Baimian Yao Village
Located in the Longsheng Hot Springs National Forest Park, the Baimian Yao Village is about six kilometers (four miles) from the Longsheng Hot Spring. Surrounded by luxuriant forests, the village houses the Red Yao people's community.
The Baimian Yao Village covers a total area of about 35,000 square meters (nine acres) and the building area is approximately 3,000 square meters (one acre). In front of the village gate stands a tablet which is inscribed with the village rules. Outside the gate there is a pillar, the totem of the Red Yao people. Below the village, a huge rock resembling the dragon's tongue protrudes from the mountainside. Hence its name: the Dragon Tongue Rock. The rock has other names, such as the Red Army Rock or Kuangming Rock to commemorate the victory of the Long March.
The Baimian Yao Village has a special custom in that the men in the village often marry into and live in their bride's family. This tradition has passed down from generation to generation. Another attractive feature of the village is that the young people sing folk songs to attract their sweethearts.
Those who visit the village can take part in the traditional sporting activities, including propping the bamboo bars or playing tug of war with the elephant. They can also appreciate the wonderful dances performed by those Red Yao girls with their long hair.
Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces
In the south-east of Longsheng County in Guangxi province and within the land of Ping X
iang, there is a group of large-scaled rice terraces built into the hillside. Some of the terraces look like great chains, other look like ribbons. They wind from the foot to the top of the hill. The smaller ones are like snails and the bigger ones like towers. There are layers on layers of terraces, high and low. The outline is very smooth. Its scale is enormous. It is called "The champion of the terrace world". It is the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces. By the way, Long Sheng is also the gathering land for the minorities, such as Yao, Dong, Zhuang and Miao. The stockaded villages' backs face the hills and their fronts face the river.
The Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces is 27 kilometers from Longsheng County, and it is 80 kilometers from Guilin city. The total area of this scenic spot is 66 square kilometers. The altitudes of the terraces vary between 300 meters & 1100 meters with sloping grades between 26 degrees and 35 degrees. The steepest slope is 50 degrees. Although there are terraces everywhere in the mountain areas of South China, it is extremely rare to see a terrace as big as the dragon ridge terrace.
Longji Mountain (the Dragon's Backbone Mountain) is a high mountain and its peak, Mao Er peak, is the highest in South China. With its foundation such a high mountain, how can the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces not be winding and boundless! The total area of the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces is 1014 hectares, and the whole terrace is built on the hillside with attitude from 300 meters to 1100 meters. Layers of terraces swirl and climb up from the river valley of torrent to the top of the hills where there are a lot of clouds. If you look toward the horizon, you would see that blocks of terraces are found to hand in hand, from the steep cliff to the end of the lush trees. Everywhere there is mud, there are cultivated terraces. Specifically speaking, the core of the terraces is a big land with area of two or three square kilometers.
The Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces was built from Yuan Dynasty to the beginning of Qing Dynasty. It has already been more than 650 years in history. The four seasons in the terraces have different features. The lands of each season present us a miracle. It is funny that in this big terrace world, the biggest block is not more than one Mu (Chinese acre. One Mu equals to 670 square meters.).
Zhuang and Yao people live in this Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces scenic spot, and mainly are Zhuang people. Their dress is unique. Here you can feel the original Zhuang people's feelings. You can enjoy some dancing arts, such as pole dancing and lion dancing from Zhuang and reedpipe dancing from Yao.Also, you may come across the local customs of long hair combing (It is a way women comb their hair). Besides, you can also enjoy the simple living rooms in the zhuang villages, pure Longji(the dragon's backbone) tea and Longji wine.
Longsheng Hot Springs National Forest Park
Situated in Longsheng, a multi-ethnic autonomous county in Guangxi Autonomous Region, Longsheng Hot Springs National Forest Park is 132 kilometers (about 82 miles) northwest of Guilin. Covering an area of 260 hectares (about 642 acres), the park boasts a dense primeval forest, various rare animals and plants, as well as its famous hot springs. The weather here is very pleasant with an average year round temperature of 17 C (about 63 F) providing a nice escape from the summer heat.
There are many mountains in the park including Five Swords, Monkey and Chessboard mountains, etc. On these mountains, several varieties of green trees form a large forest that is home to some unique mammals including black bears, macaques, civets, and giant salamanders. Additionally, there are over 1,500 kinds of rare plants, such as ginkgos, yews, and Chinese tulip trees.
The best known attraction in the park is the sixteen hot springs. These springs can spout over 1,200 meters from underground with water temperatures ranging from 45 C(113 F) to 58 C(136 F). Experts have determined that the waters contain various elements including zinc, manganese, lithium, strontium and iron that are beneficial to health. Bathing in the springs is not only healthful, but can reputedly alleviate diseases such as cardiopathy and rheumatism as well as certain skin conditions. Unlike other hot springs, the water here is so pure and limpid that it can be drunk directly from the source. It is no wonder that Longsheng is the most famous hot springs in south China.
As Longsheng has a diverse population, there are many opportunities to observe different Chinese minority groups. The Zhuang, Miao, Dong and Yao sminorities are well represented in the county. Visitors are invariably impressed by the colorful life of these groups with their distinctive music, dances, and architectures.
The park has extensive facilities for travelers. There are resort houses, bath centers, hotels, restaurants, malls, banks and entertainment venues. Visitors have the best of both worlds here-the park's natural beauty combined with a plethora of modern conveniences.
Yinshui Dong Village
Only two kilometres west of Longsheng Town you will come to the Yinshui Dong Village. It is named after the waterfall that runs down from the mountaintop resembling a long silver chain.
It is said that the village was founded during the Tang-Song dynasties and gained fame due to the hard work of generations of the Dong people. In 1737 during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty, Wu Jinyin, the 82nd chief of Yinshui Dong Village, led the Dong people to rise in rebellion with the support of the Zhuang, Miao and Yao peoples against the Qing government. The Qing government hastily sent troops from neighboring provinces to put down the rebellion. After the failure of this rebellion, the village moved to another place and the original village was abandoned. In recent years, with the development of local tourism, Dong people were invited to return their home village with the 101st village chief of the Wu clan.In this village, you can see an old drum-tower and the famous Wind and Rain Bridge, which is a unique 76 metre long complex consisting of five pavillions connected by corridors. The Ma Pang Drum tower 25 kilometres north of Longsheng town is the largest of its kind: It is a 12 metre high wooden construction: a nine-story wooden roof held up by wooden pillars. Such towers (resembling Chinese pagodas) were set up as meeting points in almost every Dong village.