We'll be in China for three weeks, starting the second week of October (just after the holiday week ends). Our current itinerary has us arriving in Guilin Oct. 18, with plans to spend one night at Longsheng before going on to Yangshuo for 4 days.
I recently read that October is when the rice is harvested, and that the fields are not that attractive to see after the harvest. Does this mean that Longsheng is not worth visiting if the rice has been harvested recently? They look so beautiful in all the pictures; I'd hate to miss seeing them.
We could possibly reverse our itinerary and get to Longsheng on Oct. 11 if that would get us there before the harvest. I suspect that each year the harvest dates are different, and perhaps it's useless to speculate just when the harvest will begin.
Would love to hear any thoughts/suggestions/advice you can offer. Many thanks.
We were there last October (around the 11th) on a daytrip and thought it was very impressive and worthwhile, even on a cloudy day. I am not really sure on the harvesting cycle -- there was work underway when we were there, but I doubt there'd be any dramatic difference in one week's time. For us, the terracing was the most interesting and beautiful aspect. I envy you getting to stay overnight there!
Harvesting is only predictable in a general sense, as it's going to depend on weather conditions and especially rain during the summer months. Best thing to is keep your plans. BTW, I would strongly suggest you look into subtracting a day from Yangshuo and adding it to another of the north villages of Sanjiang county such as Chengyang (the one with the famous bridge). You would proceed there after the Rice Terrace night. IMO, four nights in Yangshuo is overkill.
Thanks for the suggestion, jiejie. I'll look into adding Chenyang to our northern travels. The reason for the long-ish stay in Yangshuo was simply to get a stretch of rest and relaxation (we'd be staying outside of the town, near the Yulong River). I figured we'd hike and bike and take a bamboo raft trip, and just enjoy the scenery in a unhurried way. After 4 1/2 days in Beijing and 2 days in Xi'an (plus travel days) I thought we might be looking forward to less hustle and bustle.
As far as Longshen is concerned...can you advise one night or two? And, Ping An or Dazhai? We'd like to have time for some nice, scenic walks, and my husband will want to take a million photographs.
We went to Ping An. The walks and views there were great, we thought, though we don't have any point of comparison. There were a couple of main trails and I think they linked together. All very user-friendly, though you do get a workout hiking up. There may be serious hikes that go further afield; I'm not sure. I have heard the sunsets and sunrises are beautiful, so you would want one of each, but I think one night would be enough.
Dazhai is a bit further but fewer tourists and majority (though not unanimous) opinion says somewhat more impressive than Ping'An. Most day trippers are in Ping'An area. Do some internet searching on specific guesthouses there. Best would be to get to Terrace location of your choice by early afternoon so you have the afternoon to hike and photo, overnight, then early to mid-morning the next day for different lighting. Get butt out of bed early to grab the sunrise. Onward by around lunchtime to Chengyang--you don't want to wait too late since transport options taper off as you get deeper into the afternoon. Done this way, one night at the Terraces is enough for most people. If you can't manage Dazhai or prefer to do Ping'An, that is also OK.
Get butt out of bed early to grab the sunrise. -- Jiejie, you're too funny! I know you're right, though. I guess we'll just do one night in the terraces, thanks to advice from you and Maykita. If we can hike and photograph both in the afternoon and the morning, then we should be able to get a good overview of the terraces.
I'm looking into transportation and lodging options for Chengyang. It looks like a place we'd enjoy visiting. Thanks for the suggestion.