Located at the place where Hunan and Guangxi meet, the Longsheng County is one of the oldest ethnic minority autonomous counties in China, where the Yao, Dong, Zhuang, Miao and other ethnic minority people live in a compact community. Longsheng features a strong ethnic minority culture, formed by the Singing Festival on the Third Day of the Third Lunar Month, Panwang Festival and other ethnic minority festivals, the drum tower and wind-and-rain bridge of the Dong people, the Zhuang houses whose rear parts are supported on piles over water, and unusual ethnic customs and lifestyles.
Longji Terraced Fields
The terraced fields are located in Heping Township of the Longsheng County, 78 kilometers from Guilin City. The lowest terraced field is 380 meters above sea level, and the highest 1,850 meters above sea level, over 1,500 meters in difference, with the typical climate characteristics of the mountainous areas. The overlapped terraced fields are mainly spread in the mountainous areas ranging from 300 to 1,100 meters above sea level, spiraling from the foot of the mountain to the top.
Longji terraced fields were first constructed in the Yuan Dyansty (1206-1368), with a history of over 700 years. The peaks here are one higher than another. Some are as large as pagodas, and some are as small as snails, with the slopes varying from 26 to 50 degrees. The mountains are high and gorges are deep, which are circled by clouds and fog all year round. In spring the terraced fields look like heavenly mirrors, layer upon layer; in summer they are like green waves, ring upon ring; and in autumn, they resemble a number of golden pagodas, presenting an indistinct scenic marvel.
Longji Village is home to the Zhuang and Yao people, who live in the traditional stockade wooden buildings. Standing at the wooden building, you can appreciate the sunset, clouds and fogs, taste mellow wine, watch the bamboo pole dance performed by villagers, and take pictures of the fascinating scenery.
Longsheng Ailing Hot Spring
Ailing Hot Spring lies by Ailing Stream in Jiangdi Township, 32 kilometers northeast of Longsheng County seat. Surrounded by high mountains and dense forests, the area where the hot spring is situated has fresh air.
The hot spring has 16 mouths of spring, with the temperatures varying from 45 to 58 degrees centigrade. The PH value of spring water is neutral, and the soft spring water contains more than 10 kinds of micro mineral elements, such as lithium, strontium, iron, manganese and zinc. Often soaking in the spring water will help treat the diseases of the cardiovascular systems, neuralgia, rheumatism, arthritis and dermatosis.
Golden Bamboo Zhuang Village is a typical village for the Zhuang people, showing the distinct Zhuang style. Over 80 Zhuang households live in the buildings whose rear parts are supported on piles over water. In general, each building has three stories. The upper story is for storing sundries; the second story serves as the living quarter; and the lower story is for raising pigs and cattle and storing farm manure.
As a typical village for the Yao people, Huangluo Yao Village is home to the Hongyao people of 60-some households. Hongyao women fancy long hair, believing that those with longer and darker hair are more beautiful and have a stronger vitality and a longer life. When they wash their long hair in the river, they will attract the astonishing eyes of both Chinese and foreign tourists.
The Dong people mainly live at Pingdeng Township; the typical one is the Yinshui Dong Village. The wind-and-rain bridge and the drum tower are the signs of the Dong village, as well as the symbols of the Dong culture. The wind-and-rain bridges over steams have roofed corridors so that passers-by can take shelter from the wind and rain, displaying the Dong people’s virtues of caring about others. The drum tower is where the Dong people get together and hold recreational activities.