My partner and I visited this Inn recently. We were extremely grateful for Hannah's excellent communication beforehand, helping us to organise a car from Guilin airport to Dazhai and offering her advice as she wasn't able to be at the Inn when we were there.
After being dropped off at Dazhai, it is very easy to ask one of the local women to help with carrying bags up to the village of Tiantouzhai - we were told that 30-40rmb per bag was about standard, so we agreed on 40rmb, as we had quite large, heavy bags but after walking with two of the women for about 45 minutes uphill and watching them struggle and sweat, we ended up paying both of them 50rmb each and still didn't feel like this was anywhere near enough for their hard work!
We struggled to communicate with Hannah's cousin, as our level of Mandarin was nowhere near sufficient enough and he spoke very basic English. We asked how to get to the different viewpoints and were literally just told to turn left! Luckily, if you step out of the Inn, go left and up the hill, you will eventually come to signposts (thank goodness or we would have been stuck!) I can't believe that it is possible for anyone to get lost finding their way - there are frequent signs along the path and if the road splits and you're not completely sure, just follow the most obvious route and if you don't see a sign within a few minutes, turn back and try the other route!
Viewpoints 1 and 2 were walkable within about 40 minutes and 30 minutes respectively (although we did stop A LOT to take photos so you could definitely do it in a much shorter amount of time if you wanted to power ahead but I don't recommend that as you need to stop and take stock of the beauty around you!)
Viewpoint 3 is apparently meant to be around an hour and a half's walk away, but we didn't go there as we were only staying overnight. It is also the point at which the new, hideous eyesore that is the cable car station is located - I understand that they are trying to make things easier for tourism but it was such a pity to see something so unnatural in what is otherwise a remote, countryside location!
As other people have said, you won't sleep well here due to the noise (hence why we only chose to stay one night!) - you can hear the TV from the room next door as though you are watching it with them, you can hear people talking outside until late into the night, there is no way to walk down the hallway or open/close a door without waking someone and the floorboards are extremely creaky. I must admit that whilst we didn't think there would be air con, we hoped that there would be a fan due to the 35 degree heat in the Summer but unfortunately there isn't. You have no choice but to sleep with the window open and whilst it does get SLIGHTLY cooler in the evening, personally I didn't feel like it was cool enough to have a comfortable sleep and we must have had quite a few showers during the day as there was no other way to cool down after walking.
Unfortunately, we didn't enjoy the food - everything comes soaked in oil and makes you feel quite ill when you look at your plate afterwards! But I do appreciate that they are trying to do their best.
Overall, despite our little niggles, you have to remember that you are paying a very cheap price and therefore have to alter your expectations accordingly. The view is of course the most incredible part and it is the breath-taking scenery that will linger in my memory forever.
I would definitely recommend staying in Tiantouzhai instead of Dazhai, as then you get to enjoy the views from the top of the rice paddies looking down, instead of being at the low level and looking up. Whilst we didn't have chance to go to Ping'An village, I read up a LOT before we came and many reviews say that Ping'An is so touristy and that the rice terraces aren't actually quite as beautiful as the ones around Tiantouzhai and I can absolutely agree with the fact that we didn't feel as though we were in a crazy touristy location - there were times when hiking that we felt like the only people around and you certainly do get peaceful opportunities to take in the surroundings.
You won't regret a visit to this beautiful place!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tian ranju inn (hotel) is located in the hilltop village of TianTou Zhai (Tian tou village)，perched above Dazhai Village (where the Chinese Minorities – Yao’s place of residence )in the most scenic region of Longji. When you arrive Tian tou village ,you can begin to have a panoramic view of the terraces,you can see very beautiful wide view of Rice Terraces from here as well as the Yao people still keep very primitive life style and unique customs.We are stay in the middle of three view point ,is the most covenient place in Dazhai you can access to three view point.Tian ran ju Inn have 16 rooms ,include 4 double room facing rice terraces field;2 big bed room facing rice terraces field;2 triple room facing rice terraces field;8 double room unfacing rice terrraces field.All our room have the independent path room 、24 hours hot shower 、free WI-FI 、TV.So far,Tian ran ju Inn have 2 years old,we supply enlish speaking servic、free WI-FI、 chinese and simple western food、coffee and tea、book exchange and so on.Both Jimmy Qin and Hannah Wuu like to make friends with you,you can stay here just like home.wellcome to Tian ranju Inn and hope everyone has a good trip in china.NOTE:Room facing terraces field is the western toliet;Room unfacing rice terraces field is the chinese toliets;Please prepare your Wash one-time items by youself; ... more less
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