Travelling in South China: cycling in Yangshuo

Yangshuo is a gorgeous town in south China, in the tropical Guangxi province. It's famous for its stunning scenery “karst” limestone hill formations.

There are over 70,000 karsts, which are unique to this part of China. Alongside it runs the River Li and other natural wonders, which makes it the ideal place to visit by bike.

Cycling in Yangshuo - Guangxi Province
Our karsts selfie in Yangshuo

Where to rent bikes in Yangshuo

After shopping around at several shops, we rented our bikes from Bike Asia who had the cleanest and most modern looking bikes in the area.  They charge 70 yuan (around $10) for a day's bike rental.

Bike Asia also gave us a detailed map and invaluable practical advice about which places to visit and the best paths to use.

Checking bike cycling in Yangshuo
A day of cycling in Yangshuo

Map for cycling in Yangshuo

We found some helpful online information, especially for the route that takes you to Baisha village and on to Yulong Bridge, which runs perpendicular to the Yulong River the surrounding area.

This was one of the best online maps we found for cycling in Yanghsuo – following the green “Back road to Baisha” route going from Yangshuo to Baisha, then the purple “Dragon Bridge” route returning to Yangshuo. This route is a total of around 35 kilometres and the first part is a mainly uphill cycle to Baisha from West Street in Yangshuo via Shi Ban Qiao village:

Map for cycling in Yangshuo
Yangshuo bicycle map

A refreshing dip in the Yulong River

The pretty Yulong “Dragon's” Bridge is the half way point of cycling route described above. It's the ideal spot for photos and to whip out the speedos for a refreshing dip.

Admiring the view across the Yulong River from The Dragon Bridge
Sebastien admiring the view across the Yulong River from The Dragon Bridge

After a sweaty day's cycling, a swim in the Yulong river is always warmly received:

Sebastien about to cool down in the Yulong River after a day's cycling in Yangshuo's countryside
Sebastien about to cool down in the Yulong River after a day's cycling in Yangshuo's countryside

The 20 yuan Chinese bank note view

Xingping village is another popular destination for cyclists in Yangshuo with a beautiful view of the river between the karsts. This is also the image used on the back of the Chinese 20 yuan (around £2) bank note:

Xingping village 20 yuan bank note view when cycling in Yanshuo
The landscape at Xingping is the image used on the back of the Chinese 20 yuan bank note

Culinary highlights for cycling in Yangshuo

Yangshuo has a large offering of some delicious street food and array of tropical fruits which you should try out during your visit:

Taro Chips

Taro chips snacks for cycling in yangshuo
One greedy boy about to go face down into a plate of taro chips in Yangshuo

Spicy tofu

street food for cycling in Yangshuo
Seb stopping to try freshly made spicy tofu street during our day of cycling

Tropical fruits

This part of China is famous for its tropical fruit, which you can buy everywhere. Some favourites include dragon fruit, mangosteen, passion fruit and delicious sweet mangos:

Fruit snacks ideal for cycling in Yangshuo
Enjoying a variety of inexpensive tropical fruit in Yangshuo

After cycling in Yangshuo we said a fond farewell and boarded the train to venture into China's Yunnan province where we trekked the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

For more, watch our China travel video as we ate our way from Beijing in the North all the way to the south via Pingyao, Xi'An, Shanghai, Yangshuo through to Shangri-La:

 

OUR FAVOURITE TRAVEL TIPS

⭐️ TRAVEL INSURANCE — We recommend you always take out travel insurance before your next vacation. What happens if you suffer from illness, injury, theft or a cancellation? With travel insurance, you can have peace of mind and not worry. We love World Nomads travel insurance and have been using it for years. Their comprehensive coverage is second to none and their online claims process is very user friendly.

⭐️ SAFETY & SECURITY — All travelers can sometimes encounter danger when traveling. CloseCircle is your “virtual body guard” mobile app which provides security alerts and support wherever you are in the world. They have a 24/7 emergency response team monitoring their users who will contact you immediately if the SOS swipe button is activated. Support can include anything from practical advice, to free evacuation from areas with extreme weather or security risks. You can read more about CloseCircle in our article about how to stay safe whilst traveling.

⭐️ ONLINE ANONYMITY — A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a must in many countries: it allows you to surf anonymously and maintain your privacy whilst traveling. You'll particularly need it in countries where dating apps are blocked by the government. We recommend ExpressVPN, a reliable and cost effective service which we used and loved during our travels.

⭐️ HOTELS or APARTMENTS — When we plan a trip, we always look for the best hotel deals. We love Booking.com because not only do they have a comprehensive listing of accommodation options, they also offer the best prices. Added bonus: they provide 24/7 support and free cancellation for most listings.

⭐️ SIGHTSEEING and ADVENTURES — When we travel somewhere, we like to seek out the best experiences, whether it is cooking with locals in Bangkok, hiking on a glacier in Patagonia, or going on a wildlife safari in Sri Lanka. Our favorite place to look is GetYourGuide because they have over 30,000 highly rated activities, a user-friendly booking process with free cancellation and a 24 hour customer support.

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5 thoughts on “Travelling in South China: cycling in Yangshuo”

  1. Oh, wow! I am so jealous of your adventure tale right now!

    However, you see, I am the forever alone type, so as much as I want to go on these adventures, I’m still afraid to set out on my own! Huu

    So do tell me, would you know of any guided bike tours which I could be part of?

    Again, I love your posts! <3

  2. love your blog and the posts as they evolve as you travel along! you really are doing the Asia part of what I did in the year 2000 but in the proper way! seeing many more of the things that I wish to see as well!

    hopefully life will give me a chance again to fulfill some of those dreams too!

    Enjoy boys you really are living the dream! yours and from a distance mine too! hugs
    et allez si fort! vous etes superbes ensemble! je vous embrasse
    Jean-Marie

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