Having visited this particular region a few years back, I wasn’t too keen on going again, but using it as a starting point to begin our journey into the mountainous region of Guilin, it only made sense. Now having been once again, I’m glad that I did. You, naturally, get something different each time – be it the weather, the fields themselves
and certainly going during a different time of year offers that much of a variety in itself. Starting point – Longji Rice Terrace’s in the Longsheng region of Guilin. Foregoing the lush valley of Karst mountains, heading straight for the upper regions of Guilin is very different – one in which many don’t venture off to mainly because of the
difficulty in the journey itself.
Although it’s not terribly difficult to get to the rice terraces themselves, continuing onward deeper into the mountain towards Guizhou, it serves as the perfect jumping point.
They say timing is everything. I couldn’t agree more completely. In Longsheng, harvest time (of rice) had just ended so the once golden fields and terraces were now desolate and
brown recovering from a long growth season. It usually isn’t until April or June do the farmers begin to re-work the terraces in preparation for the coming months new crops. During this time, seedlings are planted and terrace pools are flooded with water to spur their growth. Photographically, this is a beautiful time as when the sun shines upon the flooded pools, acreage upon acreage of glistening pools are had as far as the eye can see into the hillsides and
This would have not been the case for our most recent visit here. A week prior, I was informed that the terraces were currently being filled with water by order of HK film star, Jackie Chan. The terraces were being prepared for one of his upcoming movies to be shot throughout the region. Unfortunately, the entire area wasn’t being flooded, only parts that were going to
be used during production, but hey … beggars can’t ever be choosers, right? Trekking up a ways from the guesthouse in the wee hours of the morning, looking down on the terraces, you can see a few pools of water, but not many … a little disappointing. Reaching the top and traversing around a few smaller valley’s, we reach the 9 Dragons mountains in all of its flooded glory. Jackie knows the best spots. The pools
along the dragon’s back were filled to the brim as water made their descent towards the bottom the valley. The only other thing that would’ve made it perfect, was a patchy cloudy morning with a bit of blue sky and sunshine, but who’s squabbling? We’ve got water! Thank you Jackie Chan! I will definitely see the movie when it comes out in a years time.
Timing IS everything!