How long: 12 days (5th September – 16th September 2008)
Days of challenge activity: 6
Total distance cycled: Approx 400 km.
Best Season: September - May
Accommodation: Hotels & guesthouses
Best suited to: 18-55 age group
Physical grading: 3 Star
Culture shock: 3 Star

 

Map

Day 1 05/09 Australia to Hong Kong
Depart Australia (ex. Melbourne or Sydney) on Singapore airlines flight to Hong Kong in the evening.

Day 2 06/09 Arrive Hong Kong - (meals incl. D)
Arrive midday and transfer to hotel in Hong Kong. The afternoon is free for you to explore this magical city. There are bustling markets in Kowloon or take the star ferry to Hong Kong Island to see the famous skyline. Or best of all ride the railway up Victoria peak to see the city and harbour laid out at your feet. That evening we have our first group dinner and briefing in the evening and a chance to explore nearby Temple street night market.

Day 3 07/09 Bus from Hong Kong to Wuzhou - (meals incl. B,L,D)
In the morning we depart Hong Kong by bus to drive up the famous Pearl River Delta to Wuzhou (approx 6 hours). After checking through Chinese customs and immigration we stop at a local restaurant for lunch,after which we board buses again for the journey to Wuzhou (approx 3-4 hours) passing from Guangdong province to Guangxi province en route. The old riverside city of Wuzhou is a fascinating place to explore. It was once an important trading stop for colonial powers during the last century and was once the site of a British consulate.
After checking into the hotel we’ll have an evening briefing on what lies ahead for the week. There will also be some free time today for you to explore and get a feel for your first Chinese town with its lively street markets.

Day 4 08/09 Wuzhou to Taiping - (meals incl. B,L,D) (distance cycled approx 60km)
We start the first day of our cycling challenge, leaving Wuzhou in the morning and boarding buses which will take us some 30 km away to the start of the ride at Linzhou (avoiding most of the hills and traffic coming out of Wuzhou). Soon after we start there is a long winding hill to be climbed around 6km of ascent to reach the top at 500m. This is followed by a glorious long down hill which will bring us to our lunch stop in the nearby village of Gulong.  After lunch we venture off the main road onto some of the farmers roads that exist in the area and you’ll start to feel the thrill of discovery coming through small villages far removed from modern life. Tonight we stay in the small town of Taiping, whose market and old streets are fascinating to wander around.

Day 5  09/09 Taiping to Mengshan - (meals incl. B,L,D) (distance cycled approx 90km)
The Scenery today is stunning as we cycle up the Mei river valley, past farming villages, mountains and bamboo groves. The terrain is quite varied there will be more than a few hills to pedal up along the way.
Expect many friendly smiles and people, views of extensive rice paddies and water buffalo framed by green mountains and rivers. We will be coming into contact with people in small towns and villages that see few tourists and their enthusiastic welcomes make this a truly memorable experience.

Day 6  10/109 Mengshan to Yangshou - (meals incl. B,L,D) (distance cycled approx 80km)
Today is another long ride that starts with a few hills but levels out during the day.  As we approach closer to our goal of Guilin, we will start to see the eroded limestone mountains for which this area is famous. Hundreds of these Karst peaks rise out of the flat river plains to form a magical backdrop to our cycling.
We arrive into the laidback traveller’s haunt of Yangshou by the afternoon and then you have the rest of the day free to explore the town and get over the shock of seeing other westerners! Yangshou is situated on the banks of the beautiful Li River and surrounded by tall Karst peaks which have made it one of the most distinctive sights in China. A raft or kayak along the shallow Li River is highlight of any visit here; Fishermen still use bamboo rafts and cormorants to fish with and a trip along the river in the evening to watch them is an unforgettable experience.

Day 7 11/09 Ride around Yangshuo - (meals incl. B,L) (distance cycled approx. 30-50km)
Today we’ll split into smaller groups and head off with a local farmer to explore the area around Yangshuo, taking in attractions such as Moon Hill where a series of steep steps lead to a breathtaking viewpoint over the surreal landscape of Karst Mountains.  This is one of our most enjoyable day’s cycling as we ride over dirt roads through villages before returning to Yangshuo in the afternoon.  Dinner today will be at your own expense.

Day 8 12/09   In Yangshou - (meals incl. B)
Today is set aside as a leisure day for you to explore the sublime countryside surrounding Yangshou or relax in one of it’s many delightful cafes and restaurants. There are many things to do here: you can go cruising or canoeing down the Li River, take calligraphy, cooking or Tai Chi lessons or just browse the local shops and markets. Lunch and dinner today will be at your own expense.

Day 9  13/09 Yangshou to Xing ping – (meals incl. B,L.D) (distance cycled approx 70km)
We stay among the beautiful limestone scenery today as we cycle on back roads to the town of Baisha, with its beautiful Dragon bridge. This is rural China at its best and the riding today is superb as we follow small farmer’s tracks with breathtaking scenery at every turn. At the end of the day we board a boat with our bikes and cruise down the Li river between Yangdi and Xing ping. This area has become immortalized by Chinese poets and artists through the centuries and its classical landscape of mountains, bamboo forests, village and rivers has been the inspiration for countless paintings. Arrive early evening into Xing Ping for a well earned beer!

Day 10 14/09 Xing Ping to Guilin - (meals incl. B, L, D) (distance cycled approx 60km)
Our last day’s cycling takes us on back roads through the hills with more amazing scenery. There’ll be a few climbs today to finish our trip with before we say goodbye to our bikes and jump on board a coach to transfer to our hotel in Guilin for the night. Tonight we have a celebratory meal and look around this laid back city for our last night in China

Day 11 15/09 Guilin to Guangzhou - (meals incl. B)
Early morning  transfer from hotel to Guilin airport and board a plane for Guangzhou and transfer for our International flight departing at midday. 

Day 12 16/09 Arrive back Syd/Mel in the morning.

Please note this is a complex itinerary subject to change dependant on local conditions, weather and transportation schedules. Intrepid reserves the right to amend this itinerary and any distances stated at its discretion.