Dating back to the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th-century, the patchwork of terraces stitched together over the mountains breakaway for the small wooden houses, hotels and shops of Ping’an where locals work away cultivating the rice and now, entertaining tourist groups.
With a population estimated at 200, this small village never felt over-run and while some day-trippers came in to hike, to see the clouds blowing in lit by moonlight was an experience I wouldn’t miss, so an overnight stay, or two as we experience on my G Adventures tour, is preferable.
Rice terraces in Longji
Meeting the Zhuang People
Throughout China, there are many minority communities, named so as they are not of the Han Ethnicity, the main group in China. In Ping’an the main minority groups are Zhuang and a small population of Yao people.
In the Guangxi region as a whole around 30% of the population identify as Zhuang, with Yao women being distinctive for their very long hair, often only cut once in their lifetime.
From the traditional Bamboo rice, grilled directly in the bamboo to the local medicines that I would soon be finding spraying into a multitude of cuts on my body, the pace of life is slower here and has a much more traditional feel to it. The hospitality I felt here, especially in our hotel, was by far the best in the country and I felt like a welcome guest to this magnificent part of the world.