China Rice Terraces Photography

Top 6 Most Beautiful Rice Terraces in China

Many travelers said the rice terraces is so much like the Great Wall in China for they are the wonders of human being. However, the main difference is that the Great Wall was the wonder built under the force of the Chinese Emperors while the amazing rice terraces were cultivated by Chinese people in a natural way.

China has over 2000 years’ history to cultivated the rice terrace since Qin Dynasty (221BC-207BC) and most of them are located in South China and Southeast China, like Yunnan, Guangxi, Guizhou, Jiangxi, Fujian. Chinese people use their own wisdom and their skillful hands to get the most out of nature and create the “Art of Earth”. The breathtaking natural scenery, the unique farming system, the hospitable local people, the brilliant ethnic culture shows the greatest harmony between the sky above and the people below.

So, it is worth your time and effort to get off the beaten path and head to the traditional villages to explore the most beautiful rice terrace in China. Do bring your camera and the best scenery is waiting for you! Go now!

Top 1: Yuanyang Hani Rice Terrace (Yunnan): 1300 Years’ Carving of the Earth

Yuanyang Rice Terrace - China's Top Terrace

Yuanyang Rice Terrace (元阳梯田), about 308 kilometers from Kunming, is the core of Honghe Hani Rice Terrace which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. It is marked by spectacular terraces that cascade down the slopes of towering Aliao Mountain to the banks of the Hong River. Over the past 1300 years, the Hani people have developed a complex system of channels to bring water from the forested mountaintops to terraces. The rice terraces is a testimonial to demonstrate extraordinary harmony between Hani people and their environment, both visually and ecologically. Yuanyang Rice Terrace is wildly scattered, mainly composed of Bada Scenic Spot, Duoyishu Scenic Spot and Laohuzui Scenic Spot. In this magic land, there are four distinct features will definitely get you shocked.

large scale: The different shape with layer of layer linking together, form an area with 170,000 acres.

Steep Slope: The gradients of some rice terraces rise from 15° to 75°.

Layer after Layer: The maximum layers of one slope reach 3700, making it very magnificent like the ladder to heaven.

High Altitude: It rises from river valley to 2000 meters high which reaches the extremity for rice growing.

Location

Yuanyang County, Honghe Hani Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province. It is about 308 kilometers from Kunming, the main transport hub of Yunnan.

Best Time to Visit

If you are a traveler who are fond of photography, the best time to come to Yuanyang Rice Terrace is from December to March, especially from January to March which is after the harvest and the terraces have been irrigated. In early spring (from late February to March), the terraces are decorated with lots of flowers, including pink peach blossom and white pear blossom. You’d better bring an umbrella, wear warm clothes and comfortable shoes when visiting at this time.

For Photography

It is a wise choice to spend two days exploring different villages and scenic spots when visiting Yuanyang Rice Terrace.

  • To Shoot Sunrise and Rosy Dawn: Duoyishu Scenic Spot (多依树) is the best place to capture sunrise. When the sun rises up the 6000-mu Duoyishu Rice Terraces, the whole villages turns bright and the vast rice terraces look like a mirror, radiating the rays of golden light.
  • To Shoot Sunset: Bada Scenic Spot (坝达) is with 950 hectares and 17 villages, over 3700 layer of terraces. In Laohuzui Scenic Area (老虎嘴), you could shoot the most magnificent and spectacular terraces.
  • To shoot Seas of Clouds and Sunrises among Clouds: a high place near Xinjie Town (新街镇).
  • To Shoot Hani Folk Customs: About 8km from Xinjie, it is the Jingkou Hani Folk Village to take photos of the unique mushroom-shape Hani houses.

How to Get There

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. It takes about 7 hours between Kunming and Yuanyang. For the inconvenient transportation, it is highly recommended to use our private transfer service to Yuanyang.

Recommended Trips:

>> 4 Days Yuanyang Rice Terrace Photography Tour

>> 5 Days Kunming, Jianshui & Yuanyang Rice Terrace Tour

Top 2: Longji Rice Terrace (Guilin): Magnificent Sky Ladder like Dragon’s Backbone

Longji Rice Terrace in Autumn

Longji Rice Terrace (龙脊梯田), also called Longsheng Rice Terrace, is one of the most amazing terraces in China, about 80 kilometers away from Guilin. In 2017, it was listed as the “Top Rice Terrace in South China” claimed by the United Nations.

Longji Rice Terrace is divided three scenic spots - Jinkeng Yao Terraced Field Spots, Ping’an Zhuang Terraced Field Spot and Longji Old Village Cultural Terraced Field Spot. The terraced fields are built along the slope winding from the riverside up to the mountain top, with an altitude rising from 300 meters to 1100 meters and the gradients of some rice terraces reach 50°. The rice terrace is layer upon layer, like the changing ladder created by nature leading to the blue sky, forming a majestic painting between Heaven and Earth. No matter when you come, you can take an enjoyable walk through the fields, shoot hundreds of beautiful pictures, as well as have in-depth understanding about the locals - Zhuang and Yao ethnic groups.

Location

Ping’an Village, Longsheng County, Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Best Time to Visit

Longji Rice Terrace can be visited all year round.

  • For mirror-like irrigated terrace and rice transplanting scene: go mid-April to late June.
  • For green terraces: go July to mid-September.
  • For golden terraces and harvest scene: go late September to early-November (National Holiday in October will be the harvest time for Jinkeng Rice Terrace).
  • For silvery terraces: go late December to early February.

Please Note: If you visit in March and April, you will enjoy rape flower blossom over the terrace; in the 6th day of the sixth month of Chinese lunar year, you can enjoy Red Clothes Festival.

For Photography

It is worth spending one or two days hiking through the terrace fields and take awesome photos at the best location.

  • To shoot sunrise: West Hill Music (西山韶乐), the highest view point located at Jinkeng Rice Terrace Field Spot, is the best location for sunrise.
  • To Shoot Sunset: Golden Buddha Peak (金佛顶) is remote, but is a great location for the magnificent and panoramic view of the terrace. Large-scale Thousand-layers Terraces (千层天梯) is good for shooting sunset.
  • To Shoot Other Awesome View: Seven Stars around the Moon (七星伴月) and Nine Dragons and Five Tigers (九龙五虎) are located in Ping’an Zhuang Field Spot which are great location for panoramic view which also easily reach.

For Hiking

Hiking is the must-do activities when visiting Longji Rice Terrace. You can have a light hike around Ping’an Zhuang Terrace to view Seven Stars around the Moon and Dragons and Five Tigers. Or, add one more day to hike from Ping’an Village to Dazhai Village which takes about 4~5 hours. To get the detailed hiking route and hiking map, you can visit our Longji Terrace Hiking.

How to Get There

Tavelers can take coach from Guilin Qintan Bus Station to Longsheng County and get off at Heping County of Longsheng (about 1.5 ~ 2 hours). Purchase the terrace ticket here and transfer to the bus to get Ping’an Village (18 km) or Dazhai Village (24 km). This will spend about 40 ~ 60 minutes.

Recommended Trips:

>> 4 Days Guilin Highlights Tour (Li River, Yangshuo & Longji Terrace)

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Longji Rice Terrace in Spring Longji Rice Terrace in Summer Longji Rice Terrace in Autumn Longji Rice Terrace in Winter

Top 3: Jiabang Rice Terrace (Guizhou): Mysterious Terrace with Cloud and Mist

Jiabang Rice Terrace in Guizhou

Have you ever seen the famous documentary film “A Bite of China”? In the season one “Our Farm” you can learn that how Chinese people adapt to their local conditions and they take great advantage of every inch of ground that stand on. Jiabang Rice Terrace (加榜梯田) is a piece of this land. The local ethnic Miao people use their wisdom to get the most out of nature, build their stilted houses upon the mountain and plant crop and rice in the field formed the terrace.

Jiabang Rice Terrace is one of the most beautiful rice terrace in China. It is composed of 10,000 acres, scattered in Dangniu, Jiaye, Jiache, Congkai, Pingyin, Jiabang, Baibei and Baidang villages. Every morning, when the cloud and mist rise above the river and field, Jiabang Rice Terrace become a fairyland on earth.

Location

Jiabang Village, Congjiang County, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province. It is about 80 kilometers from Congjiang County.

Best Time to Visit

April and May is the irrigated time that the terrace turns in silvery in the sun. In summer, the whole terrace turns into green, waving in the breeze. In autumn, this beautiful land turns into golden, shining under the gentle sunshine. In winter, after the harvest time, Straw lying on the green field together with the Miao’s traditional stilted houses, makes this land a beautiful Chinese painting. The recommended best time to visit Jiabang Rice Terrace is April, May, June, September and October.

How to Get There

  • Congjiang - Jiabang Rice Terrace: There are two coaches from Congjiang Bus Station running at 08:40, 12:30 to Jiache Village.
  • Rongjiang County - Jiabang Rice Terrace: Coach is very limited and travelers can take the coach at Rongjiang Bus Station running at 13:30 and get off at Dangniu Road. Then, take the local minibus to Jiache Village.

To get rid of the inconvenient transportation, it is highly recommended our private transfer service to drive you from Congjiang or Rongjiang County to Jiabang Rice Terrace.

Guizhou Jiangling Rice Terrace Location Map Guizhou Jiabang Rice Terrace in Summer

Top 4: Ziquejie Rice Terrace (Hunan): Irrigation Miracle Made by Miao People

Ziquejie Rice Terrace (Hunan) in Summer

With over 2000 years’ history, Ziquejie Rice Terrace (紫鹊界) was first cultivated in Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), This land is masterpiece of Miao, Yao, Dong and Han groups, featured as the rice-cultivating culture, Miao & Yao Fish-hunting culture, the unique farming system. For the time-horned history, Ziquejie Rice Terrace is reputed as “the King of Terrace” as well as “Father of the Terrace”. The spectacle and grandeur is similar to Yuanyang Rice Terrace in Yunnan, Longji Rice Terrace in Guangxi and Banaue Rice Terrace in Philippines. Besides, it is first one of the 19 Agricultural Heritages in China and also listed as World Irrigation Project Heritage by International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) in 2014.

The 80,000-acre Ziquejie Rice Terrace is rising from 500 meters to 1200 meters, over 500 layers and the gradients of some rice terraces reach 50°. The rice terrace is wildly scattered and travelers can go to the top 6 viewing platforms - Baguachong, Gongmiling, Yueyashan, Laomadang, Jiulongpo, Yaorenchong for sightseeing. At present, Ziquejie Rice Terrace are somewhat more remote and less traveled than the more popular Longji Rice Terrace and Yuanyang Rice terrace.

It is a good choice to visit Ziquejie Rice Terrace together with Zhangjiajie Naitonal Forest Park and Fenghuang Ancient Town for 6~7 days exploration in Hunan.

Location

Shuiche Town, Xinhua County, Loudi City, Hunan Province. It is about 275 kilometers from Changsha, the capital city of Hunan.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to go to Ziquejie Rice Terrace is during April ~ July and September to October. In April, the farmers get started hoeing the ground; in May, they will irrigate and transplant rice. In June and July, the whole village will turn into green, making you feel smoothed and comfortable. In September and October, the field will become golden and farmers would be busy at the farmland and ready for harvest.

How to Get There

Travelers who go to Ziquejie Rice Terrace should first reach Xinhua County. 1) From Changsha to Xinhua County: coaches are available from Changsha South Bus Station, Changsha West Bus Station and Changsha High Speed Bus Station during 07:20 ~ 20:00. 2) From Loudi to Xinhua County: Buses are many from Loudi Bus Station to Xinhua during 06:30 ~ 18:40. 3) From Xinhua County to Ziquejie: 5 coaches are available at 07:20, 11:30, 12:30, 13:00 and 15:30 which takes about 2 hours.

Hunan Ziquejie Rice Terrace Location Map Hunan Ziquejie Rice Terrace in Spring

Top 5: Jiangling Rice Terrace (Jiangxi): Golden Paradise with Terrace

Jiangxi Jiangling Rice Terrace

In spring, a large scale of rape flowers in Wuyuan County make this terrace field a golden paradise. The white wall black tile, the Hui-style houses, surrounded by millions of yellow flowers, makes this place very elegant. Hence, Wuyuan County has got the reputation “The most beautiful countryside in China”. And, Jiangling Rice Terrace (江岭梯田) is located here which is worth your time to visit. Jiangling Rice Terrace belongs to the Wuyuan East travel route. Travelers can spend one full day exploring Likeng (李坑) - Wangkou (汪口) - Jiangwan (江湾) - Xiaoqi (晓起) - Jiangling (江岭).

Location

Wuyuan County, Shangrao City, Jiangxi Province. It is about 120 kilometers from Jingdezhen City (2 hours).

Best Time to Visit

The best time to go to Jiangling Rice Terrace is in spring (March to May) when the rape flowers fully blossom. In March, this land is going to turn into yellow which will be flourished lasting for one month or longer.

How to Get There

Travelers who go to Jiangling usually start from Jingdezhen and they will first arrive at Wuyuan County then to Jiangling Rice Terrace. 1) From Jingdezhen to Wuyuan: Coaches are available from Jingdezhen West Bus Station to Wuyuan Bus Station or Wuyuan High Speed Bus Station during 07:30 ~ 16:30 which takes about 1 hour. 2) From Wuyuan to Jiangling Rice Terrace: travelers can take sightseeing bus at Wuyuan High Speed Bus Station to Jiangling. It’s better to hire the private car to reach the remote village.

Recommended Trips:

>> 5 Days Yellow Mountain Wuyuan Scenery Photography Tour

Jiangxi Jiangling Rice Terrace Location Map Jiangxi Jiangling Rice Terrace in Spring

Top 6: Youxi Rice Terrace (Fujian): Colorful Fairytale World

Fujian Youxi Rice Terrace

In November 2017, Fujian Youxi Rice Terrace (尤溪梯田) was listed as one of the four Rice Terraces in South China by United Stations, together with Longji Rice Terrace, Congyi Hakka Rice Terrace, Ziquejie Rice Terrace.

Youxi Rice Terrace is with a total area of 10700 acres, composed of 8 villages called Lianhe, Liandong, Liannan, Lianxi, Dongbian, Yunshan, Lianyun and Xiayun. The rice terrace rises from 260 meters to 900 meters which is very magnificent. The pristine environment, the primitive way of plough, the traditional folk houses, the beautiful rice terrace, making this land an attractive place to visit. Travelers who come here can also take a look at the mountain agriculture system “Bamboo Forest -Village -Terrace - Water Flow” and know how the local people live based on nature.

Location

Lianhe Village, Youxi County, Sanming City, Fujian Province. It is about 150 kilometers from Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Fujian Youxi Rice Terrace is in spring and autumn. In spring, farmers start to irrigate and transplant rice and later the whole village turns into green. Also, the locals plant beans on the terrace ridge and release fish into the field. In autumn, the whole village turns into golden. After harvest, the local will draw off the water and let the ducks, goats have fun in the field. It is very lively and harmonious when visiting.

How to Get There

Travelers who get to Youxi Rice Terrace will start from Xiamen City or Fuzhou City. 1) From Xiamen to Youxi: there are 13 daily high speed trains running from Xiamen North Railway Station to Youxi Station during 07:39 ~ 19:29. It takes less than 2 hours. 2) From Fuzhou to Youxi: 13 D trains run from Fuzhou Train Station to Youxi Station. The first train starts at 06:50 and the last runs at 19:20 which takes less than 1 hour for the train travel.

Fujian Youxi Lianhe Rice Terrace Location Map Youxi Rice Terrace (Fujian)

Other Rice Terraces in China

Zhejiang Yunhe Rice Terrace

Besides the top 6 rice terraces in China, travelers can pay visits to other terraces like Yunhe Rice Terrace in Zhejiang, Shangbao Rice Terrace in Jiangxi, Gaokan Rice Terrace in Sichuan, Danzhai Gaoyao Terrace in Guizhou, Oujiacun Rice Terrace in Guangzhou, etc. To know the features, best time and transportation of each terrace, please feel free to contact our professional travel consultants who will give you the necessary and correct answers.

Travel with China Discovery

If you are planning to visit the most beautiful rice terraces in China to admire the Art of Earth and get to know the ethnic culture, it is highly recommended to travel with China Discovery. Our local guide would take you to the best location to shoot some stunning photos. Besides, the worry free private transfer service will take you directly to the villages. For more details about private tour with China Discovery, you could contact our professional Travel Consultant who would help tailor make your tour best suitable for your needs and budget.

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