"A connoisseur's weekender exploring Fujian's extraordinary tea and tulou culture at a leisurely pace on two wheels. Stay in UNESCO world heritage tulou roundhouses and explore the local life of the Hakka people and the surrounding countryside that produces tea that is famed throughout China."
Day 1: Friday - Arrival in Xiamen and Tulou Stay
Meet at Xiamen Airport at 7.30 pm and transfer 3 hours to our guesthouse in the Tulou.
Day 2: Saturday - Cycling and Tea CultureBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 40 km
Full day cycle from the Yongding Tulou to our Tulou homestay in the Nanjing tea fields.
Day 3: Sunday - Cycling and DepartureBreakfast & Lunch 35 km
Three quarter day cycle (till 3.30pm), tea culture activities – mostly drinking it with friendly locals but also exploring random home tea factories before transferring to Xiamen Airport for 6 pm airport check in’s.
Mistaken in 1980’s satellite photos for missile silos, Fujian’s Tulou Roudhouses turned out to be far more interesting: multi-storied, fengshui-alligned, rammed earth fortresses built from the 13th Century onward to protect the “newly” arrived Hakka Clan’s and their rich culture. 46 Tulou scattered across Southern Fujian are now UNESCO listed World Cultural Heritage gems, best appreciated on a bike, with plenty of tea.
There are hills, hedged with seasonal crops, most famously Fujian's Iron Goddess tea bushes, that provide us our happy excuse to stop and taste both the landscape and Tulou-hospitality, in a teacup! Brewed with ceremony (kung-fu styled), Oolong teas are the Red Bull of this eco-ride – served up with Fujian folklore, tea-processing know-how and the basics of tea-palate education. You will support heritage conservation by staying in two lesser known Tulou. Tea lovers and non-hardcore cyclists are encouraged to join. There are some challenging hills but the cycling is not rushed. In total you will cycle approximately 75 km kilometers of both beautifully paved country back roads, and tiny village pathways (some less than beautifully paved, but providing intimate access to the tulou villages and fields). Don't miss this chance to see one of China's rarely visited hidden gems.
Getting There & Away
From Hong Kong: Flights are roughly 1 hour from Hong Kong to Xiamen. Flight KA 604 departing at 5.45 pm is perfect for those joining from Hong Kong on Friday afternoon. For the eco-minded with a little more time, the bullet train takes just 3.5 hours from Shenzhen North Station.
From Shanghai: The new bullet speed D-Trains take about 8 hours from Shanghai to Xiamen. There are seven direct flights on a Friday – China Eastern MU 5563 the most convenient for the 7.30 pm meet up.
From Beijing: There are more than 17 flights a day. The 24 hour train ride is truly for afficiandos.
Other: Xiamen is serviced by an international airport, Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN), and has several international flights arriving daily from destinations across Asia and beyond. To check flight details, time and cost we can recommend the following website: Ctrip - http://english.ctrip.com/. It is in English, reliable, and you can pay for these flights by credit card. If more convenient you can also book domestic China flights through us at competitive rates (a small service charge applies per ticket). Just let us know when you book.
Return options: The Tea and Tulou trip finishes at Xiamen Airport at 6pm Sunday night to connect with flights back to all major cities (Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai) and beyond. Please check ticket availability for your return before you book. Drop offs for the the bullet train back to Shenzhen can be made at at 5.15 pm.
Airport/ train station pick ups and drop offs are included in the tour price. Please make sure you give us details of your arrival and departure, including flight details, date and time, so we can arrange your transfers.
Tour Info Pack
Once we have recieved your booking and deposit we'll send you a Tour INFO PACK that will include tour notes, training tips, preparation info and joining point instructions. If you have any questions about the tour at all please don't hesitate to contact us
How difficult is the tour?
Not difficult at all! There are a few hills to negotiate but we take our time and use the bikes as our way to leisurley explore the region. This is not a tour for hard-core cyclists as the emphasis is on experiencing local landscapes and local life at a gentle pace with plenty of spontaneous stops along the way to visit homes, tea plantations and, of course, the Tulou.
Can we change the itinerary or customise the tour?
Not for publicly listed dates, but if you have your own group or date in mind, Yes. If you want to make a private booking we can help design a tour that suits you. You may have ideas based on any of our tours or something in mind that you can't find on our website. Just get in contact with us and let us know what you have in mind and we'll try our best to make it happen!
Do you cater for vegetarians?
Yes we do! If you have any dietery requirements just let us know when you book in the space provided (Additional Requests). For any severe alergies or other conditions it is best that you let us know in advance so that we can prepare and/ or advise you on what we can provide or what you might need to bring so that are well catered for.
Is the tour suitable for children?
Our policy for children is that children must be over 16 years of age and accompanied by at least one legal guardian. They should be able to complete the tour as would any other participant. We would require that you consult with us about the suitability of older childeren participating on the tour before you book. As these are group tours, we'd need to make sure that your child or children will not impact the enjoyment of the tour of other participants. We would assess this with you on a case by case basis.
We do run family specific tours so these are good options when travelling with kids, or you may choose to opt for a private tour based on any of the tours on our website. Just chat to us about the possibilities about what will work best for your family.
What about Covid 19?
2020 has seen travel grind to a halt and the outlook going into 2021 looks to be more of the same. While we have suspended travel to most of our destinations we are operating tours in China for domestic travellers. We'll open up destinations as the stuation improves and only when travel is green lighted by the relevant health and government agencies.
Travelling during this time means adhering to mandated guidlines and practices which means having green codes enabled on your mobile phone apps, taking Covid tests, wearing masks where neccesary, and filling in contact and travel history forms. These rules and guidelines are constantly changing as situations regarding the virus change, so it is important to remain flexible. We'll inform you of the requirements when you book and leading into the tour departure date.
Given the situation as it is, please understand that cancellations are quite possible and are outside of our control. While we understand the frustrations this may present, we'll do our best to make things run as smooth as possible and keep you informed of any changes as they arise.
During this time we will only accept full payments for tours three weeks before departure. All payments, however, will be refunded in full if the tour is cancelled prior to departure, or your personal covid-related situation precludes you from commencing the tour. Please make sure when booking flights that they are aslo refundable in the event of a cancelation.
How to I make a booking and payment?
Simply go to the "Dates" section of the tour page and click on the "book now" button, or click on "book" on the website header and select your preferred tour and departure date. If you are booking onto an on demand tour and have your own dates in mind there will be an facility for you book here too.
Before you book, we recommend that you read through the tour details and our booking terms and conditions. You can contact us about the trip if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or set up a time to chat about the tour.
Upon completion of your booking form we’ll send you an acknowledgement email and invoice for a deposit. All long trips (7 days or more) require a deposit of 300USD to guarantee your place. Trips departing within 60 days at booking will require full payment. Once your deposit is received, we’ll also send you a pre-trip information pack that will give you added information about the tour, the region you’ll be travelling through, a checklist of things to prepare, suggestions for packing, training tips and more. For shorter trips and day tours we require full payment 30 days prior to the commencement of the tour or as soon as convenient if booking within 30 days of departure.
Payments can be made on credit card via Paypal or through a direct bank transfer in most currencies. Information on payments will be present on your initial deposit invoice. Paypal payments will incur a 4% fee.
*****COVID 19 Booking Terms Update*****
During this unique time we will only be accepting full payments for tours three weeks before departure. All payments, however, will be refunded in full if the tour is cancelled prior to departure, or your personal covid-related situation precludes you from commencing the tour. Please make sure when booking flights that they are aslo refundable in the event of a cancelation.
- 3 days
- Cycling Tour
- 75 km
- 6 - 16 People
- 520 USD
- 60 USD (single supplement)