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Pingan village

Ping'an Village is located in Longsheng County, Guilin. First built during the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, Ping'an has long been the key stockaded village for sightseeing in the Longji scenic area.Ping'an Zhuang Village is reputed as 'the Garden of Eden in China' by tourists from all over the world. The village has about 80 Zhuang ethnic households. For more than 600 years, they have lived on the terraced rice fields from one generation to generation

The environment of the Ping'an village
Zhuang ethnic group is one of the ancient Chinese minorities. The people of Zhuang who live in Ping'an still keep their ethnic features in their costumes. Women usually wear laced jupes and coifed their heads with kerchiefs or towels. The men now seldom wear their traditional garments. They used to wear the short gowns of coarse cloth but now they only wear them in the festivals or great events. They are now influenced a lot by the outside world. Most they do business related to tourism when they take time off from their farm work.
The buildings in the little village are all two story wooden buildings which are traditional Zhuang architecture and somewhat look like Swiss mountain chalets. Everything smells of wood. The adorable village is stacked up in layers up the hillside and in the canyons. The whole village is not too big - maybe a few hundred people. Stone paths and staircases twist in and out of buildings. Water flows everywhere in streams, rivulets, waterfalls, and channeled in bamboo pipes. The weather here is delightful and pleasant. At night it is actually chilly enough to put on long sleeves.

The simple life style in the Ping'an village
Zhuang people still live an ancient and simple life. Just being here you will get a real sense for the pace of village life. You can just hang around the village, watching the villagers in their daily tasks - washing vegetables, tending animals, carving wood, building houses, or blowtorching shanks of meat. Kids play up and down the paths, or in the basketball court. Ducks, chickens, dogs, cats, and even horses wander around and are friendly as well.

The Ping'an villagers make rice as their staple food. They cook the rice in a very special way. They put the rice, peanuts, beans or other materials into the bamboo tubes and bake the tubes on the fire. The locals call it zhutongfan (baked bamboo rice). This food is very delicious and the villagers often enjoy the food with their guests. Now the village has many restaurants and many of them also offer this food. In Ping'an Village, all the families produce a sweet 'beverage'. The beverage is made by an aboriginal way - put the fermented sticky rice into a cask, then the cask is put down on a caldron, and cooked for long time, the fermented sticky rice is steamed until the beverage flow out. Once visit their homes, the tourists may be served a bowl of this kind of beverage

Embraced by mountains which grow trees and bamboos, the surroundings of the Ping'an Village are tranquil and elegant with a pleasant climate all the year round. The villagers have developed many terraced fields by their wooden houses. They look very breathtaking from afar. This is considered as the highlight of the village. They are two most famous terraced landscapes in the village. One is the Nine Dragons and Five Tigers, another one is the Seven Stars with the Moon. But enjoy these stunning views tourists must ascend a little from the village.

Travel Tips:
1. To visit Ping'an Village, you can take the buses from Guilin to Longsheng County at Guilin Bus (Coach) Station. Upon reaching the county or at an intersection (not reach the county) in Hepingxiang, you must transfer to take the minibus to twist all the sky way to reach the village. Normally, 3hrs drive can reach there.

2. Rooms and boards are available in the village since the villagers run some hotels or let out their rooms (some in their traditional houses) by the day.

Most hotels or inns have TV and air-conditioning, even the internet.

3. The price of the food/drinks in the village is as high as the mountains because it is carried from Guilin to Hepingxiang and then carried by the villagers or horses from the foot of the mountain.

4. If you get there, you'd better find a local travel company to arrange your tour. The price seem to be more cheaper than on your own way because all the travel companies in Guilin can get discounts from the entrance tickets, food, drinks, hotels and transport.

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