China by Bike

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Cycle from Guangzhou through stunning rural countryside and the limestone pinnacles of Yangshuo, visit the Terracotta Warriors and historical sights of Beijing


Duration: 16 Days
Starts in: China
Group Size: 6-16

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.


Arrive in Guangzhou

On arrival you will need to make your own way to the group hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Guangzhou before we meet in the hotel lounge at approx 6.30pm for a trip briefing with the group leader.

To Zhoaqing - Introduction cycle

This morning we transfer by coach out of hectic streets of Guangzhou to begin our cycle. We cycle for the rest of the day with ample opportunity for breaks before arriving in Zhoaqing. Throughout the entire trip there will always be the backup support of a vehicle, so for those times when you are feeling a little lethargic, or where road conditions make it difficult to cycle, you may ride in the mini bus. Duration: 7hours (in total) Cycle distance:42kms Grade: Easy Transportation: 42kms cycle; 101kms transfer Road: on flat ground

In Zhaoqing

Today we visit Star Lake Park and the nature reserve of Mt Dinghu. We will have the opportunity to visit a 300 year old Buddhist monastery on the mountain, where we will have lunch, before returning to Zhaoqing for the evening. Duration: 8 hours (in total) Cycle distance: 16 kms Grade: Easy Transportation: 16kms cycle; 16kms transfer 3 hours hiking. Road: on flat ground

To Si Hui, cycle to Qing Yuan

We begin the day with a drive out of Zhaoqing to the small town of Si Hui, where we begin our cycling. We cycle to Qing Yuan, through classic rural China. The road weaves past high bamboo forests and small villages, the ubiquitous rice paddy fields and vegetable gardens. Duration: 7hours (in total) Cycle distance: 75kms Grade: Moderate Transportation: 75kms cycle; 50 kms transfer Road: paved roads

Cycle to Jiu Long

From Qing Yuan we drive out of town before cycling approximately to Jiu Long. The countryside in this area is stunning with lime stone karst mountains towering over fields and villages. From Jiu Long we venture on a beautiful ride around Guan Yin Crag and back to Liu Long to complete an exhilarating day of cycling! If we want to cycle further, we need to start riding earlier. We may cycle 35 km to Jiu Long instead of 10 km. There’s a 10 km ride visiting Guan Yin Crag and an optional 25 km ride around Jiu Long area (Little Guilin). Duration: 8 hours (in total) Cycle distance: 45 kms Grade: Easy Transportation: 45kms cycle; 60kms transfer;1hour boat riding. Road: dirt and paved roads

Cycle to Yangshan

We spend the day cycling on remote backroads to Yangshan through some of the regions most sublime karst scenery- the kind that has kept Chinese poets and painters inspired for centuries! The terrain is undulating with a few hills amongst a spectacular rural landscape. Approx: 80km cycle

Cycle to Lianshan

Today we cycle to Lianshan through a Yao (a minority group in China) area. We will have plenty of time to wander through the local markets and observe the Yao people who are set apart from the rest of the population by their culture, traditions and distinctive facial features. The Yao minority still live very traditional lives, relatively untouched by Western influences. The cycling is relatively easy but does wind through mountainous terrain. The road fluctuates between paved and dirt surfaces until we arrive at the base of three significant hills, which are usually not tackled by bike. Over these mountains is where we encounter stunning scenery as we cycle through pristine countryside. We will drive a short distance in the middle of the day as not to miss the last section of terraced rice paddies, small villages and local people go about their daily life with lush undulating mountains setting the perfect backdrop to this spectacular day. Duration: 8 hours (in total) Cycle distance: 70 kms Grade: Difficult Transportation: 70 kms cycle; 50 kms transfer,1hour old village hiking. Road: paved roads

Cycle to Zhongshan

After a short drive we enjoy a beautiful smooth days riding on well paved roads soaking in the relaxed ambiance of rural China as people go about their every day lives around us. We arrive in the town of Zhongshan, which like many of the small towns we visit on our cycling days are fascinating not so much for their tourist attraction but for the fact that there are likely to be no tourists at all! Duration: 7 hours (in total) Cycle distance: 76kms Grade: Moderate Transportation: 76 kms cycle; 70kms transfer Road: on flat ground.

Cycle to Yangshuo

Yangshuo is an idyllic town set amidst limestone pinnacles and rice paddies. The surrounding region is very beautiful, spotted with small villages and imposing karst rock formations. The village itself has fantastic shopping and restaurants, and lively ambiance. The cycle route to Yangshuo is along undulating roads and will take us most of the day from Zhongshan. Duration: 8 hours (in total) Cycle distance: 80kms Grade: Moderate Transportation: 80 kms cycle; 55 kms transfer Road: Paved roads

Visit Moonhill in Yangshuo

In the morning we will set off on our bikes to Moon Hill, located a short distance from town. We will spend some time walking on the top of the hill to gain a bird's eye view of the beautiful surrounding area. From here we will walk downhill, back to our bikes and continue riding in a loop on Moon Hill road through the countryside of rice paddy fields, returning back to Yangshuo by lunchtime. After lunch in Yangshuo, we will drive 2 km out of town to come to the Li River, where we board a small boat and cruise downstream to Fu Li town (approximately 2 hours). On arrival at Fu Li town we walk around before driving back to Yangshuo by late afternoon. Duration: 4 hours (in total) Cycle distance: 30 kms Grade: Easy Transportation: 30 kms cycle; 12 kms transfer;1 hour’s walking in Moonhill. Road: on countryside roads

Fly to Xian

The morning will be at leisure before driving to Guilin to take the afternoon flight to Xian. The old walled city of Xian is the traditional starting point of the Silk Road. It is a vivid example of old and new China. The modernised new city bustles around the quaint, winding lanes of the Old Quarter, where old men can be seen smoking pipes as butchers pull their carcass-laden carts and hawkers sell their wares. The old wall of the city provides not only the perfect vantage point to view Xian but also a flat, traffic free bicycle route around the city.

In Xian

Today we visit the Terracotta Warriors. The thousands of Terracotta Warriors, who stand outside the tomb of Qin Shihuang, were uncovered in 1974 by peasants digging a well. Each warrior stands over 6 feet tall and has different features and characteristics. Some stand in a vanguard with crossbow and longbow bearers; others hold spears, daggers and axes at the ready. They are accompanied by dozens of horse-drawn carriages and enormous terracotta horses. The sight of the warriors arising from their muddy grave, some intact, others still submerged in the ground, is an extraordinary one.

In Xian, overnight train to Beijing

We start the day with a visit to the Shaanxi Historical Museum followed by a visit to the Big Goose Pagoda, a classic example of Chinese temple architecture. Built in 652 AD it houses Buddhist Scriptures brought back from India along the Silk Road. We will also cycle the old city wall before there will be some free time in the afternoon to finish your exploration of Xian, or freshen up, before we board the train in the late afternoon for Beijing. Approx: 14km cycle

Arrive in Beijing

We will arrive in Beijing in the morning and your group leader will coordinate the transfer to the hotel, the base for the next two nights. After breakfast we visit Tiananmen Square, Mao's Mausoleum, and the Forbidden City followed by a bike ride in the Hutong area. The Forbidden City is a masterpiece of 5000 years of Chinese civilisation and still vividly displays the power and prestige of the former dynasties. Sprawling over acres, the City is a magnificent group of palaces, pavilions, courtyards and deep terracotta walls. Ornately furnished palace rooms, priceless artworks and treasures are all now open to the public after 500 years of seclusion. Overnight in the Beijing Dong Fang Hotel, or similar. *Please note that Mao’s Mausoleum in the Forbidden City opens from 8:00am-12:00pm Tuesday to Sunday, closed Mondays. Should this day fall on a Monday, it will be switched with day 15 of the trip. Approx: 10km cycling

Day trip to the Great Wall

We will make an early morning start today to explore the Great Wall at the Mutianyu section. This is approximately a 1.5 hour drive outside of Beijing, slightly further than the popular and very busy Badaling Gate section. On arrival we will have the option to complete a 2 -3 hour walk along this beautiful section of the wall. Mutianyu is renowned for its Ming Dynasty guard towers and superb views. The scene here is as one would expect of one of the world’s great man made wonders, with huge steep ramparts criss crossing this mountainous area. Those deciding not to undertake the walk will be able to enjoy this section of the wall by cable car. The Great Wall of China is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is one of the world’s most unusual and awesome sites. Commenced 2000 years ago, it was built as a defence line to keep out invaders, along the course of several thousand kilometres. The Emperor Qin Shihuang unified the various northern walls into the Great Wall we see today. We return to Beijing in the evening. In the evening there may be the opportunity to watch the famed Beijing acrobats.

Trip concludes in Beijing

Your trip will conclude after breakfast.

Additional Information

On this trip you go as a traveller, only to find that you become the main attraction, as local people are delighted to see that we travel as they do - on bicycles. We jostle for room with lumbering buffaloes, friendly farmers and of course local cyclists while at other times we cycle for long periods in complete serenity on country roads. Our cycling pace is relaxed with time to stop in villages or any other sites of interest. A mini bus accompanies us to carry our gear and provides a welcome break when you have had enough cycling for the day. Following our cycle ride we have ample time to appreciate the rich culture and history of Xian (with its thousands of terracotta warriors) and Beijing (including a remote section of the Great Wall) to provide an incomparable panorama of rural, ancient and modern China. No wonder this is one of our most popular trips.


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