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China South East Cycling and Cultural Holiday

offered by supplier M20818 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 14 - 16 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 16 people
Destination(s): China  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Cultural Journey  
Season: October - April
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1495 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1740 Pound Sterling (GBP)

We transfer out of Guiyang into quiet minority areas where the cycling begins. Following quiet back roads up into mountain villages we discover a world far from the modern face of China. As many as 30 different ethnic minorities live peacefully alongside one another in the areas we visit in Guizhou and northeast Guangxi, with a huge variety of cultures. Generally, Dong villages are located along river valleys whilst Miao villages are scattered amongst the hills. The minority communities have maintained their cultural traditions over centuries, living simple remote lives, away from modernity and full of character. We discover their world as we cycle through a landscape of rice terraces etched into the mountain, rising up in layers towards the skyline.

The Dong are known for their architecture, particularly the octagonal pagoda-type drum towers (Gulou), and wind and rain bridges that provide shelter for people during bad weather. Built without a single nail, they are the symbol of the Dong people and served as a gathering place for the villagers to discuss and settle important matters and to stage festivals or entertainments The Miao were among the first people to settle in present day China, and among the first rice farmers in China. Having visited the remotest of settlements up in the hills, and experienced inspirational, breath-taking mountain scenery we cycle down out of the rice terraces towards Guilin. From here we journey alongside the tranquil waters of the Li River and into the hilly landscape of Karst limestone peaks to Yangshuo where our cycling tour ends.

Itinerary:
Day 1: Guiyang.

Arrive Guiyang: the capital of Guizhou province. The city is situated on the Nanming River, a headstream of the Wu River, which eventually joins the Yangtze at Fuling in Sichuan. You will have a free day to explore Guiyang, you might want to visit DaNanMen the old food street downtown, known as 'the Food Paradise of Guiyang' and 5 minute walk from the Jiaxiu Tower. Lots of local specialties and famous dishes can be found here. The climate here is temperate and there are a number of tourist attractions and historical landmarks. The Red Marple Lake (Hongfeng Lake) the Flower Stream Park, and relics of the Ming and Qing dynasties: the Jiaxiu Tower, Wenchang Pavillion and Yangming Cave. More than 30 different ethnic minorities live in Guiyang, enriching the city with their colourful folk traditions and cultural activities. This evening we will have a team briefing.

Day 2: Guiyang / Zhou to Leishan.

After an early morning transfer to Zhou we begin our cycle ride on quiet back roads. Don't be deceived by the relatively short distance we cover today. We face 2 major climbs ascending over 850m. The start to the trip could be described as being thrown in at the deep end! This area of china is the home to different Miao communities; a grouping of linguistically related minorities. As we cycle we pass by wooden houses, often on stilts with animals living beneath them. The Miao wear brightly coloured embroidered clothing and observe strong cultural traditions including a love of storytelling and music. They celebrate many festivals during which there is drumming dancing to the music of a lusheng (a wind instrument). Traditional crafts that you can see being practised include weaving, batik and embroidery.
Cycling Distance: 41.5 km (26 miles)
Accommodation: Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 3: Leishan to Yongle.

Our cycling this morning begins with 9km along flat terrain before we undertake a steep 200m climb for 2km. There's a speedy 1km drop on the other side of the peak, after another kilometre we can make a stop in the little village of Datang. Once we've drawn breath here we tackle the first real challenge of the day with a 400m climb over 10km. Over the top we drop 500m downhill for the next 10km and head straight into the 300m monster climb! To end the day we're rewarded with a well-deserved 12km steep descent into Yongle.
Cycling Distance: 58.4 km (36miles)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

Day 4: Yongle to Rongjiang.

Today we begin with a relatively gentle 14km of cycling. We begin to climb for the next 9km ascending 250m before a sharp drop over 8km, then it's steady downhill ride into Rongjiang. The villages we pass here are characterised by their wooden buildings and home to a Miao community who produce traditional indigo dyed batik fabrics. After 38 km we reach Rongjiang a bustling town located in a wide valley with a big river.
Cycling Distance: 75.6 km (47miles)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D).

Day 5: Rongjiang to Diman.

Ronjiang is lively in the mornings with a busy market. Stallholders sell fruit, vegetables, local sweets 'Jaoizi' and bowls of steaming food such as red bean soup. We cycle on from Rongjiang towards Diman. After a flat start for 7km we tackle the first of 2 big climbs. A 13km (400m) challenge. For the next 22km the road inclines then rises again towards our second 12km (450m) of increasingly steep ascent. We finish the day with a steep 5km drop into Diman. We enjoy fantastic views, timeless scenes, and undulating road. We may hear the sounds of traditional music wafting across the countryside from a reed flute or traditional drums. This evening is one of the highlights of the trip as we are amongst the first tourists to stay in the village of Diman. We will receive an authentic warm welcome from the community.
Cycling Distance: 59.3 km (37miles)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D).

Day 6: Diman to Liping.

Bidding farewell to our hosts we take a road out of Diman and start to cycle the only long climb today. We have a short (450m) steep haul before we're over the peak for a 43km (550m) descent, taking in a few minor bumps. The cycle down the valley and into Liping follows roads through picturesque quiet villages, set in a verdant agricultural landscape.
Cycling Distance: 46 km (28.5miles)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

Day 7: Liping to Zhaoxing.

Today we cycle on towards Zhaoxing on spectacular quiet road with 2 mountain pass climbs, to begin and end the day both of which are short and steep. On the hill tops truck drivers make stops to refill with water and local women sell traditional crafts here including embroidered slippers and painted scrolls. Our approach to Zhaoxing takes us through rice fields etched in the hillsides and we will see the famous Drum towers.
Cycling Distance: 71 km (44miles)
Accommodation: Guest / House (B,L,D)

Day 8: Zhaoxing: Rest day.

Zhaoxing is famous for its five Drum Towers. According to tradition each individual Drum Tower represents one group of local Dong people. Another feature of the town are the wind and rain bridges amongst the wooden buildings. The Dong people still wear traditional clothing and speak only their native language. The town comes to life early in the morning with a market where you can sample local snacks and observe local life, it is then very quiet during the day when most people are out working in the fields.
Accommodation: Guest House (B)

Day 9: Zhaoxing to Dudong.

We head across the border to the remote Dong village Dudong in Guangxi province, tucked away in the mountainous area bordering Guizhou and Hunan. Our day begins with a 10km steep climb, we then journey down for 15km into a narrowing valley, passing-by unspoiled Dong villages and wind and rain bridges to reach a pass on the border between Guizhou and Guangxi. Our scenic route passes through beautiful tea fields that cloak the valley. After a further flatter 10km we have another 10km ascent before dropping down in to Dudong for 7km. The village retains its traditional character with wooden buildings, drum towers and farm animals wandering freely along cobbled streets.
Cycling Distance: 48.5 km (30miles)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

Day 10: Dudong to Longsheng.

This morning our route rises and falls for 10km bringing us to another monster 11km (500m) ascent. This is followed by a fantastic 9km descent before the road flattens out. Longsheng county is famed for Longji rice terraces (Longji Titian), known as 'The Dragon's Backbone' by the locals, entire mountainsides have been transformed into rice fields creating a dramatic landscape like great chains, or ribbons extending from the foot to the top of the hills. This maximises use of the limited arable land and water resources in the mountainous area.
Cycling Distance: 104 km (64.5miles)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D).

Day 11: Longsheng to Ping An.

A short day on surfaced road up along the valley towards Ping An. For the final stretch of the ride we pass through spectacular scenery of rice terraces cut into the mountainside over many years by local communities. We cycle a series of challenging hairpin bends that twist up toward the skyline, to reach this traditional Zhuang village high up in the mountain. There are ten different minorities including Zhuang, Yao, Hui, Miao and Tong. In the village the women still wear unique traditional dress and are famed for having their hair so long that it touches the ground. Many folk festivals take place during the year.
Cycling Distance: 32 km (20miles)
Accommodation: Guest House (B).

Day 12: Ping An to Qingshitan Reservoir.

Today we cycle down out of Ping An following twisting mountain road for 20 km. With a few ups and downs we then climb uphill for 18km climb before a steep 8km drop to Wantian. The next 21km is along relatively flat road before we begin a moderate climb for 20km towards the Qingshitan Reservoir our destination for the night. We stay tonight in a waterside hotel.
Cycling Distance: 96 km (59.5miles)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D).

Day 13: Qingshitan Reservoir to Guilin.
We begin today with a stretch on flat road and then climb uphill. This is followed by another steep drop. The remainder of the route into Guilin is a gentle drop for 26 km, passing the Reed Flute Cave area. The landscape begins to change on approach to Guilin, with karst mountains and bamboo lined rivers coming into view.
Cycling Distance: 32 km (20miles)
Accommodation: Hotel (B,L).

Saturday - Day 14: Guilin - Home
Your tour ends with a transfer to the airport.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Optional Extras:
- Own Room: £365
- Bike Hire from China: £170
- The extra costs for the Optional Extras are calculated after the booking process so will not appear in your shopping cart when booking the bike tour online. The extra costs will be added to your cycling Tour cost, we will contact you with a Tour Total Cost and give you instructions on how your remaining payments can be made.

Flights:
-Approximate Cost of Flights: £750

The holiday's do not include flights to and from the designated cycle Tour countries, however, some bike tours contain internal flights that are included in the price.

Note: Please read through the essential information to see exactly what the price includes and excludes before booking!

About This Supplier
Location: England
Joined InfoHub: Mar 2011

M20818 is a specialist company taking small groups of cyclists to spectacular, remote areas of the world. We offer a unique blend of physical challenges, cultural experiences and cycling camaraderie, at highly competitive prices. M20818 guides are experienced cyclists and tour leaders. Destinations include Laos,...

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