in southern China will make the journey worthwhile.


Exploring the Rice Terraces of Longji

The rice terraces of Longji, also known as the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, are a breathtaking sight to behold. These terraces have been meticulously carved into the mountain slopes over centuries, creating a stunning landscape that changes with the seasons.


As you explore the rice terraces, you will be greeted with mesmerizing vistas of cascading terraces that resemble the scales of a dragon’s back. The terraces are filled with water during the growing season, creating a mirror-like effect that reflects the surrounding scenery.


One of the most popular areas to visit in Longji is the Ping’an Zhuang Village. Here, you can stroll along the narrow paths that wind their way through the terraces, giving you plenty of opportunities to photograph the stunning views. Be prepared for some uphill walking as you navigate the steep slopes, but the effort is well worth it!


If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike to the summit of Longji and enjoy panoramic views of the entire terraced landscape. The hike may be challenging, but the reward of being immersed in nature and capturing stunning photos from the top is truly unforgettable.


Another popular spot in Longji is the Jinkeng Rice Terrace, also known as the “Golden Valley.” This area offers a unique perspective on the terraces, as it is home to the highest and steepest rice terraces in Longji. Take a leisurely walk along the trails and marvel at the precision and artistry behind the construction of the terraces.


As you explore the rice terraces, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with the friendly local people, mainly of the Zhuang and Yao ethnic minority groups. They have been cultivating the land and living in harmony with nature for generations. You can learn about their farming techniques, visit their traditional houses, and even participate in cultural activities, such as making handicrafts or trying on traditional attire.


For a unique and immersive experience, consider staying in one of the local guesthouses or homestays within the villages. This allows you to truly immerse yourself in the local culture and way of life, experiencing firsthand the warmth and hospitality of the people.


No matter which part of the Longji rice terraces you choose to explore, be prepared to be enchanted by the natural beauty that surrounds you. The harmony between human ingenuity and the natural landscape is a testament to the long-standing agricultural practices of the locals.


Exploring the rice terraces in Longji is not just about admiring the scenery, but also an opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation for the ancient traditions, resilience, and hard work that has shaped this remarkable landscape. Make sure to bring your camera and capture the beauty and serenity of the Longji rice terraces.


Hiking and Village Visits in Longji

Hiking through the rice terraces of Longji is an immersive and rewarding experience that allows you to fully appreciate the beauty and intricacy of this remarkable landscape. There are several hiking trails that wind through the terraces, offering breathtaking views at every turn.


One popular hiking route in Longji is the trail from Ping’an Village to Dazhai Village. This trail takes you through the heart of the terraces, offering stunning panoramic views along the way. As you hike, you will pass by quaint villages, terraced farmlands, and lush greenery. The trail is relatively well-marked, but it’s always a good idea to have a local guide or map to ensure you don’t lose your way.


During the hike, you will have the opportunity to visit the ethnic minority villages and interact with the locals who call these terraces home. The Zhuang and Yao people have preserved their unique customs and traditions, and a village visit provides a glimpse into their way of life. You can learn about their agricultural practices, witness traditional crafts being made, and perhaps even join in on cultural activities.


One of the highlights of village visits in Longji is the chance to stay in a traditional guesthouse or homestay. These accommodations are usually run by local families, offering a warm and authentic experience. You’ll have the opportunity to savor home-cooked meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients, sleep in a traditional wooden house, and engage in meaningful interactions with the host family.


While hiking and village visits are popular activities in Longji, it’s important to respect the local culture and be mindful of the environment. Stick to designated trails, follow local guidelines, and avoid disturbing the terraces or crops. Remember to take your trash with you and leave the area as you found it, preserving the beauty of the terraces for future generations to enjoy.


As you hike through the terraces and visit the villages, take the time to appreciate the intricate terraced landscapes, the hard work put into their construction, and the harmonious coexistence of humans and nature. The tranquility and awe-inspiring beauty of Longji will leave a lasting impression and create memories that will stay with you long after your visit.


Enjoying Local Cuisine in Longji

When visiting Longji, be sure to indulge in the delectable local cuisine that reflects the flavors and traditions of the region. The combination of fresh ingredients, traditional cooking techniques, and cultural influences create a unique gastronomic experience.


One of the must-try dishes in Longji is bamboo rice. This savory dish is prepared by stuffing glutinous rice, meat, and various seasonings into a bamboo tube, and then slow-cooking it over an open fire. The result is a fragrant and flavorful rice dish with a hint of smokiness from the bamboo.


Vegetable dishes are also a staple in the local cuisine, as the terraces provide an abundance of fresh produce. Try dishes like stir-fried seasonal vegetables, sautéed fern shoots, and braised tofu with mushrooms. These dishes highlight the natural flavors of the vegetables and are often cooked with minimal spices to let the ingredients shine.


For meat lovers, Longji offers dishes such as casserole-style chicken, stewed pork ribs, and grilled fish. These dishes showcase the rich flavors of the region’s meats, often utilizing local herbs and spices to enhance the taste.


No culinary journey in Longji would be complete without sampling the local rice wine. Made from the rice cultivated in the terraces, this traditional drink is often enjoyed warm and is said to have medicinal properties. Take a sip and appreciate the craftsmanship and tradition that goes into producing this unique beverage.


During your visit to Longji, you’ll have the opportunity to dine in local restaurants or even enjoy homecooked meals at guesthouses or homestays. The hospitality of the locals extends to their culinary offerings, and you’re likely to experience warm and attentive service.


If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even participate in a cooking class and learn how to prepare traditional dishes from local chefs. This hands-on experience allows you to gain insight into the ingredients, techniques, and cultural significance of the cuisine.


As you dine in Longji, take the time to appreciate not only the flavors but also the connection between the food and the landscape. The rice terraces that surround you provide the very ingredients that make up the local cuisine, showcasing the close relationship between agriculture and the culinary traditions of the region.


Whether you’re enjoying a bamboo rice meal, savoring seasonal vegetables, or raising a glass of rice wine, the food in Longji will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation of this vibrant and distinct culinary heritage.


Cruising the Li River to Yangshuo

One of the most scenic and iconic experiences in southern China is cruising along the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo. This picturesque journey takes you through a stunning landscape of towering karst limestone peaks, tranquil waters, and verdant countryside.


The Li River cruise is a leisurely and enchanting way to soak in the natural beauty of the region. As you float along the river, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking scenery that unfolds before your eyes. The limestone peaks, with their unique shapes and formations, rise majestically from the water, creating a dramatic backdrop that has inspired poets and artists for centuries.


Throughout the cruise, you’ll have ample opportunities to capture postcard-worthy photos of the stunning landscape. The mist-covered peaks, surrounded by lush greenery and dotted with traditional fishing boats, create a scene that seems straight out of a painting.


The journey typically takes around 4-5 hours, giving you plenty of time to relax and take in the surroundings. Most cruises offer comfortable seating on the deck, allowing you to enjoy the breathtaking views and fresh air as you glide along the river.


As you approach Yangshuo, the scenery transitions into a more rural and idyllic landscape. The riverbanks are lined with quaint bamboo groves, small villages, and rice paddies. It’s a picturesque setting that perfectly encapsulates the beauty of the Yangshuo countryside.


Upon reaching Yangshuo, you’ll disembark from the cruise and find yourself in a charming town nestled amidst the karst peaks. The Li River serves as a natural pathway into the heart of Yangshuo, offering a seamless transition from the river to the town.


Overall, cruising the Li River to Yangshuo is a serene and enchanting experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the region. It’s a journey that epitomizes the breathtaking landscapes for which southern China is renowned and a must-do for any traveler seeking to capture the essence of this captivating corner of the country.


Bamboo Rafting in Yangshuo

One of the most popular and exciting activities in Yangshuo is bamboo rafting along the picturesque Yulong River. Bamboo rafting offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region while enjoying a serene and leisurely water adventure.


As you embark on your bamboo rafting excursion, you’ll be greeted by the gentle flow of the Yulong River and the stunning backdrop of limestone karst peaks. The raft itself is made of sturdy bamboo poles lashed together, creating a simple yet effective means of transportation on the water.


Gliding along the river on a bamboo raft gives you a chance to appreciate the tranquil and idyllic scenery that surrounds you. The crystal-clear waters reflect the karst peaks and lush green vegetation, creating a peaceful and picturesque setting that is straight out of a postcard.


As you float downstream, you’ll pass through a landscape dotted with bamboo groves, rice paddies, and charming villages. The gentle flow of the river allows you to take in the sights and sounds of the countryside at a leisurely pace, providing ample opportunities for relaxation and reflection.


One of the highlights of bamboo rafting is the opportunity to interact with the local villagers along the riverbanks. Friendly locals often wave and greet you as you pass by, adding a touch of warmth and authenticity to the experience. You may even spot fishermen casting their nets or villagers tending to their crops, further immersing you in the daily life of the region.


For those seeking a more adventurous experience, some areas along the Yulong River offer small rapids where you can experience a bit of excitement and thrill. Don’t worry, though – the rafts are expertly navigated by experienced local rafters, ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride.


As you near the end of your bamboo rafting journey, you’ll arrive at the designated disembarkation point. From there, you can explore the surrounding countryside on foot, rent a bicycle, or continue your adventure by sampling the local cuisine at riverside restaurants.


Bamboo rafting in Yangshuo is an experience that perfectly encapsulates the harmony between human activities and nature in this picturesque region. It’s an opportunity to relax, unwind, and engage with the beautiful surroundings in a unique and immersive way.


Whether you’re seeking a tranquil escape or an adventure-filled outing, bamboo rafting in Yangshuo is an activity that will leave you with lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders of southern China.


Exploring the Countryside of Yangshuo

While Yangshuo itself is a charming town with plenty to offer, exploring the surrounding countryside is a must-do for a truly immersive experience in this picturesque region of southern China. The countryside is characterized by its karst limestone peaks, meandering rivers, rice paddies, and quaint rural villages.


One of the best ways to explore the countryside is by renting a bicycle. Yangshuo is renowned for its cycling routes, which take you through scenic paths and allow you to soak in the natural beauty at your own pace. Pedal through the countryside, passing by lush green fields, bamboo groves, and traditional farmhouses. You can also stop at your leisure to capture stunning photos or simply take a moment to appreciate the tranquility of the surroundings.


For a more leisurely exploration, take a stroll along the Yulong River or the Ten-Mile Gallery. These riverside pathways offer breathtaking views of the karst peaks and countryside, allowing you to immerse yourself in the serenity of the natural surroundings. Along the way, you may encounter small villages, local farms, and maybe even come across water buffaloes lazily grazing in the fields.


If you prefer a more immersive experience, you can opt for a guided countryside tour. Local guides can take you off the beaten path to hidden gems and lesser-known spots that are rich in both natural beauty and cultural significance. They can also provide valuable insights into the local way of life, agriculture, and traditions.


While exploring the countryside, you’ll have the chance to witness traditional farming practices in action. Depending on the season, you might observe farmers working in the rice paddies or harvesting crops. This insight into the agricultural traditions of the region provides a deeper understanding of the connection between the people and the land.


As you venture further into the countryside, you may come across the iconic fishing cormorants. These birds have been trained by local fishermen to dive into the water and catch fish. It’s a fascinating sight to witness this age-old tradition and learn about the unique relationship between the cormorants and their human companions.


Exploring the countryside of Yangshuo is not just about the stunning landscapes, but also an opportunity to encounter the warm and welcoming locals who call this region home. Take the time to interact with villagers, learn about their traditions, and perhaps even sample some homemade snacks or tea.


From cycling through the rural landscapes to embarking on a guided countryside tour, exploring the countryside of Yangshuo allows you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and cultural heritage of this enchanting region.


Visiting the Impression Sanjie Liu Show

A trip to Yangshuo is not complete without experiencing the mesmerizing Impression Sanjie Liu Show. This outdoor spectacle takes place on the Li River and features a cast of hundreds, showcasing the vibrant culture and traditions of the local Zhuang ethnic minority group.


The show is directed by renowned Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, known for his breathtaking visual storytelling. The backdrop of the show is the natural beauty of the Li River, with the karst limestone peaks serving as a stunning natural stage.


As the sun sets, the performance begins, with a combination of dance, music, and theatrical elements. The performers, dressed in colorful traditional costumes, move gracefully across the water, creating a visual spectacle that is both awe-inspiring and captivating.


The Impression Sanjie Liu Show tells the story of a young Zhuang girl named Sanjie Liu and her journey through various stages of life. The narrative is brought to life through stunning choreography, enchanting music, and breathtaking lighting effects.


One of the unique aspects of the show is that it seamlessly incorporates the natural surroundings into the performance. The river becomes an integral part of the stage, with performers floating on bamboo rafts and dancing on boats, creating a mesmerizing visual experience.


The show also showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Zhuang people, with traditional songs, dances, and customs woven into the performance. The music is performed live by local musicians, adding an authentic touch to the show.


Every aspect of the Impression Sanjie Liu Show is meticulously crafted to create an immersive and unforgettable experience. The combination of the natural surroundings, skilled performers, and artistic direction makes it a truly unique spectacle that should not be missed.


Tickets for the show can be purchased in advance, and it is recommended to arrive early to secure a good seat. The show takes place in an outdoor theater, so be sure to dress accordingly and bring a light jacket or sweater as it can get cooler in the evenings.


Visiting the Impression Sanjie Liu Show is not only a cultural experience but also an opportunity to witness the beauty and creativity that can be found in the intersection of art and nature. Immerse yourself in the captivating performance and let the magic of the show transport you to another world.



A trip to Longji and Yangshuo in southern China is a journey into a world of natural beauty, cultural enchantment, and unforgettable experiences. From the terraced landscapes of Longji to the karst limestone peaks of Yangshuo, this region offers a unique blend of picturesque scenery, rich traditions, and warm hospitality.


Begin your adventure by exploring the awe-inspiring rice terraces of Longji, with their cascading beauty and the opportunity to interact with local ethnic minority groups. Immerse yourself in the tranquility and harmony of the terraces and indulge your taste buds with the delicious local cuisine.


Continue your journey by cruising along the Li River to Yangshuo, soaking in the breathtaking natural landscapes that have inspired generations of artists and poets. Experience the thrill of bamboo rafting along the gentle currents of the Yulong River, immersing yourself in rural charm and serenity.


As you explore the countryside of Yangshuo, cycle through picturesque paths, stroll along the riverside, and encounter the rich traditions of local farming communities. Engage with friendly villagers, witness traditional practices, and gain a deeper appreciation for the region’s cultural heritage.


End your adventure with a visit to the Impression Sanjie Liu Show, a mesmerizing outdoor performance set against the backdrop of the Li River. Be captivated by the artistry, storytelling, and cultural expressions that come to life in this stunning visual spectacle.


Whether you’re seeking natural wonders, cultural immersion, or outdoor adventures, Longji and Yangshuo in southern China have something to offer every traveler. The beauty of the landscapes, the warmth of the locals, and the richness of the traditions combine to create an unforgettable experience.


So, pack your bags, embark on this journey, and allow yourself to be enchanted by the captivating beauty of Longji and Yangshuo. Discover the magic of this region and create memories that will last a lifetime.