Longsheng County locates in Guilin 100 miles from the northwest; it is famous at home and abroad for its strange stones, beautiful rivers and the custom of the minority. In my opinion, Longji (the back of a dragon) terrace and Ailing hot spring attract me most.
Follow me, and start at dawn; On 6th January, 2006, we followed the tour guide Mr. Su and the driver Mr. Mo to Longsheng in a cold morning with the song happy old family.
We left Guilin by carriage at 8pm, the scenery beside the road was wonderful, the up-and-down mountains, even you could see maple leaves sprinkle in them, and hear the singing of birds and rivers.
As we closed to the hamlet, the path became steeper and steeper, especially at the across where 11km to Longsheng county, we entered a limited lane which was like a snake circled on the mountains and stretched far away. As we had met many sudden wheels, the road appealed us in the bus. We were afraid if we should fall out of the car? How could we enjoy the scenery in mood?
Oh, Longji terrace! You made me happy, make me sad.
At last, we reached the first station—–Pingan hamlet after two hours driving.
The guide Mr. Su told us that the terrace was built in Yuan Dynasty, its history could trace back to 800 hundred years ago. It was neither the donation of the nature, nor the building of some nobles, even not related to the religion, it was just made by the Zhuang, Yao and Dong minority people. It was the production of their hard work. It was said that the Longji terrace is the most splendid one of all. Over viewing it from afar, you could see the columns of smoke winding into the sky.
Because it was winter at that time, we could not enjoy its dainty in spring, either the cool in summer, nor its charming in autumn. However, the terrace in winter be endowed with another meaning. I like the mountain here, and the custom here. My favorite was the terrace; it is the perfect mixture of nature and labor. It gave me unwritten shock by the great of nature and of the people The terrace was built on the waist of the mountain, the only way to outside was a stoney road, which was repaired by villagers from generation to generation. Every family has to do free work for three days. That is why we had the perfect stone road now.
Going up from the parking on the road, we felt fresh air, singing of the river, wind and the happy birds; we absorbed the grass and the mud, as the wind dancing in the air. We came to Pingan hamlet after a half hours walking, looking around, and terrace linked side by side, and the terraces which relied each other like notes dancing in the sky. Wherever you are, once you sink in it, the inimitable natural painting should catch you. The hamlet is not large, which was surrounded by terrace. The people live separately. And the village is encircled by a little brook down from the top of the hill, with the wooden floor fitted into the gradual steep hill. And the outside wall which was built by stone colored, led us to another world. Whenever you come to visit, you are absolutely in a picture.
It was very quiet in the hamlet. Walking on the road, we could hear our own breath and footfall, with barking of dogs and crowing of cocks from somewhere.
All of the architectures are called Diaojiaolou wooden buildings (entirely made of wood and with no iron), which built by the hill. As most of they were as old as hundreds of years, the hamlet also named as Gu zhuang; (Gu means old while zhuang is the name of the minority) hamlet. One corner of the diaojiaolou was used to pile up the paddy, dead stock and livestock, which supported by 20 pillars with its diameter is 50 cm. There was a base built by stone under the pillars which to stuff the brae. The second floor was usually supported by 24 pillars, with tiles on the top, and was enveloped by boards, so as to be an unattached space. The second floor was divided into two parts——the front one and the back one, the former was used for rest and manual labor while the latter was kitchen. The reason to do that was: firstly, for resisting since there were lots of wild animals in old days; the next one was for the residents; health, as the climate in hill was very humid, the people would become ill if they stayed on the first floor for long time. The blacken wood and tiles with bundles of firewood as tall as a person which on the corner of the house made us fell that we had been back to 100 years ago. Looking at the experienced, antiquated and mysterious wooden floor, I really wanted to find out the ordinary stories of all the buildings. The old and young with national dress were seen everywhere. Although the live condition was bad, we could see smooth smile on all of their faces. Compared with them, we visitors were hard, as they had been a part of the mountain. Pingan hamlet was so peaceful; Pingan hamlet was so natural; Pingan hamlet was so unsophisticated.
Continuing to move along the mountainous path, we found three cattle between the fields, a refreshing breeze was blowing gently, and the taboo leaves were dancing in the sky. There you could not find electrical lights, telegraph pole, water tower, or reinforcing steel bar, cement or something, that was kind of rural scenery of dream, we even forgot where we were. Going up, the bypath became steeper and steeper, had trekked for half an hour, at last we climbed up to No.2 sightseeing stand of Longji(a dragon’s back)terrace. Just at that time, evening light penetrated through the dark sky and reflected picturesque, sunshine got rid of clouds and perversely explored its head and then turned into countless ties down to the bottom of the valley, the whole valley was irradiated by the light gold shine, and the litparlit terrace reached afar regularly around the mountains. With all of those, we felt we had fallen in the fairyland. At that time, I was enjoying the quietude with my heart which was fulfilled peace and smooth. Actually, I thought it must be what we pursuing when traveling. No.2 sightseeing stand located on the altitude of the hamlet where the view is open, enjoyed the terrace there as it was cut by broadsword, cleaved by axe which provide you grand vigor. And you could enjoy the splendid sight of seven stars accompany the moon; which is to say a paddy field was surrounded by seven terraces. There was 40 minutes; walk to No.1 sightseeing stand, the hill was so steep, and paddy terraces commonly tower within palm-size space, which always surprised the visitors! From there, the marvelous spectacle of nine dragons and five tigers; great dragon grab the treasure hearty mirror; could be seen. Either on No.1 or No.2 sightseeing stand, terraces look like band or chain which wreath the hill from its foot to head, also made the small ones as snails and the big ones as pagodas. The pieces of curves were reincarnated as a flock of frolic dragons, charming and agile, graceful and arbitrary. Alleys wriggling through paddy terraces are wafting in cloud and mist like strings. Quaint wooden buildings hugged by terraces, transformed into fairyland in fog. Terraces haunt in hilly mountains;making guests concentrated in picturesque scenery. Splendid and ineffable terraces, which was combined nature with artificial works. When the sunset, the mountains went rolling by miles and miles glowed with the night blue in that dusk, somber and forbidding. All the terraces, piece by piece sat in the sea of dusk. Wandering on the stone path to the village with the terrace, shadow of trees, brook, I found a cattle how to stagger back under the farmers traction. There is no one on the path, the trees stopped swinging, and the terrace was covered by the unbounded night.
As thrusting up to the stone lane, the night spread out on the stones which became darker and darker. The lane had no endless, needed no endless, either. The endless is the night.
At this silent windy night without rain, same as the shining moon. It is the best time to be with wine and good friends. All the things had gone with the wind. Tomorrow, what would it be like tomorrow? But it is not important to me, I enjoyed the wine under the filmy moon, I drunk that night, even I forgot who I was.
When I woke up, it is nearly noon, I stood on the top of the floor, ruminating over the classical saying of Loulan; whenever you push your window, you can see the terrace. I like this place where could smell the farm crops when sleeping. However, we are not returnees but passers-by;and the passers-by were doomed to leave, so we left the fairyland without turning back.
Good-bye my diaojiao wooden building; good-bye, my terrace; good-bye, my rice wine and the silent and cool night, you would be left back on the mountain. I thought I would come again in another season. Here I like to appreciate the web site: www.achintravel.com that provided us a so wonderful route, and the guide Mr. Su, the driver Mr. Mo who provide us the warm services.
Longji terrace is splendid and filmy heaven of visitors and photographers inspiring. The scenery of the terrace changes with the season. Silver strings in Spring, green waves in Summer, golden storeys in Autumn, grey dragons in Winter. The best season is half a month after 15th August (lunar calendar) the water in the paddy fields are given off in which season for transplanting seeding when the terraces were full of water, and the willows reflected in the fields were bright which were like strings of silver chains hang on the mountain; when the sun falls to the west, the mountains turned to be brilliant steps which draw a large crow especially the photograph fanciers.
Half a month after Mid-autumn Day, the terrace exhibits a square of gold with fresh colors. And the hamlet presents a full harvest picture to us by sunning red Chile pepper on the front and back of their house. The landscape of snow on Longji is also excellent, the linear of terrace are fairer, the snowy bank of earth are gift with life which dances between mountains like snakes, however, as it indefinite when it should snow, it measure result of your luck. Route Introduction:
The visitors can pick up national handicrafts silver jewelry and the ethical figured satchel and local produce they like. And the Longji Tea, Longji Chile pepper, Longji rice wine are also welcomed by visitors both domestic and abroad.
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