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China

Guilin and Guangxi

Guided Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

14 days

Prices from

$2,205 P.P.
China

Guilin and Guangxi

Guided Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

14 days

Prices from

$2,205 P.P.
BOOK NOW
An amazing cycling adventure holiday to Guilin and Guangxi in the South West of China. This is the China one often imagines: hardy farmers tilling lush rice paddies with water buffaloes, bamboo lined emerald rivers snaking through farmland and pine forest, mist swept limestone peaks with ancient villages dotting the countryside below. 
It’s no wonder the region has been favored by poets and painters for centuries. Whilst the area is quietly gaining recognition abroad, it is still possible to lose yourself in a timeless rural lifestyle that remains unchanged over centuries as we cycle China's little trafficked back roads and trails. 
Our tour begins in the small township of Meixi, populated by the Dong Minority group, and follows a route through the Yuecheng Mountains, famous for the impressive Longji, Dragon’s Backbone rice terraces where we’ll meet the friendly Zhuang, Yao and Miao people who have carved out their living on the mountain sides over the centuries.
An undoubted highlight of this trip in Guangzi, China is cycling through the thousands of limestone karst peaks and ancient villages along the Li River. We'll also swap our pedals for paddles and hop aboard bamboo rafts for some of the most spectacular sections along the river, before cycling into Yangshuo where east meets west in rural China.
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Highlights

  • UNESCO heritage site of Bajiaozhai National Park
  • Soothing the muscles at Longsheng Hot Springs
  • Floating down the Li River on a bamboo raft
  • Riding the tea plantations of Dragon River Valley
  • Smiling faces of the Dong, Miao and Yao people
  • Amazing karst limestone scenery of Guilin

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This trip totally changed my preconceptions of China! I would love to repeat every day of the experience again, soaking in the incredible scenery, savouring the cycling opportunities in this diverse area.

Judy, USA

Itinerary

Day 1
Departure - Overnight flight to China

We leave for China from our chosen departure airports to Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL) situated in Gunagxi Province arriving the following day.

Day 2
Arrival in Guilin
  • Meals: Dinner

Welcome to China! Guilin, one of China’s prettier cities, makes for an interesting place to spend a day or two. With plenty of restaurants and eating options, shopping strips and cafes it’s a good chance to see how the local urbanites spend their evenings all against a backdrop of the area’s stunning karst mountains.

After transferring from the airport and following hotel check-in, there will be a group meeting, where you’ll meet your tour leader. During this we can go over all the formalities of the trip and answer any questions that you may have. After the group meeting, we’ll head out for our first deliciously tasty evening meal.

Day 3
Guilin to Bajiaozhai National Park
2 - 3 hour hike
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today we head out early after breakfast for a drive to the north of Guilin (3 1/2 hours) to the UNESCO Heritage Bajiaozhai National Park, famed for its unique red sandstone karst formations. Once here we’ll hike up to the Buddhist temples (1800 steps) on the highest peak for incredible views overlooking the neighbouring province, Hunan.

After a wander through these working temples and watching locals make offerings and wishes at these shrines it’s a walk down through bamboo groves to our homestay, with time to set up the bikes and a great little warm up ride if time permits. We’ll be staying with a local family in their small guesthouse and tonight’s dinner is local style banquet where we’ll make sure the local specialities and produce are featured.

Day 4
Bajiaozhai NP to Chetian
37 Miles / 60 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today’s ride is a varied one that takes us up into the mountains. For the first few kilometres we ride out of the park through tiny villages on quiet roads. The undulating terrain is set to a backdrop of forest and farmland, where you’ll see local people tending rice fields or livestock. We take a sharp ascent up onto a ridge line where things flatten out for a while with rural China scenes abound, before descending into a wider valley to our lunch stop in the village of Guali. The streets are teeming with local life and people will be curious to see foreigners here on bicycles, so a pre-lunch wander is highly recommended.

After lunch it is a steady climb to the tiny village of Baotian, where we’ll break at a local school. For those that wish to transfer up to the top of the hills our vehicles will be available. From the top we can see the provinces highest mountain peak: Mao Er Mountain.

The descent on the other side takes us through forests, narrow gullies and a ravine. We’ll pass numerous villages and wooden houses built on the mountainsides which are nestled amongst rice terraces, fruit orchards and wild forest. We then have a short ride out of Chetian town towards our accommodation for the evening; a quiet basic guesthouse in a secluded valley with spectacular rock formations and waterfalls ideal for hiking and swimming.

Riding – 37 miles / 60 kms on quiet sealed road. General upward trend over 30km with 3 main climbs. One of 5km and two of 8kms, interspersed with flat sections, to the top of a pass. Followed by 10km downhill with the remainder generally flat.

Day 5
Chetian to Longsheng Hot Springs
24 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today’s ride is a spectacular one as we have two passes and descents, and plenty of time to stop and visit the many ancient villages along the way. This area is inhabited by Dong, Miao and Yao people and the villages see virtually no tourists. One of the great experiences of the region is to simply stop and visit. Locals are sure to welcome you with a smile and are proud to see you look around their homes. It’s not uncommon to be invited in for a nice cup of tea! After the second climb it’s a long gentle downhill ride to the Longsheng Hot Springs. Well known in the local area, this is the perfect location to stop and soak your muscles after the days ride. Tonight we stay in a small family run guesthouse in a narrow gorge with an outdoor natural hot spring. There is a great hike along the gorge to a local Miao village for those with some energy left.

Riding – 24 miles / 40 kms. Sealed road with two small passes after which it is 15 miles / 25 kms of gentle downhill.

Day 6
Longsheng to Pingan
42 Miles / 67 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today we cycle through Longsheng, where we check out the market. This is where much of the region’s produce ends up before being traded to far off locations around China or to local kitchens. There is an vast array of goods for sale, exotic and sometimes strange, but always colourful and fascinating. We arrive in Pingan (a village in the rice terraces) in time to sit back and enjoy the sunset views from the terrace of our traditionally-built Zhuang guesthouse.

Riding – 42 miles / 67kms. Gentle undulations in the morning to lunch (22 miles / 35kms). Then 16 miles / 26 kms of generally flat with some small hills to the Longji Terraces and one steep 4 miles / 6km climb to end.

Day 7
Pingan - Free Day
Rest Day

Highly recommended today is taking a day hike to the nearby village of Dazhai which will take you via many villages only accessible by foot and through some of the most beautiful scenery in the area. Otherwise, Pingan village is an great place to relax or bargain for handicrafts. There’s also several nearby viewpoints to explore if you don’t want to venture far.

Day 8
Pingan to Shiertan
38 Miles / 61 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Lunch, dinner

Today starts with a fantastic switchback downhill down the mountainside with the rest of the day on quiet sealed roads undulating through pine and bamboo forests, often passing villages tucked away in the hills. The views are spectacular as we head up a steady climb that’s followed by the fastest twisting descent of the trip to lunch.

In the afternoon there is the choice to continue cycling through bamboo plantations and small rural villages or put your feet up and pick up some paddles for a sometimes thrilling, sometimes serene, optional rubber raft ride directly to our riverside hotel. We’ll settle in for the evening with a chance to explore the area on foot or try ping pong before a banquet of tasty local dishes.

Riding – 38 miles / 61 kms. Very quiet sealed roads on generally hilly terrain. One 7.5 mile / 12 km climb.

Day 9
Shiertan to Guilin
50 Miles / 80 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

A morning of completely flat cycling! We make our way through the village of Wantian and visit the market, before a meandering route through farmer’s fields on backroads and narrow paths. You’ll literally be able to touch the produce being grown as we cycle to Wuteng, a larger market town. At lunch we stop at a tea plantation to learn a little about Chinese tea culture during a traditional ceremony.

Back on the bikes again we’ve undulating cycling through rural countryside before taking a short off-road section to a small reservoir for refreshments. We continue our countryside ride until the stunning limestone peaks surrounding Guilin city come into view. Our final section sees us cycling with the locals to our centrally located hotel. The evening is free to explore the many markets or to take a stroll along the central pedestrianised area.

Riding – 50 miles / 80km. 60km flat sealed country lanes with small sections of dirt tracks that may need to be walked. 20km sealed undulating minor roads with short steep hills

Day 10
Guilin to Xingping
40 Miles / 65 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

From Guilin we head out of the city amidst the morning throng and cycle to the famous bamboo-lined Li River. During our ride through this flatter rural area we stop at several Ming-era villages that retain their centuries-old architecture.

Daxu is one of these and is a fine example of what old world China once was, with cobblestone lanes, a 400 year old stone arch bridge and people still living in wooden dwellings roofed in classic black tiles. We’ll have plenty of time for a wander down the old streets, view the riverside bustle and pop our heads into one of the old courtyard houses to see how the better off once lived. There’s plenty of antiques and curios on offer by the dozens of hawkers along the old main laneway. Along with the obligatory snake oil salesmen, you’ll find sellers offering Mao’s Little Red Book and other communist paraphernalia, as well as purveyors of the weird and wonderful herbs and remedies.

Near Caoping we stop for lunch before a climb up to take in what the Chinese often refer to as ‘the finest scenery under heaven’ – Karst Mountains overhanging the river. We take a hilly route following the Li, glimpsing these spectacular mountains above and below, before a long downhill and flat run into Xingping, an old port village, and our guesthouse with its rooftop views over the river.

Xingping is an interesting place to wander around and there are lots of little cafes and handicrafts to check out, adding to its charm. There are some spectacular lookouts and swimming spots too.

Riding – 40 miles / 65 kms. Generally flat sealed roads for 30km with some shorter dirt trails followed by three climbs / descents of up to 5km and 18km of generally flat to finish.

Day 11
Xingping via Dragon River Valley to Chaolong
28 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today is a real highlight. Riding slightly back upstream to catch our bamboo boats on the Li River, we sit back for the ride with immense karst mountains and cliffs reflected in emerald water. Fishermen and water buffaloes drift by in a Dr Suess landscape before we hit the road again on some dirt tracks. Next is a steep climb out of the Li River valley and a well-earned rest. Then we’ll head up to a lookout to appreciate this spectacular scenery and some of the best views of the entire trip.

After lunch at the 400 year old Dragon Bridge, we cycle through small villages, pomelo groves, tea plantations and rice terraces. The final section of the day’s ride is through the stunning Dragon River Valley where we take dirt trails through rice fields surrounded with mountains before settling in a local farmer’s village at one of the most charming hotels of the tour. Weather permitting; we’ll eat under the stars.

Riding – 28 miles / 45 kms. 19 miles on sealed roads with several climbs and descents, 9 miles on dirt tracks and trails.

Day 12
Chaolong via Moon Hill and the Li River to Yangshuo
28 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

The last day’s ride takes us past the famous Moon Hill, where we stop for a hike to take in the stunning scenery, before cycling through rural countryside along the Li River until we emerge in legendary Yangshuo. This once sleepy backpacker destination is now a thriving little tourist town which is a fun place to relax and indulge a little! We stay in a centrally located hotel with easy access to the town.

Riding – 28 miles / 45 kms. Hilly terrain to lunch with some steep sections. Otherwise it is a relatively easy ride in the afternoon through rice fields and farmland on flat trails. The morning is spent on sealed roads. The off road riding around Yangshuo is often the highlight for many Skedaddle cyclists.

Day 13
Yangshuo
Rest Day
  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Today is a free day, set aside for you to relax or take up one of the various optional activities available. There are plenty of active options in Yangshuo such as rock climbing, cooking classes, kayaking, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, calligraphy and painting classes as well as shopping or relaxing in one of the many cafes in town.

We’ll meet in the evening for another lavish banquet dinner and a beer (or three!) to celebrate the end of our biking adventure in this incredible part of China.

Day 14
Departure
Departure
  • Meals: Breakfast

Sadly the time has come to bid farewell to China as we transfer back to Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL) for your flights back home.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The cycling terrain on this tour is roughly 90% on sealed roads, 10% on dirt roads and a small amount of off-road on small tracks and trails. This trip varies between hilly to flat terrain with 6 notable climbs, the longest of which is 8 miles / 13 kms. The cycling altitude varies between 130m and 1100m.

Traffic is mostly very light but there are some short busier sections. The cycling is very relaxed but you need to be alert for surprises such as vehicles, potholes, animals, people; everything really!

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Cycling Adventures Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 : Moderate

Distances generally between 20-45 miles / 32-72 kms per day

For the leisure cyclist with a good level of physical fitness

May include some steeper, cheeky climbs

Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc)

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Although you may not cycle everyday, you do keep yourself relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on your bike at the weekend. Your preference is perhaps for flatter terrain but you don’t mind tackling some hills, and the occasional steep climb if you can take it at your own pace. For those happy to tackle some ups and downs, and possibly some sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc) we’d recommend our grade 3 trips. We’d generally expect those on a Grade 3 holiday to have a decent level of physical fitness and be comfortable with some longer days in the saddle.

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The alchemy of superb food, organisation, planning and most importantly, our enthusiastic, supportive and warm hearted team, (for whom nothing was too much trouble) made this wonderful trip both a privilege and a delight.

Jenny, UK

Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
17/04/2021
Return Date
30/04/2021
Duration
14 days
Price
$2,205.00
Start Date
04/09/2021
Return Date
17/09/2021
Duration
14 days
Price
$2,205.00
Start Date
09/10/2021
Return Date
22/10/2021
Duration
14 days
Price
$2,205.00
Start Date
23/10/2021
Return Date
05/11/2021
Duration
14 days
Price
$2,205.00
Start Date
16/04/2022
Return Date
29/04/2022
Duration
14 days
Price
$2,205.00
Start Date
10/09/2022
Return Date
23/09/2022
Duration
14 days
Price
$2,205.00
Start Date
08/10/2022
Return Date
21/10/2022
Duration
14 days
Price
$2,205.00
Start Date
22/10/2022
Return Date
04/11/2022
Duration
14 days
Price
$2,205.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin rooms).

B) Meals as per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner).

C) Filtered water and snacks whilst cycling

D) Full tour service including bilingual Chinese guide(s), support vehicles etc.

E) Unless stated otherwise, at least one leader qualified in First Aid.

F) Airport collections / drop-offs – Guilin Airport (KWL) as detailed in the itinerary.

G) Boat transport / boat journey on the Li River

H) Entry tickets to the Longji Rice Terraces and Bajiaozhai National Park

What's not Included Cross

A) Personal clothing and equipment.

B) Travel insurance

C) Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.

D) Bike hire (available if required).

E) Flights & charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable).

F) Single room option (available if required)

G) Optional activities in Yangshuo – Day 13

H) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Our tour starts in Guilin (KWL) in Guangxi Province, following arrival at its Liangjiang Airport. Although there are very limited direct flights to Guilin, it is well linked with North America.

Popular options include flying via Beijing (PEK)and via Shanghai (PVG). Travelling via Hong Kong (HKG) is also common, with both flight and high-speed train connections on to Guilin.

Please contact us for the latest options available to this destination.

Accommodation

Part of the joy of travelling by bike through some of the smaller, rural areas, means of course that we are limited in our choice of accommodation – sometimes we are staying in the only guesthouse.

Whilst not having all the facilities that you may be accustomed to at home, we can safely say that these small, family-run places make up for that in location, views, atmosphere and friendly service. Hygiene is very important to us and our passengers so we try to use accommodation with a good level of cleanliness. With this in mind, we use a variety of accommodation styles on this trip. 

Eight nights are in good standard hotels with twin share, private bathrooms, hot water, television, air-conditioning etc; three nights are in more of a basic traditional style accommodation but still with all the usual facilities available and have en suite rooms and Western style toilets.

On Day 3 in Bajiaozhai rooms are en suite but are toilets Asian squat style and the room sizes and layouts vary from room to room as it a homestay guesthouse.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available for hire. For this trip they are intermediate-level Giant XTC aluminium mountain bikes (as above) with 27.5 wheels and specifications usually as follows: Hardtail (front suspension) with Air Forks, wide-range gears and hydraulic disc brakes.

We have a limited number of electric bikes available to hire on request. Please let us know as soon as possible if you’d like to take this option.

If you decide to hire we will provide all the necessary spares. We can supply a helmet on request. You may prefer to bring along your own saddle and pedals.

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News, Reviews & Stories

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