I stayed here two nights on the 21st and 22nd of June 2013. As others have mentioned the hike up there is fairly steep, but it only takes about 30 minutes and it'll prepare you for the hiking you'll have to do to get around the area :) You could also tell yourself that if you'd stayed in Dazhai you'd have to do this every day! Although Dazhai is nice I'd recommend staying in Tiantouzhai for the views and ease of access to hiking paths.
Coming from Yangshuo and Guilin the lower temperature and humidity here at an altitude of about 900m was quite a relief. There were also far less mosquitos, maybe because of all the frogs in the rice paddies? :) Those frogs make quite a racket at night, so in addition to any noisy neighbours you'll have them to worry about when going to sleep. I recommend bringing some earplugs!
The hotel was quite nice though, views are amazing, food is good (especially the bamboo rice), and staff was friendly and helpful. We missed out on Hannah and Jimmy due to her pregnancy, but they were quite helpful by email and Jimmy's cousin was there to meet us when we arrived.
In addition to the nr 1-3 hiking trips I highly recommend hiking to Ping'an, or if you feel it's too long at least 1 hour of the way there, to a small cabin with a "waterfall" next to it. The scenery is just as nice and you'll see less tourists, and this is the best part of that hike. We went all the way to Ping'an then took a minivan back, it cost us 80 yuan but there's also a bus that's slightly cheaper.
I think this region is about to get a lot more tourists: between the new cable car from the parking lot (which takes you to the top of the nr. 3 path, not Tiantouzhai itself) and roads being upgraded and built, it's all set for mass tourism. Some of the new hotels also already use awful neon lighting that ruins the views at night, so get in before it gets even more touristy!
- 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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