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Travel Brochure for China Longsheng China

I have been to Longsheng twice, once in 97 and again in 02.

The people in Yangshuo told me about the beautybut it took me a few years until I actually went there. The first time Iwent by bus, the second time by bicycle.

The actual rice terraces are not on the main Guilin-Longsheng road . About 7km before arrival in Longsheng there's a side road. It leads through thehills and forest to a valley, still another 20 km from this main road. Withentering the valley you will have your first views of the rice-terraces.These terraces can go up to over 700 meters.

Travel China , Longsheng

The road continues until the end of the valley where a new road winds up tothe wooden bridge and an old stone path. The first time I visited thisbeautiful place it was early spring and that new road was not even on theplanning maps.

The weather conditions were good, about 17 degrees and nice sunshine. Thebus dropped me at the entrance gate and here I bought my entrance ticket. Istarted climbing the old paths up to the little village, hundreds of metershigher. It wasn't the cleverest thing I ever did because I had my bigbackpack with me and it was quite a hard climb. Although it was spring, Iwas quite sweating from the climb on the old paths up.

The village is mostly build and rebuild in traditional style and there areguesthouses available. During my first stay there were no guesthouses, Istayed with a family. This same family now transformed their house into aguesthouse. At the time, I didn't speak any Chinese, and the people in thevillage didn't speak any English. I stayed with the family, ate and drank with them. They were very nice and hospitable. At the time, they were notspoiled by any tourism.

Travel China, Longsheng

My second time was very different. Now I came by the end of June, rainyseason but also peak season. This time I was on my bicycle and had finisheda ride from Guilin, about 100 km before the climb started. This new buildroad starts at the end of the valley where it crosses the little river andstarts swindling up. This afternoon a thunderstorm exploded on the mountainslope just when I started climbing the road. I had to shelter for some timebut then I was able to finish the climb.

When I arrived at the end of the road, I realized some things never change,the scenery here was still beautiful and worth the visit. I saw a woodenbridge and a steep stone path. First, I carried my bike up, then my bags,from the wooden bridge, it was just 5 minutes to the village instead of thelong hard climb I had done years earlier.

The village had dramatically changed although it was still very small. Assaid, during my first visit there had not been any guesthouses or cafes, nowthere were many. And more were being build.

A stay in the village is essential to get touch of the area. Evenings andearly mornings are magic. In the evening, you be able to see the littlelights of the surrounding villages and single houses. The skylight can beextremely beautiful since there is hardly light pollution. The morning isalso beautiful. Hazy mists flow over the hills and slowly you will see thebeauty of the field coming out of the mist. And if you stay there, go atleast for a hike in the area.

There are some excellent hikes to do in the area. Guides can be useful.There are some Dong and Miao villages in the area and with a guide worth avisit. Without them, you may be easily lost.

Although the days of limited tourism in Longsheng are gone, the place is still beautiful, and worth a short trip from Yangshuo. And yes, do stay inthe village for at least a night. The evenings give another beautiful viewover the whole area. Magic!

Peter van der Lans Peter, is still on the road you might say, he is now in Malaysia and has started to write about a beautiful island there call Pankor Island.

He runs his own travel website about the wonderful little get away www.pulau-pangkor.com go visit... it's well worth it.

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