"Two weeks of fully-supported cycling through the best of Southern China's epic scenery and fascinating minority cultures. Get off the beaten track and deep into the local heartland of the Dong and Miao minority hill-people."
Day 1: Arrive Guiyang, Guizhou ProvinceDinner
Today is arrival day and you'll be met at the airport and transferred to our start point hotel (just keep an eye out for a Bike Asia sign with your name on it). Your leader will hold a group meeting at 6PM in the evening to go over the tour and any questions you may have. After the meeting we'll head out for a feast of local Miao minority specialties.
Guiyang is the capital of Guizhou Province and is an interesting place to spend a day if arriving early. Recommended are walks to the close by Nanming riverside to see the 400-year-old Jiaxiu Tower and surrounding local teahouses. Wenchang Pavillion is nearby and is the remains of the battlements that once protected the city. Slightly further afield will bring you to the Guizhou Provincial Museum in the north west of the city with an interesting array of artefacts and close by you'll find the entrance to Qianglingshan Park. Here you can surround yourself with forested parkland, inhabited by Macaques, and take a hike (or cable car) up to the top to visit Hong Fu Buddhist Temple. They do a great vegetarian lunch and you can mingle with the monks!
Day 2: High Speed train to Rongjiang/ Cycle to ZhengchongBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 41 km
After an early breakfast we head to the train station to board one of China’s newest bullet trains for a high speed ride to the rural centre of Rongjiang. The constrast couldn't be more stark as urban China melts rapidly away and our journey into rural China begins. We’ll meet our local crew, set up the bikes and start our ride with a nice easy flat 10km into the outskirts of Rongjiang. From here we have some steady climbing that takes us into hill country, forests, rice terraces and spectacular views across the mountains and the Duliu River Valley below.
We'll stop for a picnic lunch, taking in views of clusters of black-tiled wooden houses, belonging to Miao and Dong minority groups, perched precariously on narrow ridgelines. After lunch we ascend further into the hill country before a speedy descent into a lush, narrow valley with networks of farmers pathways through endless fields of rice. You'll spot the first of many Drum Towers in the many villages we pass through on the ride today. These tiered octagonal structures are gathering points for the local villagers and traditionally served as fire warnings (they would beat the drum at the top of the tower in case of fire or other emergency). They are also recreation centres for the oldies in the village, the location for village celebrations and feasts and the also local message board. They are a huge source of pride for each village and many are several hundred years old. We'll stop by and let the locals show us around.
The afternoons ride takes us through the rice fields on concrete pathways and over Wind and Rain Bridges, another uniquely Dong structure, that doubles as cool shelter from rain and sun, and through small villages where you'll see local women weaving and dying the traditional indigo fabric they wear. We'll arrive at Zhengchong, home to China's oldest drum tower built in 1672, and settle into our homestay for the evening. We'll eat delicious local style food staright from the fields, cooked up by our host. The accommodation is basic tonight as the village sees very few tourists and is an exceptional opportunity to take in the local life of a traditional village untouched, as yet, by tourism.
Day 3: Cycle to Guiping/ Transfer to ZhaoxingBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 45 km
In the morning you may wish to get up early for a stroll in the morning light through the village before breakfast. We'll head off on the bikes for a ride back down the valley through several small dong villages. We have one reasonably challenging hill today before a long winding downhill to lunch and a hearty bowl of hot noodles. Everyday we'll also stop for morning and afternoon tea and coffee breaks, to refuel on local fruit and snacks at opportune points during each day's ride.
After lunch we'll cycle undulating terrain to our transfer to the village of Zhaoxing, a conglomeration of several Dong villages nestled in a narrow valley. Famed for it’s five drum towers, “wind and rain bridges” and theatres, the village is a quaint network of cobble lanes and canals set among rice fields. These are often huge structures are traditionally built entirely of wood without using a single nail. We’ll be climbing in and out of valleys today with locals working fields and waving curiously as we cycle by. You may hear the bamboo pipes that are unique to Dong people and once we arrive in Zhaoxing you’ll see people working blue natural dyed fabrics that are used in their traditional clothing. Originally having no written language, history and legends were recorded in song, and the Dong are famous for their chorus singing and their unique wooden pipes. In the evening we'll eat outside amongst the cobblestone streets and drum towers. Our stay this evening is in a very comfortable boutique hotel in the middle of the village.
Day 4: Cycle to GaodingBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 61 km
In the morning we’ll arise early to take in the delightful scenery of the village and it’s people preparing for a day in the fields. Once on the bikes, we head over the first (7km) pass and then down a paved road that winds through picturesque rice terraces. Turning off from the main road, the next 10 km of cycling is through narrow valleys and ravines to the town of Shuikou and remote countryside that sees no other tourists. Here you will be rewarded with an insight into the lifestyles of the hardy farmers that till this steep hillside terrain into incredible rice growing terraces. After a break we have a long gradual off-road climb to the top of a ridge with stunning views of the surrounding mountains, terraces and villages as we pass into Guangxi Province. Following is a short, steep descent into Dudong, a county centre, before heading north toward the Hunnan border and the Dong village of Gaoding. We'll have another homestay on the edge of the village and reccomended are walks through this untouched Dong village with it's unique square shaped drum towers.
Day 5: Cycle to ChenyangBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 49 km
Today's ride is a short but challenging one as we head over two passes over the course of the day. We'll be heading into mountainous farmland where only farmers trails and roads to small villages nestled in the mountainsides take us through stunning countryside. We begin with a speedy descent before heading for the hills on some dirt trails - for those uncomfortable on the dirt we reccomend you skip this section in the support vehicle. A long winding descent off the main ridgeline takes us into another valley where we stop for a well earned lunch in a local farmers house.
The afternoon has us climbing one more ridge before a long speedy descent into Chenyang village which is home to the biggest wind and rain bridge in the region. You'll see more tourists in this town, both foreign and Chinese, drawn to the picturesque traditional architecture and local lifestyle. Our hotel is located in the centre of the village with views across rice fields and surrounding villages. They also have some of the best food on the tour so we'll sample a host of local specialities.
Day 6: Cycle to Wan Fo ShanBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 40 km
After a walk around the village we'll pack up the bikes for a drive to Tongdao. Here we'll jump back on the bikes for a back country ride into Wan Fo Shan National park with it's remarkable danxia red sandstone rock formations. Our flat ride takes us by lakes and into forest and farmland before arriving at our guesthouse for the evening. We'll take a walk up to Wan Fo shan itself, once a famed Bhuddist retreat, for the dizzying exposed stair case climb up to the summit for exceptional views. A see-through walkway awaits those happy to brave the vertiginous views below!
Day 7: Cycle to WenchangeBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 50 km
Todays ride takes us out of Wan Fo Shan National Park amongst green rice fields stark against red rocky our crops. We'll make our way steadily upstream on a gentle ride into a continuingly narrowing valley alongside a a rocky mountain stream. Small wooden, black tiled houses gather in the small patches of available land by the riverside or nestled high above on the hillsides. Our stay tonight is in a local homestay in a tiny picturesque valley where we'll eat outdoors with our hosts.
Day 8: Cycle to NanshanBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 30 km
A shorter day on the bikes today, only 30km, but we'll be heading up over 2000m above sea level for some of the most stunning views of the tour! Several major Miao villages are going to break up the ride as we explore these traditional villages that see no foreign tourists. Lots of switchbacks slowly bring us to the exposed summit of our ride where we ride above the tree line with views extending for miles over the mountains receding far into the distance. Suprisingly the terrain becomes grassy pasture and noticeably cooler as we pass by several sheep and dairy farms - a sight more common to Mongolia than southern China!
Day 9: Cycle to Longsheng Hot SpringsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 74 km
After a hearty breakfast, we hit the road for some epic cycling as we descend over 1500m today. Tiny hamlets dot the way as we pass swirtchback after switch back. There's a few climbs along the way but we are going to be rewarded with a a nice soak in one of our favourite stays on the trip at Longsheng Hot Springs. Local fare is on the menu for the night and there are some great evening strolls to be had for those with the energy to explore!
Day 10: Cycle to PinganBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 63 km
In the morning we’ll backtrack for around 10km before continuing on to the Longsheng markets at 30km. One of the most interesting in China, the market is where farmers descend from the surrounding hillsides to sell their produce, many dressed in their ethnic clothing making for a colourful bazaar. Any and all manner of things can be seen here from live and cooked animals of every description, exotic herbs and medicines, vegetables, farming equipment and more. Snake oil sellers, fortune tellers, letter writers, card playing and mahjong games abound, taichi practitioners and ballroom dancers all enjoy themselves in the market area.
After lunch, we have 33km of paved road from Longsheng to the spectacular village of Pingan. This traditional Zhuang minority village is perched high up on the mountainside in the middle of the Longji Rice Terraces – thousands of rice paddies cut into the mountain by the local people over hundreds of years. The last 6km of our cycling will take us from the valley floor climbing up dozens of hairpins to Pingan. This is a truly rewarding cycle to one of the highlight locations of the tour!
Day 11: Rest Day - Pingan
Today we have a rest day to take in the extraordinary mountain views from the Zhuang minority, traditionally built guesthouse, nestled on the mountainside in Pingan. During the day we can take a walk to one of the viewpoints over the rice terraces, or simply sit back with a beer and enjoy the view and the atmosphere on the terrace of this very special guesthouse. The owners, Ke yin and Lily, always make us feel at home and may offer us a sample of their special sweet rice wine. Eating is easy with english menus in the guesthouse and cafes about the village. Those exploring the walking trails will soon discover that this area is also inhabited by people of the Yao minority, whose dress is quite distinctive and whose women often grow their hair so long it can touch the ground when untied! Longer walks are also available for those that wish to climb higher and further onto the ridge line to little travelled to villages.
Day 12: Cycle to Miaoping, transfer to Yandi, boat to XingpingBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 30 km
What goes up must come down, they say, and that is certainly true this morning, as we ride the twisting road back down the mountainside. We spend the day on quiet sealed roads undulating up through pine and bamboo forests, often passing villages tucked away in the hills. As we are now close to Guilin, delicious Guilin-style rice mie fen noodles are on the menu for lunch at the roadside.
After lunch, we pack up the bikes for a drive to Yandi, a riverside town on the Li River, where we hop onto bamboo motorised rafts to take us through the most stunning section of the Li River. For the rest of the afternoon we put up our feet on for the breathtaking views of this incredible landscape, finally arriving in the beautiful old village of Xing Ping in time to eat, shower and, perhaps, watch the sun set from our guesthouse roof-top terrace with an ice cold beer!
Day 13: Cycle to YangshuoBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 48 km
Our last day of cycling is a great action-packed one as we head up through the karst mountains onto a ridgeline high above the Li River. This section is famous for its beautiful karst mountains and is a fantastic start to the day. After stopping at a couple of incredible viewpoints, we ride away from the river and take stunning, hilly, quiet back-roads through fruit orchards, rice fields and dozens of tiny villages to Baisha town. Baisha is famous for its market where produce from the local area is sold as well as for its stone working industry. From Baisha we take our time riding off-road down the lush and serene Yulong River valley, amongst paddy fields, and through villages overlooked on both sides by majestic karst mountains. We’ll stop to check out the ancient Dragon Bridge and, if it’s hot enough, take a cooling swim in the clear running Yulong River. Our last leg is on dirt countryside farmers’ trails and backroads into the relative glitz of Yangshuo where we'll celebrate the end of an epic ride!
Day 14: Departure DayBreakfast 528 km
This is departure day and you are free to leave at any time. Yangshuo is a great location to spend an extra day or two. You'll find plenty to do or plenty of places to sit back in paradise and do nothing at all! Activities on offer are endless: cooking, calligraphy, painting, Tai Chi and Kung Fu classes, kayaking, caving, rafting, swimming and world class rock climbing are all available.
Getting There & Away
This trip starts in Guiyang (Airport Code KWE), the capital of Guizhou Province. It is a limited international airport which means that you may have to fly into Guiyang from one of the other major cities/airports in China. Examples are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen or Guilin all from which there are many flights every day.
The trip finishes in the town of Yangshuo. It is 85 kilometres (one hour) from Guilin International Airport (KWL) by car. Guilin is an international airport with connecting flights to most destinations throughout China and several international cities including Hong Kong, Seoul, Osaka, Singapore and Bangkok.
To check flight details, time and cost we can recommend Ctrip: https://au.trip.com/?language=EN&locale=en_au 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 (a small service charge applies per ticket) at competitive rates. 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.
For additional information regarding guides, accommodation and sleeping arrangements, cycling grades, food, bikes, etc you can head over to our About section to see more about how we run our tours.
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.
“I wanted to do a cycling tour through a rural and scenic part of China while also experiencing the people and culture. This was perfect. Experiencing that part of China on a bicycle was a really cool thing. Before the trip started I worried a little about signing up for a two- week trip without knowing all that much about what it'd be like, and without having ever been to Asia or on a bike tour before. But when I got back I was ready to fly back and do it all again. It really was fantastic. The thing I was most worried about was riding in traffic, and potentially getting hit by a car in a place where I don't really want to be injured. As a result, I really appreciated all the effort that must have gone into finding the routes that we took, where there were almost no cars and very few motorbikes (none of which went fast), and thus no danger from other vehicles. Also, sitting up on top of that little mountain in XingPing, overlooking the mountains as the sun set. That was surreal. ” Mark Hoekstra, USA.
“Truly AMAZING trip, wonderful scenery (mountains, villages rives and country side) and riding was fantastic. A very organized, well lead and supported tour. Trip had a bit for everyone, hills, off road and nice smooth roads. The guides and support crew did a fantastic job (well beyond what was required). I loved it and as a lazy office worker, the fitness level was not and issue. Would highly recommend this tour to everyone. Will defiantly be planning another bike tour with Bike Asia. Great job to all the team!!! ” Justin Page, Australia
“From the start, an amazing experience. Wonderful people helping out via email, efficient with time and details both before and during the trip, unparalleled views every day; the riding was challenging, just as I wanted it.” – Allison Murray, USA
“The food was awesome!! I’ve a greater appreciation for ‘real Chinese food’! Plenty of it, very tasty and very fresh. A highlight of the trip for me.” Roberta Brill, UK
“Seeing how the minority people live and the unbelievable scenery.” Anthony Craze, Australia
“Brilliant tour, I will be back and am looking forward to seeing your new ventures.” – Karley Snape, Australia
“Great off the beaten path experience... Thanks for showing China in such a great way!!” Anne Kluznik, USA
“FT [local guide] was the MAN! He was absolutely GREAT! I learned a lot from him and he was so generous! FT added a lot to our trip.” David Hart, USA
“I have never had such great meals on my trips!” Reggie Voll, USA
How difficult is the tour?
It's a hilly trip!!! Ideally this tour would be enjoyed by those with a bit of biking experience or are up for a challenge. Distances aren't great, averaging only around 50km per day, but there's quite a bit of extended climbing. The riding is well paced with lots of time to stop and make the most of anything that spontaneously crops up, and we encourage people to take advantage of this and not race through and miss everything!
We have a support vehicle during the whole time so it is completley fine to use it as needed; to ride up hills or to put your feet up. We encourage anyone to participate as traveling by bike hrough this region is absolutely the best way to experience it and we have staff capable of dealing with riders of different abilities and interests to make sure everyone is happy.
With a little training for beginners this trip can be accessble and experienced riders will love the quality of the riding. If unsure, feel free to ask us for advice or guidance.
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.
- 14 days
- Cycling Tour
- 528 km
- 2 - 12 People
- 2290 USD
- 485 USD (single supplement)
- Off-the beaten-track cycling route into lesser known parts of Guizhou, Hunan and Guangxi provinces of Southern China
- Ride quiet backroads and phenomenal mountain roads
- Discover traditional wooden drum towers, covered Wind and Rain bridges - traditional architecture unique to the region
- Experience the Dong, Miao, Zhuang and Yao minority ways of life and culture
- Hike the Longji Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces
- Boat the famous Li River overhanging with miles of karst mountains
- Visit ancient Ming and Qing dynasty River Towns
- Sample sublime local Chinese cuisine straight from the fields
- Climb Wanfoshan Mountain and it's red sandstone rock
- Soak in Longsheng Hot Springs homestay
- 13 nights accommodation in comfortable hotels or guesthouses
- Meals as listed in the itinerary
- Water and snacks whilst cycling
- Entry tickets as per itinerary
- Support vehicle(s)
- Airport transfers
- Bullet train tickets
- Bike Asia tour leader
- Local cycling guide/ mechanic and driver
- Quality mountain bike
- Bike Asia t-shirt or jersey
What's Not Included?
- International airfares
- Tips or gratuities
- Personal expenses