Cycling The Backroads Of China Trip Notes

  • Trip code : EMCA
  • Trip length : 13 days
  • Trip starts in : Chengdu
  • Trip ends in : Yangshuo


This exciting new cycling trip explores the very best of rural South-West China. Taking in some of the most famous images of China, including the giant pandas of Sichuan and the Karst scenery of Yangshuo, but you will also embark on a ride through some of best kept secrets of the region. Starting in Chengdu you will journey to Guiyang where you will begin cycling. The route takes you through breathtaking scenery, terraced rice fields and to ancient villages, alongside rivers and streams, lined with bamboo. The trip will end in Yangshuo among the towering, limestone mountains that appear to have bubbled out of the ground and set in dramatic shapes and sizes as far as the eye can see, leaving a lasting and mystical scene in the memory.



Arrive in Chengdu. There is an optional visit to the famous Sichuan 'face-changing' opera.


After breakfast we will drive approx. 2-3hrs out to the old towns of Gaomiao and Liujiang. There will be time to explore their ancient streets and we spend the night in Liujiang.


In the morning we will journey via the Leshan Giant Buddha. This is a magnificent sculpture, carved into the cliff-face during the Tang Dynasty. The Buddah sits facing Mount Ermei and above the joining of three great rivers. You start from the Buddha's head and walk down one side of the cliff to his feet and then ascend the other side. Return to Chengdu to visit the giant panda centre.
Catch the overnight train to Guiyang.


We will start with breakfast in Guiyang before transferring out to Kaili. This is where we will begin our first ride towards the Miao ethnic village of Xijiang. The riding is generally quite flat along this section and is 90% tarmac. For the last 8km we have a steep uphill, but at the end of it we will be rewarded with dismounting at the gates to Xijiang village. We will then transfer by the designated local buses into the village itself.


This morning we have a 10km transfer out of the village to the start point of our ride. From here you will cycle about 38km through incredible scenery of terraced rice fields all the way to our lunch point at Leishan town.
The next part of the ride is the toughest of the trip, as we climb up to Leishan mountain pass which sits at 1500m. It is a gradual climb over 37km, so while it is long, we can take our time and enjoy the views. There is always the support vehicle for back-up if you need it. From the top of the pass we have another 24km to reach our destination at Yong Le village, with some sections on gravel paths. Throughout the afternoon, your efforts will continually be rewarded by the beautiful setting of the ride.


We start with a transfer of 90km to Ba Ji village, which will be the start point of our ride. From here we will cycle 26km along the Du Liu Jiang river, lined with bamboo to our lunch point at Xiajiang. As choices are limited here, the lunch will be quite simple, but traditional. We will then continue for another 42km on an undulating section of road to Congjiang. From here there is a 7km climb to visit the traditional village of Basha Miao. Once you have had a look round the village, it is an easy cruise back down the hill to Congjiang where we will spend the night.


Today is relatively easy after the last two days of cycling. After breakfast we will drive for 20km to our starting point located on a small country road, from here we cycle 22km to our lunch point at Guandong. After lunch we continue for another 14km towards Zhaoxing, passing a bridge of 'wind and rain' en route, which is an iconic symbol of the Dong ethnic minority.


From Zhaoxing we transfer 30km to the start point of today's ride. It is then a very beautiful 10km ride along a gravel track to Dudong. From here there is a 3-4km steep climb after which the riding is undulating for a further 13km through the picturesque scenery of the surrounding tea plantations. We then have a 10km stretch of downhill to Tongle for lunch. After the break we will then transfer 73km to Sanjiang, and from here we finish with a final 23km to Chengyang Bridge old town where we will rest for the night.


This morning is free to explore the village lanes and watch any local cultural performances that are going on. We will stay here until lunch time, so there will be plenty of time to relax before we transfer about 65km towards the Longsheng rice terraces. Once we have turned off the main high way, onto the quiet roads, we will begin cycling in the Longsheng scenic area. The terrain is mainly flat in this area with some short undulating sections. The final 15km is a steep uphill into the entrance of the park. We will stop cycling here and take a short walk to our guesthouse in Pingan village to watch a beautiful sunset over Longsheng rice terraces.


After breakfast we will walk back to the park entrance to collect our bikes and start cycling back the same way that we arrived yesterday. This should be a nice leisurely ride of about 45km on a nice, quiet road lined with bamboo. We will stop for lunch and then continue for another 25km before transfering by bus to stunning town of Yangshuo.


Today we can start the ride right from the hotel towards Xingping. We will follow the valley with stunning views of the limestone karst scenery along the way. You will cycle through rice fields, bamboo forests and follow the meandering Li River on this gentle ride. You will then take a ferry across the Li River to our local guest house in Xingping.


Today is the last day of cycling. After breakfast at Xingping we will start to make our way back to Yangshuo. First, we will board a boat to cross the river towards Yangdi. This section is probably one of the most beautiful of the Li River. We will then cycle along quiet, rural lanes, passing the local markets in Baisha village. The final stretch follows the Yulong River back to Yangshuo. There will then be some more time to explore the wonderful town of Yangshuo.


Transfer to Guilin airport where those who have booked flight inclusive will depart on the group flight. Those booked land only will depart via their own arrangements.



For those of you who dream of experiencing a location in depth and comfort but are mindful of budget. Ideal for those that enjoy the quirkier side of a destination without roughing it. Join inquisitive travellers of all ages for an fun, informative experience.

Style Facts

  • Comfortable tourist class hotels
  • Family Homestays
  • Private and local transport
  • More inclusions than Basic tours
  • Fully trained and experienced leaders


Explore the world on two feet - or two wheels! Our active trips range from classic treks & trips where walking forms an integral part of the itinerary to cycling tours offering a totally new perspective on a destination.

Some of our active adventure tours include the classic treks such as the Inca Trail, Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp as well as shorter one day or overnight hikes. Our cycling tours allow you to access hidden corners of a destination, discover remote villages and meet the locals – either en route or even by cycling alongside them. All our active trips are fully supported – with either porters and mules or by a support vehicle.

This tour is operated by our partners Exodus.


A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.

The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.

Please click here for more information.


We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended.


Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
You will need to take cash to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement later.

travel-insuranceYou must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information.



Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.

As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.

We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.

For further information about responsible travel please click here.

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.


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