"Get off the beaten track on a rural southern China back-road eco-cycle adventure through stunning limestone karst mountains, endlessly cascading rice terraces and meet the wonderful smiling local minority people of Guangxi Province."
Day 1: Arrive Guilin - Transfer to Pingan in Longji Rice TerracesDinner
Whether you’re coming into Guilin by train or plane your guide will be waiting for you – just keep an eye out for a sign with your name on it! The drive to our start point in the village of Pingan, nestled in the heart of the Longji Rice Terraces, will take around two hours: plenty of time to go over the week’s itinerary and answer any questions you may have.
Upon arrival in Pingan, you will need to load up your pannier bags with your gear needed for the week's ride. Any excess or unneeded luggage you can leave in the van and we’ll have it delivered for your arrival in Yangshuo. This is an unsupported ride - so you will need to ride with your gear from guesthouse to guesthouse. If you'd like a support vehicle to follow you, this can be arranged at an extra cost.
After all the gear is sorted, it's a 15 minute walk up to the guesthouse - we'll have porters on hand to help you with your gear if needed. Accommodation for the next two nights is in a local guesthouse with all amenities and some of the best food in the region. After check-in, you can head up to one of the viewpoints for sunset over the intricate network of rice terraces. We'll meet for a banquet dinner and celebrate the start of the adventure with some local specialities and perhaps some locally made rice wine!
Day 2: Hike in Longji Rice TerracesLunch 15 km
Today you have time to take in the extraordinary mountain views from the terrace of our Zhuang minority traditionally-built guesthouse. During the day you can do a fully guided hike around the hillside, take a shorter walk to one of the view points over the rice terraces, or simply sit back with a beer and enjoy the view and the atmosphere on the terrace of this very unique guesthouse. Those exploring the walking trails will soon discover that this area is also inhabited by people of the Yao and Miao minorities. Their dress is quite distinctive and Yao women often grow their hair so long it can touch the ground when untied! They’ll be more than happy to demonstrate the way they tie their hair for you!
Highly recommended is the day’s hike to Naiwan - this is a strenuous hike and not suitable in the wet - or to the village of Longji. These hikes will take you through rural villages, through the area’s rice terraces and give you an opportunity to see how these hardy mountain people eke out their lives in such dramatic landscapes. An easy, but spectacular walk is to the viewpoints above the village and through the village itself which can be easily done self guided. Your guide will advise on what is the best hike for you.
Day 3: Cycle to Shiertan - optional river raftingLunch & Dinner 61 km
Our first day on the bikes starts with a thrilling downhill for 6km through dozens of switchbacks, down the mountainside. We follow a smooth twisting gentle downward ride for 11km along a small river, passing several minority villages. After a short break we spend the rest of the morning on quiet sealed roads climbing gently up over 12km through pine and bamboo forests, tea plantations and small settlements, often catching views of villages perched improbably the hills across the deep valley. What follows is a long sweeping downhill through pristine countryside to our lunch spot. Being close to Guilin, delicious Guilin-style rice noodles are available everywhere and these hearty meals are perfect for biking. In the afternoon, it's an undulating 25km ride, with no significant climbs, passing by bamboo factories and small farming communities. We pass through Wantian village before making our way to our comfortable riverside hotel. We'll eat dinner in a picturesque setting in an open outdoor restaurant by the river.
It is possible to shorten the days ride to 31km today by opting to take a river raft ride after lunch which will finish directly at the hotel. This is a good option on a hot day to cool off and see some river life, or if you want to shorten the ride and take it easy. It's an exciting ride and you will get wet! Your guide will organize the rafting for you. Highly reccomended!!!
Day 4: Cycle to GuilinBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 83 km
An early start and it’s back on the bikes with a smooth downhill before heading in to Wantian village for breakfast of local wanton soup and steamed bread, baozi. We'll have time to check out locals going about their daily life, buying in selling in the buzzing colourful local market. One of the highlight rides of the tour takes us through farming communities on small, serene backroads and trails through vegetable and fruit orchards as we explore village farm life. Around 30km we'll stop at a tea plantation for lunch where you see how tea is grown and produced with time to settle in to learn about tea culture over a traditional tea ceremony. After lunch we have a long but superb ride over 50km undulating through tiny villages, some off-road sections through forest, and passing by resorvoirs before the karst peaks of Guilin’s skyline appear in front of us and we roll into town to our hotel next to the Li River. Guilin, one of China’s prettier cities, makes for an interesting place to spend an evening. 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.
Day 5: Cycle to XingpingBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 65 km
From Guilin we head out of the city for a fun chaotic ride among the locals heading off to work until we reach the bamboo-lined Li River. We'll visit several river towns along the way today, including Daxu, which is a picturesque cobblestone street village that offers a glimpse into old town China. A series of bike paths takes us through bamboo forest and along the waters edge to lunch. We'll eat food prepared right from the field - delicious local vegetables and an array of typical farmer food. After lunch we have some climbing to do! The rewards are spectacular as we take mountain roads high over the Li River and surrounding karsts for expansive views. After our intial climb the cycling gets much easier as we fly down newly built roads and along a wide valley of rice fields before emerging in Xingping town. Xingping is an old Ming Dynasty era village and boasts some fine streets worth exploring to see architecture that is rapidly disappearing in China. We stay tonight in a secluded hotel and eat tonight in the old town.
Day 6: Cycle to YangshuoBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 50 km
Our final day of cycling is a highlight! This section is famous for its beautiful karst mountains and is a fantastic start to the day as we follow the Li River upstream for around 2km to the view made famous for being on the Chinese 20 yuan note. From here we load up the bikes on bamboo rafts for a ride up the river taking in sublime views of endless massive karst mountains hanging over the river. Back on the bikes and we take a back road route to our first climb of the day. Heading into the hills for some of the finest views of the tour, we stop for a break at Xianggongshan Mt for a short steep climb up to the lookout. Here you get to appreciate the enormity of the landscape as a forest of karst mountains disappear in the distance and views of the Li River far below. We ride along the ridgeline passing through citrus orchard countryside before heading away from the Li River to Baisha and onto the Dargon River. Situated among paddy fields, overlooked by the centuries old Yu Long (Dragon Meeting) Bridge, we will stop for lunch in a local farmer’s restaurant by the river and with the option for a refreshing swim. From here we cycle small countryside trails and paths along the river to emerge in bustling Yangshuo, popular with travellers from all over the world, where you have tonight to celebrate the end of the cycling adventure!
Day 7: Departure day259 km
Today is departure day and you are free to leave at anytime. We’ll organise a transfer to connect with your onward travel. Keep in mind that there are plenty of things to do in Yangshuo so you may wish to extend your stay. Options include rock climbing, kayaking, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Chinese cooking classes or secluded retreats in the countryside to relax. Feel free to chat to us about the possibilities of traveling further.
One of our most popular China cycling tours features one day of hiking through the beautiful rice terraces of Longji and four days of off-the-beaten-track cycling to Yangshuo. You'll be accompanied by one of our local cycling guides who will show you through the regions fascinating scenery as well as introducing to you the local minority people living in the area such as the Yao, Miao and Zhuang. You’ll find yourself cycling on quiet country roads, hiking through rural mountain villages, exploring ancient river towns, boating along the famous Li River, walking through markets and feasting on local delicacies. The cycling is outstanding, with a mix of challenging hills, long flats as well as some off-road to really get you into the countryside. It's an unsupported ride (no support vehicle) and we give you pannier bags to carry the gear you need on the ride so you are all set for an adventure into rural China. With Yangshuo and it's unique karst mountains as your destination, there is plenty on offer if you want to explore the region further or unwind in idylic surrounds.
Choose your own dates
This is a private tour and you can book any dates that suit you within the availability period. If you'd like to travel with others, just let us know and we'll open up the departure on our website to allow others to join. You can check in the "dates" section above for departures that others may have already scheduled which you are also welcome to join.
Getting There & Away
This trip starts in Guilin and finishes in Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China. Guilin and Yangshuo are serviced through the airport in Guilin (Airport Code KWL). It is an international airport with connections across Asia as well as most cities in China. Yangshuo is 85 kilometres (one hour) from Guilin International Airport by car. Below are some of the main options for flights.
- Hong Kong (HKG) – China Southern Airlines, Dragon Air
- Bangkok (BKK) – Bangkok Airways
- Beijing (PEK) – Air China, China Southern, China Eastern
- Shanghai (SHA & PVG) – Air China, China Southern, China Eastern
- Guangzhou (CAN) - Air China, China Southern, China Eastern
- Kuala Lumpur (LCCT) – Air Asia
- Macao (MCM) ) - Air Macao
- Seoul (ICN) - Asiana Airline
- Singapore (SIN) - Jet Star
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.
Trains and buses to Guilin are available from almost anywhere in China. New high speed trains are a great option too with many connections throughout China to both Guilin and Yangshuo station. Let us know if you need advice if travelling this way.
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.
Arriving early or want to stay on after the tour ends? No problem! Just let us know if you'd like to book extra accommodation in the tour hotel at either the start or finish of the tour and we will arrange it for you. Just include your request on the booking form.
How difficult is the tour?
For this tour you need to be of a reasonable level of fitness. There are hills on 3 of the 4 days of cycling and you will be carrying gear with you in provided pannier bags. The longest day is 84km (with no big climbs) so if this seems within your fitness you will be able to complete this tour.
Is there a support vehicle?
No. For this trip we go completely pedal powered and supply you with pannier bags for the tour. You don't need to bring all your luggage in the panniers as you will have an opportunity at the start of the trip to separate your gear and anything uneeded for the tour will be sent ahead to meet you at the end.
If you feel you need a support vehicle you can check out one of our other tours in the region where a support vehicle is provided as part of the tour.
Or you can elect to hire one from us so that you can carry all luggage and yourself (if needed). This is a popular option for families or groups that may not feel comfortable cycling the whole distance every day, want to have access to all their gear or simply want the security of a nearby vehicle.
What happens to our luggage?
At the start of the tour you will be picked up at your nominated arrival point (airport, hotel or train station) and transfered to Pingan. At this point your luggage will be separated into our provided pannier bags and any remaining gear, suitcases etc, will be transfered to Yangshuo to meet you at the end of the tour. It's best to cycle with as little as you can manage - you will be carrying your gear on the bikes after all - but there is plenty of room in the panniers for anything you may need to bring with you.
Is the tour a private tour?
This tour is available to be booked at anytime between March and December on dates that you choose (subject to availability). It is a private tour and is priced based on the number travelling in your group.
You do have the option to open the departure for others to join. Just let us know when you book and we'll advertise your dates on our website to open the dates for others to join. This is a good option for those that want to meet others on the tour and it can mean a cheaper per person rate too! Please keep in mind that we can't guarantee that anyone will join your dates, we'll do our best to encourage others of course, but you should be prepared to do the trip as a private tour to avoid any dissappointment.
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.
- 7 days (Mar - Dec)
- Cycling Tour
- 259 km
- 2 - 12 People
2 people - 995 USD 3 people - 810 USD 4 people - 810 USD 5 or more - 795 USD
- 225 USD (single supplement)
- Cycle stunning, quiet, rural southern China back-roads and trails
- Hike the extraordinary Longji - Dragon’s Backbone - Rice Terraces
- Meet local Yao, Miao and Zhuang ethnic minorities
- Raft down the famous Li River
- See Yangshuo’s sublime karst mountain scenery
- Visit and stay in centuries old Ming and Qing dynasty era villages
- Sample sumptuous local food
- Learn about local history and culture
- Experience rural Chinese farm life
- 6 nights accommodation on a twin share basis in local hotels and guesthouses with all amenities
- 3 breakfast, 5 lunch, 5 dinner
- Airport or train station return transfers
- Luggage transfer to Yangshuo
- Entry tickets to Longji Rice Terraces & Xianggongshan Mountain
- Boat ride on the Li River
- Local cycling/hiking guide
- Excellent quality mountain bike with racks, panniers and helmet
What's Not Included?
- Support vehicle during cycling
- Tps and gratuities
- Laundry and personal expenses