Ride the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo overnighting in two ancient river towns along the way.
Fuel up on the famous Guilin rice noodles; explore rustic peasant-traditions including cormorant fishing as you navigate the dragon-tooth limestone karst mountains.
This classic “mountain-water” landscape is immortalised in the ink brush and water colour paintings of Chinese artists.
Escape the tourists and see it as they did in the remote countryside at your own pace.
Designed as a weekend getaway for city-workers this three day two night trip starts with your transfer from either Guilin Airport / train station.
To make a true ecoadventure, we strongly encourage travellers to arrive/depart by train.
Shenzhen North to Guilin is just 3 hours on the new high speed rail.
RMB 2800 RMB
Day 1. Arrival. Guilin to Daxu
A driver will be waiting for you at Guilin Train Station or Airport. It’s then just 45 minutes to your hotel in Daxu, a 2000 year old Li River Port village.
You’ll receive trip notes, a map, emergency contact details and a measured bike, ready to go with racks and panniers. Pack a change of clothes, snacks, wine, paint brushes and ink scrolls — whatever you’re happy to carry.
Your driver will transport any luggage you don’t want to carry to the finish point of your ride in Yangshuo town.
Daxu old town has cobblestone laneways, ancient bridges, and wooden homes that are slowly being renovated as more people discover this historic town. It’s a great place to sit and watch the local life of a Guangxi riverside village unfold. The river front has some good local restaurants with views onto the Li River. Daxu is a like Yangshuo was (size-wise at least) 20 years ago.
Day 2 Daxu to Xingping
The day starts easy with a comfortable riverside ride before turning off into a bamboo grove that marks the beginning of a your climb into the karsts. the steepest section is 3 km, with the reward of stunning views down onto the Li River and panoramic layered views of endless receding mountains. The ride is undulating passing by villages, lakes and farming land, followed by a steep descent into a wide valley, then a relatively flat ride for 15 km to your hotel in Xing ping.
Xing Ping is one of the more famous riverside towns on the Li River. The famous Nine Horse Fresco Mountain is celebrated on the 20 RMB note. Motorised PVC i.e fake bamboo rafts take day trippers up the river to see this famous site. It’s cheesy totally worthwhile fun — the best bit being that very few people stick around the hidden olden town. There are a couple of more upmarket restaurants and bars low key bars catering for more discerning travellers. Xing Ping is a little like Yangshuo was 15 years ago.
Day 3 Xing Ping to Yangshuo
If you’re an early riser you may want to raft up to the Nine Horses fresco before the hordes arrive. Dawn on the river is totally worthwhile. back on your bikes you’ll be riding a short stretch to a ferry crossing, before heading into the hills for some of the finest views of the tour. We ride away from the river to Baisha markets, where farmers bring in their varied produce, get a haircut, gather for impromptu rice wine moonshine parties, have a tooth pulled — its very local. It also has some of the best rice noodles you will ever eat.
We cross into the lush and serene Jade Dragon River Valley and navigate the rice paddies to the 400 year old Yu Long (Dragon Meeting) Bridge, another good place to stop for lunch in a local farmer’s restaurant by the river and with the option for a refreshing swim.
From here cycle small countryside trails and paths to emerge in legendary Yangshuo where the tour ends! The bars, cafes, shopping, new-China-hippy-hipster-travellers are all much more fun when you’ve already done it tough in the old-school China countryside.
Have a shower at our base, collect your luggage, and either stay a night or transfer onward to your train or flight.
From Hong Kong:
Dragon Air has one flight per day to Guilin.
Three bullet trains depart daily from Shenzhen North Station, many more from Guangzhou.
It takes forty minutes on the Shenzhen metro to Shenzhen North station, from the Hong Kong border at Lok Ma Chau/Futian.
It’s ten hours on the G529 train from Beijing
There are 4+ flights a day from Beijing to Guilin.
The regular train is approximately 20 hours, though it may be possible to do this in around 10 on the high speed network changing at Changsha.
Twinshare accommodation for two nights, quality mountain bike, helmet, airport/train station transfers, route maps and information kit, luggage storage, pannier.
Travel to and from Guilin, China Visa, meals water, beer and other personal needs. We have a good agent for train tickets who delivers — if you need help booking your tickets.
We recommend you Stay another night if you can — or arrange your travel back from 6pm onwards, depending on how fast you ride.
Travel to airport / train station takes roughly 90 minutes.
Your transfer is included — and could be adapted to pick you up at any point on the ride if necessary ( i.e you end up being slower than you think you might be).
No.30 Ta Ho Tun Ha Wai, Saikung, New Territories, Hong Kong www.bikeaways.com