Call Us: 86 773 3810665/3810500 Our Working Time: 09:00am-06:00pm (GMT+ 8 hours)
Home Biking Guide A Chinese New Year Holiday Cycle Tour of 520KM

A Chinese New Year Holiday Cycle Tour of 520KM

What does it look like beyond the 200 sq.kms of Guilin areas? After years of hard pedaling exploration within the surrounding of the well-known Karst view areas of Guilin/Yangshuo (Longji or further north), not even a tiny trail was missed with our passions. China has grown so fast, especially when the travelling based on bullet trains started to dominate the stations and market, we had witnessed both good and bad things happening during the past 4 years: Most dirt roads has disappeared (good for riders who hates mud), new tarmac or concrete ones makes the tour with heavy MTB embarrassing. On the other hand, it was a great lost of wild and natural feeling for cyclists searching for real fun on mountain bikes on tracks and trails though. 

With the regrets not finishing the new route testing between Guilin and Liuzhou (both cities are two important stages of the final stop of UCI road bike racing – the Tour of Guangxi) last time with friends due to the time limit. A crazy round trip that cycling over 500KMS in 3 days comes into my mind (Robert). It was happy to see that our Spring Festival Holiday offered me a chance for it. What makes me very exited is, the best colleague and friend – Forrest, will have his younger brother’s wedding at his home town – a remote village hidden on the north of Luocheng, around 120KM north of Liuzhou. So no reason not doing this tour then!

Bike Tour of Guangxi, Cycle Holiday Routes of Guilin, China Bike Tours

The distance and the terrain is a big challenge with lot of steep hills and long undulating part, so after spending 3 days with families on busy parties and meals with all kinds of meat (the Chinese New Year Traditions), I left at 7 a.m of the 3rd days of Chinese Lunar Year of 2019, for the ‘tour of losing weight’ to Forrest’s home. Everything I had were only a small backpack and my new Norco cycle cross bike. I woke up later as I was tired because the original plan was starting the ride from 6 a.m. It is sad but true that as a full time jobbed Chinese young father, the holiday we can spend on long-distance riding is almost zero because most of the holidays we had every year were also busy time biking with clients. 

Paintings along the road of Tour of Guangxi,Cycle to Liuzhou, Guangxi Bike Holidays

The first day’s itinerary was the hardest one, a 185 kms with a lot hills and roads unknown, it was so lucky because the god blessed me with a sunny and good temperature (hot enough for shorts) in the winter supposed to be cold and damp. After 60KMS with endless city edges of Guilin that becoming bigger and wider, even losing the way between traffic lights, I finally escaped outside and reaches to the mountain areas locates on the west of Guilin – well, I have to say, all kinds of crazy cars driving on the road are no less than my expectation. (People used to starting driving their private cars for travelling during weekends or holidays). After this trip, I finally realized that, except the distance and climbs, the most important 2 factors makes riders weaker and tired in China are: Crazy cars, unexpected construction roads. 

Scenery between Guilin and Liuzhou, Cycle to the countryside of Guangxi

Thanks to the Tour of Guangxi and the rebuild of the road within that areas, a coward like me reached a max speed of 55KM/H when doing downhill, feeling safe and confident enough (I usually do it between 22-35KM/H even it is down without cars). The unexpected thing was, I got exhausted before reaching the first 100KMs….due to the heavy against the wind between 70KM – 110KM was the hardest part of that day even it is flat because what my performance of speed on that period was only 17KM/H, with lot of uncomfortable feeling on both neck and legs – had to stop quite often to adjust the bike, trying to make it fit me better. I started to doubt the possibility of finishing today’s plan.

Bike Tours in Guilin, MTB Tours in Guilin, Rice Fields Views on the Karst Mountains

Hidden Brooks Bike Path, Bike Trails and Path in Guilin and Guangxi,China Countryside Rural Areas Bike Holidays

 I shall say thanks to the gods again as I felt better after lunch even when back to mountains. And then finished the unknown parts haven’t done last time, gladly found a perfect 50KM hidden beautiful area with Karst peaks and rivers. Every climbs almost killed my legs but the gorgeous views on the top stopped me again and again for photos…I know the time left for me to finish the distance will be less and less. What I found during the ride today? Except the boy ages around 10 who tried smoking secretly in the toilet, I found countless fields of yellow rape flowers, well-preserved old houses, reservoirs, brooks with rocks of strange shapes (which reminded me of my last day cycling in Tibet before arriving Lhasa), fantastic trails covered by sugarcanes, huge water buffalos, chickens and ducks… I had everything valuable in my eyes within our areas today! So glad that after 169KM I arrived at a town that a small hostel room is available, I stopped there, and left the 16KMS undone for the next day. Had a terrible fried food as dinner (restaurants making food like KFC/ Mcdonald's are popular even in smaller towns – with funny names like MFC / Mchomes) and then a not-pleasant sleep with the rattling electronic fan because there is a funny note written on the air-condition that guests who used it will be charged extra .

Guesthouses in China, Bike Tours and Hotel Level in China

Sugarcanes Fields Cycling in the Country, Bike Trails in Guilin and Liuzhou, Guilin and Yangshuo Bike Tour

I only rode 88kms the next day and reached Forrest’s home at around 2 p.m, and on the way, struggling again with the losing way in villages and unexpected broken constructional roads. The amazing things were, the famed Ten-miles Gallery and Yulong River in Yangshuo, are having a exactly copy here! The only difference is, the one near Forrest hometown is wider, bigger, and quieter. The advertisement and blogs on Google did make a lot places popular and contributed to the local economy, however, I’m happy to see, there are still more places keeps the original looks as it should be. Have to say that with a bike guide like us, you do have more chances to see the ‘Real Countryside of China’ although nothing was written on results of Google. 

Forrest Wu's Home, China Bike Guide

Traditional Chinese Marrage, Rural Chinese Wedding, China Wedding Cultures

The happiest moment of that day was definitely the real countryside style wedding of Forrest’s brother – Dong. I didn’t expect that the bride and bridegroom hadn’t arrived yet when I got there, reputedly the brides’ family drinks a lot and had a lot of games was the reason for late representing the new couple back to Dong’s house. As a married man, I do understand our cultures that having some games and pretending be fooled with are an importance part showing your loyalty before transferring the lady from her home to yours before the dinner, but the difference between people in rural villages and citizens are obvious – they eat and drink the whole 2 days during the weeding!

Culture of Wedding in China, Rural Family of China, Drinking Ways of Chinese

At Forrest’s hometown, I had a lot new experiences which made this trip so unforgettable: Watching the fireworks and firecrackers shooting and burning with huge sound and lasted 30 minutes! (I joke it was like the missile attack), the people drinks with washing basin, an endless supply of meat, the very simple non-decorated rooms because of poverty, a toilet with a door of only 1.6M (I admit it hit me…), and a warm welcome and better formality from Dong’s family. Visiting somewhere and something with your own eyes is completely different with reading it on internet. What a great day I had! (Messages and pictures from friends said on the same day, Yangshuo and Xingping was fully occupied and crowded with tourists – traffic jam and waiting for everything expensive again, no surprise).

Well Preserved Old Houses in China, China Cultural Bike Tours

Bicycle Routes around Guilin, Bike to the Guangxi Countryside

The weather of the winter in Guangxi province is such an uncertain thing, I changed my plan and will not ride the whole way back to Guilin because the temperature dropped around 7 degrees every morning when I woke up. It was more than enough for what I saw in the first two days, all I need to think of was, getting back home as soon as possible for more rests before returning to busy works and be safe before the rain comes. After saying goodbye to Forrest’s family, I had a pleasant early morning ride for 52KM all the way through peaceful countryside road and reach an importance transportation junction between Guilin and Liuzhou and Luocheng areas and went directly to the bus station with my bike. 

Ancient City Gate Relics of Guangxi

We have to say China is not bike friendly country at all wherever you go with your own bikes, so every time when riders need transfer helps from the shuttle bus to save time or shorten distance on riding between cities and towns, interesting things happens (surely not good memories for westerners who get used to buses and trains with special carriage for bicycles / bike racks). So what the driver did was – giving me two minutes letting me climb up to the top and tight my bike with rubber ropes (almost broken already), AND! He started driving even when I was still trying to fasten the bikes on the car roof! The ticket lady on the bus was still keeping smiling to me, like she is the kindest goddess on the world, so the car drove over 4.5 hours through the mountains I supposed to ride for returning. It was impossible to finish that 200KMS in 6 hours (I guess I will need 17-20 hours for that..) and the rains comes finally the next day. The only thing I was worrying on the bus except feeling vomit was the high risks of breaking of my bike, thanks the god again, the final total damages were, one of my cloths stacking between the bike and the bus(trying to avoid the bike moving and scratches), and a small scratch on the bike, that’s why I do believe, buying a carbon high-end bicycle without paying cars with professional bike racks is not the best way for your 4+2 journey in China, actually I had a lot experience about the shuttle bus to save costs but it is also the main reason that my bikes becoming more ugly. 

Transfer Bikes with Shuttle Bus

All stories goes to an ending, and mine was a sound sleep with plenty of lifelong memories (that is for sure after 320KM riding + 200KMs car suffering in 3 days), again, thanks to the gods and Forrest’s family.        

Picture together of Robert and Forrest, Guilin Cycling Tours and China Cycle Guide