With the ‘Year of the Rooster’ now in full swing, here are our top5 reasons to join us for a cycling adventure in China this year…
The perfect place for some peaceful pedalling.Forget Trump, Brexit negotiations and Oscar-hype, time to disconnect from the West and cast your mind to grazing water buffalo and tranquil rice paddies…
A glimpse at an ancient way of life. Our holiday takes you off the popular tourist trail and heads deep into the heart of rural China. Expect charming villages, a rnage of fascinating local accomodation and plenty of opportunity to meet friendly locals.
Because the landscapes really are otherworldly…and as impressive as the photographs lead you to believe. Both the emerald Li River and characteristic limestone peaks provide spectacular scenery that will continue to amaze.
Weird, wonderful and yummy food will fuel your ride! A banquet of local dishes promises to expand your food palate and offer a treat for the taste buds. Make sure you sample some of the fresh, local dishes, or why not try noodle soup for breakfast?
A chance to try something a little bit different.Many of our holidays offer this experience, but China has some exciting activities we think you’re going to love! From floating down the river on a bespoke bamboo raft to bathing in a natural hot spring, this destination won’t disappoint.
Looking for something a little bit different?
For more Asian adventures packed full of extraordinary landscapes and fascinating local culture, take a look at our holiday range exploring South East Asia.
Skedaddler Trevor Peake recently headed out to China to check out the amazing sights, sounds and experiences found during our Guilin and Guanxitour. Here’s what he had to say…
‘LET’S skedaddle,” said tour guide Scott, and his 11 clients enthusiastically mounted up for the next stage of their Chinese adventure. It was day three and the first and only time our Australian leader used the word ‘skedaddle’ to marshal his troops, but we were all there as Skedaddlers, having signed up for the Guilin and Guangxi cycling holiday eager to explore this unique corner of the world.
A window into the past
Challenging yet rewarding riding
Immersed in extraordinary local culture
1.History in motion
‘Our group met in Guilin, a city of two million people on the banks of the Li River, just over an hour’s flight from Hong Kong. The next morning we were off on a four-hour bus ride to Bajiaozhai National Park. An interesting introduction to rural China. At the national park our first afternoon was spent climbing over 1,800 steps and negotiating precipitous walkways to a Buddist temple with spectacular views over the Karst.’
What an epic trip it turned out to be, cycling in deepest rural China with the magnificent Karst mountains providing the back-drop to a memorable nine days in the saddle. Over 40 years ago I spent several months travelling overland back to England, after a couple of years in Australia and New Zealand, and as I journeyed through Asia it proved endlessly fascinating. It’s no less fascinating today, with many rural Chinese still toiling in the fields, or burdened down with yokes with baskets at either end, walking to market, then sitting, seemingly for hours, alongside a small bundle of their wares. All timeless occupations, which have gone on for generations. There aren’t as many bicycles as I remember in Asia. These days it’s mainly mopeds and scooters, while, even in the back of beyond many people, young and old, seem to have the latest mobile phones. But much of life carries on as you would imagine it did in England in the Middle Ages.
2. What goes up must come down… My pre-trip training regime had consisted of 30 to 40-mile stints, mainly on the canal towpaths around where I live, so I was found wanting on the first day, having to walk a couple of uphill stretches, with ever-patient Scott (our guide) cajoling me along. Admittedly, at 73, I was giving the next youngest 15 years and they were all damned good cyclists, but a bit more hill work in training would not have gone amiss. Having said that, by the end I was toiling up all the hills with the rest of them, although admittedly still at the back. But what goes up must come down and there were some fantastic, long downhill swoops on most days. Day one ended after 45 fascinating miles at Chetian, in a secluded valley with a stream running right outside the guesthouse. A couple of beers and a cold shower, for the one and only time on the trip, revived me.
4. Local culture…
After lunch on day two a long downhill trundle through the area inhabited by the Dong, Miao and Yao people, ended at Longsheng Hot Springs, a dip providing much needed succour to my aching limbs. Next morning we had a pre-breakfast stroll to the local Miao village before a magical day cycling alongside the Min river, with an hour spent looking round the market at the county capital Longsheng, where all manner of everything was on sale. Live chickens, ducks, rabbits, frogs, toads and even allegedly barbecued rat, although nobody was game to buy any. One of the most striking things was the myriad succulent vegetables, all grown in this most fertile part of China. The day ended at Pingan, a village famous for its rice terraces, where we were to spend our first rest day. The hotel could only be accessed by several hundred steps and a group of lady porters were on hand to carry our heavy bags up to the accommodation – thankfully. You could even have taken advantage of a sedan chair and been carried there, but we all declined.
‘A steady climb through pine and bamboo forests brought us to our lunch stop, where we sampled delicious Guilin-style rice noodles’
One of the highlights of the trip was an hour in a two-man rubber dinghy on a white-water river, direct to the next hotel at Sheirtan. Next day we enjoyed a glorious ride through rural villages and paddy fields ended in an early afternoon visit to a tea plantation. An evening exploring the busy night market in Guilin, then it was back in the saddle the next morning to head out through the teeming city streets back into the rural backwaters.
Feeling inspired? Trevor cycled our adventure, China – Guilin and Guangxi, for more information about this cycling holiday click here.
trevor is also the winner of our 2016 July customer competition. For more information about this click here.
We love receiving your holiday photos and Skedaddler Innes Garden was no exception! His fantastic pictures taken when enjoying our Cycling Adventure in China give a great flavour of the landscape and people explored during our awe inspiring route. Want to know more? Check out own Innes’ feedback from the trip as well as a selection of his photos too:
Scott and the support team are great. They cleaned the bikes each night and serviced where necessary. They also supplied lots of regular picnic stops to help break up the journey and provide energy for the next stage!
It is the whole experience that marks this out as being outstanding. You travel from rural areas (where the locals will want to photography you as being exotic!) to ways more travelled. The views, the people, the food, all what is going on, and the whole experience are all incredible – too much to put into a few short words. Even the walk to the Buddhist Temple in the Bajiaozhai National Park was worth the holiday on its own!
So. China? Go! And go now while it is being transformed about you. Probably the best cycling holiday we have done!
Want to see more pictures from this fantastic destination? Check out our Flickr gallery.
If you’re feeling totally inspired why not check out our holiday in full and maybe you could be biking past rice paddies and sipping green tea too…to view our Cycling Adventure to Guilin and Guangxi click here.
The official blog of Saddle Skedaddle cycling holidays. Featuring everything from destination highlights to top picks from the team….