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Terrace Farming - Ten Most Beautiful Terrace Landscapes in China


Definition of Terrace Farming


Terrace farming refers to the agricultural work on the strip-shaped or wavy sections of terraces that built on the hills or hilly lands along the contour lines. It's a effective way to control the loss of soil and water on sloping farmland. Meanwhile, the great ventilation and light transmission are conducive to the crop growth and nutrients accumulation. The width of the terraces often depends on the slope of the hills, thickness of the soil layers, number of laborers and the cultivation method, and the irrigation and drainage system and the passages are often designed uniformly.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Terrace Farming


Advantages:

1) Prevent the water loss and soil erosion in mountain slopes after the reclamation;

2) Make full use of the land resources and improve the agricultural productivity;

3) Irrigate and farm more easily in mountainous areas.


Disadvantages:

1) High cost during the terraces reclaiming, especially on the steep slopes;

2) Prone to loss water and soil during the reclaiming period;

3) Hard to apply any large-scale modern machinery and equipment;

4) The ridge may collapse during the heavy rain.


Terrace Farmings in China


The terrace fields in China were created by the ancient Chinese people to adapt to the environment and they are models of harmonious coexistence between human and nature. In the mountainous areas of south China, there were less plain terrains suitable for rice cultivation, Chinese farmers then created the terraces on the hillsides and conserve water with various dams. While in the arid mountain areas of north China, the terraces were built to effectively preserve the water and soil, and further increasing the productivity. Nowadays, the terrace fields are not only for plants cultivation, but become a unique tourism resource. They are praised as the "most beautiful curves on the planet". Especially in Spring, different shapes of terraces are filled with water and farmers are plowing in the fields, creating a beautiful and lively pastoral landscape. Let’s visit some of the most beautiful terrace landscapes in China!


Ten Most Beautiful Terrace Landscapes in China


1.Longji Terraces

Situated about 27 kilometers southeast of Longsheng County, there is a vast region of rice terraces stretching layer upon layer. Known as the Longji Rice Terraces (Dragon Backbone’s Rice Terraces), the grandest terraces in China! Construction began in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and the terraces were only completed in the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It represents the great accomplishment of profound wisdom and the strenuous labor of minority people in Southern China. Varying scenes put on their display with the passage of four different seasons, as nature displays its grandeur. Wandering in the terraces, one can not only enjoy the natural beauty, but also experience the unique culture of ethnic minorities. There are several minorities, including Zhuang, Miao and Yao. One can visit their wooden buildings, learn their beautiful dances and appreciate their costumes and Longji tea.


Longji Terraces

2.Yuanyang Hani Terraces

Located in southern Ailao Mountain of Yuanyang county, Yunnan province, Yuanyang Hani Terraces are the efforts of generations of Hani people. For over thousand years, the Hani people have been living in this place and assarting the terraces based on the mountains, creating a 360,000-acre terraces and a colorful art gallery of folk culture. Therefore, many people hail the Yuanyang Hani Terraces the “most amazing earth sculpture”. The whole terraces in these areas are huge and magnificent, they stretch the Red River, Yuanyang, Lvchun, and Jinping, while the Yuanyang terraces are the largest pieces. Spring is the best time to visit the terraces. Local people will fill the terraces with water and transplant rice, the layers of terraces will look like crouching silver dragons.


Hani Terraces


3.Guizhou Jiabang Terraces

Located in Jiabang district of Jiangxian county, Guizhou province, the Jiabang Terraces stretch 25kms long in the mountain areas between Dangniu Village and Jiabang district. These terraces are layered in different shapes with distinct Miao villages scattered here and there. The best time to visit is Spring when layers of clouds and mists rise from the river, the terraces filled with water sparkle like silver ribbons and the hanging houses loom in the mist, everything is just perfect. It's also when you should get your cameras ready, because everything you see is great for picture.


Guizhou Jiabang Terraces


4.Jiangling Terraces in Jiangxi

The Jiangling terraces are located on the thousand-high mountains. The layered terraces with blue sky and trees reflected on the water surface make a great scene. At the foot of the mountain, a few villages scattered around just make the area more charming. This is the typical villatic scenery.


Jiangling Terraces


5.Youxi Terraces in Fujian

Every Spring, thousands of acres of terrace fields in Youxi county will attract tons of people to visit and shoot pictures. The layered terraces are like sky ladders going straight up to the clouds. It feels like that you can ascend to the sky if you just follow the terraces. Standing high on the terraces, you will see dense rice fields lying everywhere and villages scattered here and there. If you happen to visit at farming seasons, you will see local farmers working in the fields. The terraces are even more charming in sunset when the afterglow are spreading on the water surface of the field.


Fujian Youxi Terraces


6.Shangbao Terraces in Jiangxi

Located in the Shangbao Scenic Area of Chongyi county, Jiangxi, the Shangbao Terraces are complexes of mountain terraces created by Ke people. They are reclaimed based on the mountain and a few villages are located among the large-scale fields. In Spring, the spring water will flow from the mountain top to the bottom naturally, creating a magnificent scene. While in seasons of yielding, different colored plants and crops will create a different but still amazing scene.


Shangbao Terraces


7.Ziquejie Terraced Fields in Hunan

Seated in Shuiche district of Lousi city, Hunan province, the Ziquejie Terraced Fields are hailed as the "Kingdom of Terraces". The natural landscapes and the irrigation systems here are the best in China, even the world. About 2000 years ago, Miao, Yao, Dong and Han people began to live in this area and work together. They together created this natural miracle and cultural landscape. The front of the mountain is the rice fields, while on the back of the Ziquejie terrace, there is the 10000-acre honeysuckle base and 48 Yao villages. Therefore, the Ziquejie Terraced Fields are the combination of southern rice culture and fishing and hunting culture in mountain areas.


Ziquejie Terraces in Hunan


8.Danzhai Gaoyao Terraces

Located in Danzhai county, Guizhou province, Gaoyao Terraces are praised as one of the ten most beautiful terraces in China. Together with the ancient Miao villages, unique ethnic costumes and culture, Gaoyao Terraces make a great place to visit. During the domestic torch relay in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in Guizhou, it took place in the rice fields, which make people remember this beautiful world. If you happen to visit the terraces in Spring, you may participate in the traditional Grand Ceremony of Spring Ploughing, in which you will see Miao people singing and dancing in the fields in hope of a good harvest.


Danzhai Yaobao Terraces


9.Gaokan Terraces in Yibin

Gaokan Terraces are located in the large-scale of hills in Junlian county of Yibin, Sichuan province. As it's close to Yunnan and features subtropical climate, the Gaokan Terraces are just as beautiful and magnificant as Yuanyang Terraces and Longji Terraces. In old times, ethnic group of Bo used to live here and created such a place to survive. They used to be the "Granary for Bo People" until in the Ming Dynasty when Han people inherited the land and continued to reclaim and lavor. Until now, the original scenes of these terraces remained unchanged. In every Spring, standing high on the mountain, you will see all the waving fields running through the valleys and mountains, creating an amazing scene.


Gaokan Terraces


10.Yunhe Terraces in Zhejiang

Yunhe terraces are located in the Chongtou village of Zhangjiang province. Reclaimed in the early Tang Dynasty, it has a history of more than 1,000 years. On the terraces there are many natural landscapes such as the sea of clouds, villages between mountains, streams, waterfalls, etc. Also, the landscapes are varied in different seasons. The sea of clouds is an attractive point of the Yunhe terraces.


Zhejiang Yunhe Terraces


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