Some archaeologists date China's rice paddy fields back to 4000-3000 BC, making them some of the most ancient sites in Asia.

They may look like artworks, but paddy fields are actually flooded plains of rice, and the home of the most important crop cultivated in countries such as China, Japan and Vietnam.

The majestic patterns take on a different form at each site, from mountains to wide flat plains, and in some cases the fields are also illuminated with LED lights.

These pictures highlight some of the most stunning – and fully functional – rice paddies you can find in Asia. Fancy seeing them in person? Try Rickshaw Travel's Indonesia homestay itinerary, which has you staying in a local home surrounded by rice paddies in Bali. Camera at the ready…