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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Train had been taken to travel to and from Guangzhou and Guilin, 13hours one way slept on the train. Guilin is very famous for the scenery, people say it is the very best in China for the scenery classification of hills/river. I would say the best scenery is at the area between Guilin city and Yangshuo. We arrived Guilin city in the morning, after hotel hunting and unpacked, we set off for the journey along Lijiang River to Yanshuo, explored along the way. We found the hilly route would be too much for the rest of the day, we returned to Guilin city for the night.

My new tour machine at an ancient town at Lijian River.

Exploring the ancient town.

On the road to Yanshuo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The next day, we decided to take a bus to Yangshuo and ride back.
I post this photo just to show the super bus service of Guilin city/Yangshuo. ¥15 (~US$2.00), clean new bus, took care by a nice young bus-hostess, no extra-charge for the bike, no need to bag the bike, just throw into the luggage compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yanshuo is a nice small town where most tourist prefer to stay than Guilin city, plenty of bikes for rental at cheap price.

Here is the map of our ride from Yanshuo to Guilin city, red arrows indicate the bike ride, while green is a boat ride in Lijian River.

Some views from the top of Moon Hill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We arrived Xinping at around 5pm, met Jenny. She took us to the riverside village for the night, ¥15 per person in a guest house. Went for a boat ride next morning against the current toYangdi for ¥40 per person.

A view from Xinping in the morning.

Chi-ming and Jenny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Jenny dropped us just before Yandi for some unknown reasons, we had to take a short walk and cross the river to Yandi by bamboo raft.

A picture of the front of the bamboo raft and another of the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jinkeng Terraced Fields is another highlight of the trip, I have never seen any place like this. Again, we went there by bus and rode back to Guilin city.

Local people are really nice and friendly, no body said a word on our bulky bagged bikes which had been squeezed into the mini bus and literally leaning against their legs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Entrance of Jinkeng Terraced Fields, about 1,400M about sea level. Woman here are the head of the family and in charge. Women inherit the property and the family surname. It appears to me that most men here are doing nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jinkeng Terraced Fields. You can imagine how hard it is to cultivate the land of the mountain for growing cops. Before the place was opened to tourist 5 years ago, people here were really poor. Now guest houses here are nice and clean. We were here at the wrong time of the year, when cops had be harvested long time ago and fields left unattended waiting for the spring to come. We hope we can come back here again in end of September when cops will turn gold ready for harvest. We were told the air will be clearer and sky will be in deep blue at that time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We rode down the mountain next afternoon. It was a long steep descent, my computer recorded 13km. I was a bit worry with my thin slick tires, so I went dead slow and took it carefully. What a waste, I should have brought some knobby tires. There are regular mini bus services from the foot of the mountain to the top, it would be real fun to come just for the down hill ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We rode to Longsheng for the night. From Longsheng to Guilin city (86km), there is a 8km climb start from Heping. Chi-ming hates long climb and I wanted to complete the journey by bike, the arrangement was that I started on my own 2 hours earlier and Chi-ming took a bus to the top of the climb where we joined and rode to Guilin city.

Started at 6.30am
 

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Once again, a superb photo essay. Your picture of the flooded terraced fields is my new wallpaper. You seem to live a very good life. Wandering the countryside. Taking pictures.
 

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Wow.

This might be your best report yet--terrific job! Especially liked the views from the top of Moon Hill. That region is one of the most fascinating places I've seen, with those limestone formations (the Karst topography) receding into the haze in the distance. Beautiful photos!

Thanks for the report!
 

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Here's my story traveling in China

I was in Southern China (Guongtong sp?) maybe five years old and staying in this hotel in Kai-ping. We talked to the hotel manager about taking a bus to Guilin, and he promptly booked us onto in his word "Luxurious" bus. When we got to the bus stop, we saw the most ugly piece of junk I had ever seen. There were no seats inside the bus. They had bunks I guessed for laying down and sleeping through the long journey from southern China to Guilin. The mats on the bunk were dirty and to us looked lice infested. Anyway, we sat there for a few minutes, looked at each other, and got off the bus just before the bus was getting ready to leave.

We forfeited the Guilin bus tickets and instead bought bus tickets to Hong Kong. The bus to Hong Kong was a much better looking bus. The bus actually had normal looking seats. However, the bus was so full that they brought out a bunch of very low wooden stools. We all sat on wooden stools on the bus center aisle. The aisle was so packed that we were leaning against each other everytime the bus make a slight turn.

When we got to Hong Kong, we visited a relative there. They told us we were lucky we didn't go through with the trip to Guilin. Apparently, Guilin is some of the most improverish place in China. Buses like the one we were getting-on often get rob by local bandits. Sometimes, the bus drivers could be "in" on it. Another danger was these bus were poorly maintained. Engine failures were common if your lucky. Buses plunging down a mountainside and killing everyone onboard didn't make the news ... much less investigated by authorities. This was just the normal hazards of life for a nation with the largest population in the world. Lives were cheap there!

The western tour companies have "connections" with the local authorities and "bandits", so they are safe for the western tourist ... but don't try winging it like we did. :(

Frogger
 
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