Longshuba Rice Terraces in Yuanyang County, Honghe
Why is Longshuba Rice Terraces so special?
Longshuba Rice terraces is different from other terraces because the oxygen in the water of the fields varies from other fields which lead to the rapid growth of red duckweed. The main color of the fields are red, green and yellow. It presents its beauty vividly around the Spring Festival as the duckweed expands to the maximum range with the breathtaking beauty. The village is surrounded by the silver terraces in the sunlight. The terraces are just like a colorful palette with red, white, green, yellow and black.
Introduction of Longshuba Rice Terraces
Longshuba Village belongs to Xinjie Town, Yuanyang County, Honghe Prefecture, located in mountain area, a great place for planting rice, vegetables and various fruits. It’s 5 kilometers away from the town center. It’s famous for the red fields with red duckweed. The fields is rich in color at sunset and really worth pushing the bottom of your camera. The unique scenery at the time is extremely infectious and enjoyable. It attracts thousands of photographers flock here.
What to Do here?
1. Enjoying Rice terraces Viewpoints:
There are numerous villages that one can visit to enjoy the fabulous rice terraces in Yuanyang such as Duoyishu (for sunrise), Bada , Longshuba and Laohuzui (for sunset). They are close to the main road connecting them and can be easily and cheaply visited by either public transport or charter. From these viewpoints, the rice terraces are similarly impressive with only minor differences eg. the terraces are flatter with more mushroom-shaped thatched dwellings in Qingkou (the only village with entrance fee of 15 RMB) while the terrace plots are smaller but more packed at Laohuzui.
2. Exploring Ethnic Minority’s Culture and Life
Yuanyang boast a wide variety of ethnic minorities. Other than Han’s, Hani’s and Yi’s are the next biggest minorities; there are also Miao’s, Zhuang’s, Dai’s and so on. In fact most of the terraces in Yuanyang are carved by the Hani minority over the centuries. The Hani’s also exported the rice terrace cultivation, method and culture to the rest of South East Asia many centuries ago. Most of the minorities still go about their everyday life dressed in their traditional costumes (mainly the females). The best opportunity to see them in their splendor is during the various Market Days (see Market Day article).
Apart from rice terraces, it is just as exciting to see the various ethnic minorities, still garbed in their traditional costumes. Furthermore one can also see the various unique festivals and traditions of the minorities, especially during the lunar New Year period (see article on “Dragon Feast”)
Chinese tourists make their way in various means- be it chartered vehicles or self-drive- to the sunrise spots as early as 5am. Parked vehicles will form long lines at these places and people jostle for every vantage point to locate their tripods. It is all fun and very festive in atmosphere but the pandemonium will last only till the sun is above the horizon. People start dispersing when the sun is above the hills. The majority will head for their breakfast and then maybe another location for photography. Then it is afternoon nap before heading out to photographing sunset again. Afternoons are definitely quiet in and around Yuanyang.
3. Walking Around Yuanyang
One of the best ways to get close to the people and enjoy the views is to walk from one village to another. There are walking paths that connect all the villages, away from the main road. These paths follow the contour of the hills and some of them criss-cross the terraces. One may have to engage a guide to avoid getting lost especially since most of the villagers do not speak Putonghua. On such walks, one will be able to see the terraces in a different perspective from the road. Furthermore there are a couple of villages and viewpoints (such as 麻栗寨) that are simply breathtaking and accessible only by walking.
The Best Time to Visit Longshuba Rice Terraces
The best moment to enjoy the marvelous rice terraces view is the sunset period. In addition, the sunrise and cloud sea in Longshuba Rice Terraces are also very beautiful.
From November to April, the terraces are in irrigation period. Most amazing pictures on the Internet are shooted at that time. In May, the rice fields turn into green from yellow, right after the farmers did the rice seedlings at the end of spring.
Laohuzui（Tiger Mouth）Rice Terraces scenic area mainly consists of Mengpin Village, Dongfu Village, Amengkong Village, Baoshan Village and etc. It got the name due to its shape. The zigzag highway traverses the cliff of the mountainside, and beats away a breach at one corner, which presents an image of tiger mouth. With the precipitous gradient and the grandest layout, the Terraces are featured by the strong gradation and the wonderful color. Between two mountains is the whole valley and the gradient is above 70 degrees. Under the villages are green hills and trees, running water and villages. Layers of terraces vertically drop into river valley, which is pretty grand.
Bada Rice Terraces Scenic Area is a bright pearl in the tourism of Yuanyang, which includes Quanfuzhuang Rice Terraces, Malizhai Rice Terraces, Bada Rice Terraces and Shangmadian Rice Terraces. There, what you can enjoy is the natural landscape, humanities and ethnic flavor of Hani people since thousands of them have been living there generation after generation.
Duoyishu Rice Terraces Scenic Area got its name from the local Duoyi, a beautiful place inhabited by Hani people. It is composed of Duoyishu Rice Terraces, Huangcaoling Rice Terraces, Aichun Rice Terraces and Pugaolao Village, etc. The altitude of Duoyishu Village is over 1,700 meters. The 9,700 acres’ of terraces below the village is the best spot to watch the sunrise. Early in the morning, when the bright sun comes up to the top of the mountain, sunglow lights half of the sky, and then the full mountain of terraces are glittering. It seems that the mountain is wearing such a colorful dress that it dazzles people’s eyes.
How to Get there?
Kunming to Yuanyang: From Kunming South Bus Station, there are direct long distance buses to Yuanyang Xinjie Town, running schedules around 10:20, 13:30, 19:30 and 20:00. There are buses at 09:05, 12:30 and 18:30 from Yuanyang Xinjie Town to Kunming. It takes about 7 hours between Kunming and Yuanyang.
Nansha Town/Xinjie Town to Longshuba Rice Terraces: Travelers may take long distance buses to Nansha Town or Xinjie Town from Kunming, Jianshui, and no matter which station you arrive at, travelers can take local minibus to Longshuba Rice Terraces. It takes about 1 hour from Nansha Town to Xinjie Town and 30 minutes from Xinjie Town to Longshuba Rice Terraces. (Please Note: It is recommended to use our private car service to reach several rice terraces including Longshuba Rice Terrace. If you are an independent traveler, you can try to hire a local minibus to cover all the highlighted rice terraces in one day which costs around 300 Yuan per day.)
Recommended Visiting Routes
It is better to arrange two or three hours to visit Longshuba Rice Terraces. We provide tourists with some tour routes to choose.
1. Hani Ethnic Festivals & Traditions
Hani people would celebrate some traditional festivals, like Hani New Year, Kuzhazha Festival, etc.
Hani New Year is like the Spring Festival of Han. It takes place in the first Dragon Day of the 10th lunar month each year and lasts 5 to 6 days and even as long as 13 days. Every family would prepare chicken, pork to worship their ancestors and family members gather together to enjoy the union. In the last day of the New Year, a Long Table Banquet will be arranged and tables will be laid in the street which can extend to one kilometer long. Each family will serve the most sumptuous dishes to fill up a table and enjoy the banquet together.
Kuzhazha Festival takes place from lunar June 23 to 26 and every family makes sticky rice, sets the feast, makes fresh rice and worships the ancestor.
There is one 3-star hotel called Yuanyang Yunti Hotel in Xinjie Town and travelers are recommended to spend your night there. Besides, there are many hostels in Xinjie Town and other scenic areas and if you want to find a hostel with basic facilities close to the scenic area, you’ve got a lot of choice.
3. Other Travel tips
The visitors usually set off to Longshuba Rice Terraces after 4:30 pm, you can check out the time of sunset on the Internet or ask the local people.
The weather forecast of Yuanyang on the Internet may be not exact because the weather of the rice terraces area is always changeable and unpredictable.
The temperature here varies greatly between day and night. Please pay attention to keep warm especially in early morning or at night.