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The Most Beautiful Rice Fields To Visit in China

China has rice. Lots of it! While eating the rice dishes is highly recommended on your visit, you should also take some time to see where it comes from. The rice fields of China are not only highly important to the economy, but they also showcase what the real working life looks like for many Chinese people. Plus, the lush green formation of tiers and the glistening ledges of water make these rice fields just as beautiful as they are important.

Longji

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Also called the Dragon’s Backbone’s Rice Terraces, Longji was built back in the Yuan Dynasty, from 1271-1368. Its construction began in the Yuan Dynasty but wasn’t completed until the Qing Dynasty from 1644-1911. These rice terraces are beautifully linked together and created by the Zhuang people. They vary from season to season and during the spring, they look like glistening ribbons along the hills. During summer, the terraces look like waves of green, the autumn offers an orange tint, and in the winter, they are covered in snow. Aside from their beauty, the rice terraces make a great cultural destination as visitors can get a glimpse of life for the local people, the Yao and Zhuang. Located in Longshen county, it’s best to visit them from the city of Guilin.

Yuanyang

 

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Photo Source: Blog.iso50.com

Located in Yuanyang county, these rice terraces can be found on the slopes of Ailao Mountain in Yunnan Province. The rice terraces make the perfect addition to the famed frontier scenery of this area. Over 2,500 years ago, the Han people traveled to this area to start lives and battled the difficult terrain by building these rice terraces to grow food. The rice terraces were so innovative and beautiful that the Han people were presented with an award and the site is now considered a World UNESCO Heritage site. The terraces are massive and span across multiple towns including Luchun, Yuangyang, and Jinping. However, the section that is located in Yuangyang is said to be the most extraordinary. The slopes here vary from 15 to 75 degrees, and there are around 3,000 steps that rise the terraces. Visitors here can wander around to the many scenic areas like Bada, Duoyishu, and Laohuzui to take in the views.

Jiabang

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Located in Guizhou, the Jiabang rice terraces are a bit off the beaten path. Stretching for about 40km, these rice terraces are full of hills and ethnic villages. Guests who visit particularly enjoy witnessing the culture of the ethnic minority groups who live here. As the season’s change, the landscape around the rice terraces light up in color, and the reflections of the water make them twice as beautiful. One characteristic that makes these terraces so unique is the mysterious atmosphere, achieved by the near constant fog and mist. The lush rice plants are best seen from September through October, but the mirror-like landscape that is achieved after harvest is best seen later in the year.

Yunhe

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These terraces are located in Zhejiang province and cover around 51 square kilometers. Aside from the terraces themselves, the area is made beautiful by the hills, mountains, and valleys that surround them. The scene has been described as a fairy tale by some, especially on rainy days when the water fills in the rice fields and makes them shine. Photographers tend to be the main tourists here as the Yunhe Rice Terraces are some of the most photogenic in the country. The She ethnic group are also living here, allowing visitors to learn a whole lot about their unique culture. The rice terraces have over 1,000 years of history as the area was once swarmed with farmers, particularly thriving during the Ming and Yuan Dynasties. Visiting during sunrise is highly recommended since the sky lights up in stunning reds and oranges. Perfect for a photo.

Ziquejie

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Situated in Hunan province, the Ziquejie Rice Terraces are considered one of the top scenic spots to visit. The levels of spring water and self-irrigation reach an elevation of 500 to 1,000 meters, and the fields themselves are surrounded by ancient paddy culture and old wooden houses. Their history is that of over 2,000 years as they originated in the Han and Qin Dynasties and were fully developed during the Song Dynasty. A visit to the Ziquejie Rice Terraces is one filled with culture, beauty and a whole lot of history.

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Shannon Ullman

Hey! I'm a published American travel blogger and teacher. My travel writing has been featured on Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Matador Network and Thought Catalog. I spent over a year living and traveling around China while I taught English there. I have also visited dozens of other countries around the world.