Maybe it's the bike. It's disarming. Friendly. It shows you China in a way you can't see by any other means. Ride by a group of school kids or a farmer in his rice paddy, and it instantly changes China. It's no longer about walls you can see from space or newspaper images of students in front of tanks. It's closer than that. It's real. The foods are richer. The language is spoken with your eyes. Yes, this journey somehow shows you everything from Canton to Beijing and the rural places in between. But what this journey really does is show you the real China face-to-face.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
AccommodationsThe majority of the hotels on this trip are top tier. In China, however, "luxury hotel" is most often synonymous with "big hotel." Also, some of our lodgings don't always offer Western-style service and amenities and beds may be quite firm by Western standards. Whether humble and quirky or immense and ostentatious, they possess a charm worth experiencing, and are always clean and comfortable.
Biking in an Emerging WorldYour journey through China will be unlike any other travel experience. As wonderfully fulfilling as travel is in the region, it's not always easy. Our trip emphasizes the idyllic Chinese serenity, but it's impossible to completely avoid the bustling intersections and modern pace found here.
Navigating China's crowded narrow city streets and rural roads on a bicycle is both a physical and cultural adventure that requires quick thinking, patience and humor (watch out for that scooter!). Though the route distances may be relatively short, the terrain, road conditions, heat and humidity, and the need to be alert can make activity more physically demanding.
If you can be flexible and approach the region with an open mind, you'll enjoy your trip to the fullest!
Days 1-3 Experience traditional life in rural villages and modern life in new cities By river and bicycle, travel past remote hamlets and expansive fields of rice and sugarcane to the bustling cities of ancient Zhaoqing and Wuzhou For a taste of the everyday, visit with locals in roadside cafés Enthusiastic youngsters rush out to greet you; they don't often see Westerners, especially on bikes!
Days 4-5 Marvelous biking by winding rivers, lush paddies and the dramatic karst pinnacles of Yangshuo Immerse yourself in stunning scenery on a private Li River boat cruise You'll find embroidered silk, stone carvings, hilltribe crafts and more - plus terrific people-watching - at the street markets.
Days 6-7 The Terracotta Warriors: more than 6,000 life-sized funerary statues stand at attention at the awe-inspiring tribute to Emperor Qin Shi Huang, a World Heritage site Pedal the 500-year-old city walls of Xian, China's imperial capital for 12 dynasties.
Days 8-9 The Great Wall, far from throngs of tourists - the world's most scenic StairMaster is even more incredible with breathing room Ride through Beijing on Chinese-style bikes, exploring Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City Indulge in delectable Peking duck and other Chinese specialties.
- Experience traditional life in rural villages and modern life in new cities
- The Terracotta Warriors, Tiananmen Square and more
- Marvelous biking by expansive rice paddies and the dramatic karst pinnacles of Yangshou
- The Great Wall, far from throngs of tourists
- Ride Chinese cruiser bikes to the Forbidden City
OYC Hotel (1 night): A modern resort with every conceivable amenity and scenic lake views. (pool, spa, tennis)
Argos Resort Hotel (1 night): Though more of a business class hotel, this resort is the newest and most comfortable lodging in quiet Deqing.
Wuzhou Riverside International Hotel (1 night): A simple hotel centrally located in lively Wuzhou, close to restaurants, shops and other attractions. (pool, tennis)
Green Lotus Hotel (2 nights): Set on the banks of the Li River, this new hotel offers a level of luxury not seen before in Yangshuo. (pool, spa)
Hilton Xian (1 night): A sleek modern hotel ideally situated within the ancient walls of historic Xian. (pool, spa)
The Peninsula Beijing (2 nights): The choice of foreign dignitaries, this luxurious five-star hotel has scores of amenities and a prime location in central Beijing. Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Sunset Cruise (1.5 Hours)|
|7||VIsit to Terracotta Warriors Complex (3 Hours)|
|8||Great Wall Hike (3 Miles)|
|Forbidden City and Tianamen Square Tours|
On this trip, we'll be using titanium mountain bikes that are just right for the non-technical dirt road riding as well as the paved riding. (approximately 30% dirt and 70% paved).
* Includes a shuttle
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 5/11-19 Price: $5698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $410
- 10/8-16 Price: $5598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $410
- 10/20-28 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $410
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 3/30-4/7 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $410
- 4/13-21 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $410
- 4/27-5/5 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $410
- 5/11-19 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $410
- 9/21-29 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $410
- 10/8-16 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $410
- 10/19-27 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $410
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.
If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.
Pricing for Private Trips
- 8 - 9 guests $6,098 pp dbl. occ.
- 10 - 11 guests $5,798 pp dbl. occ.
- 12 or more guests $5,198 pp dbl. occ.
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Guest Trip Reviews
In my opinion, Backroads is the only way to really see and experience China. We loved the routes through rural areas that were not used to seeing North Americans! And in contrast, riding through Beijing with 7 million fellow cyclists was quite a rush! I feel that I really experienced all that China has to offer! Although the days were very full of activity, it was necessary in order to pack it all in. An outstanding itinerary!!!! Thank you Backroads, once again!- Toronto, ON
We had a wonderful time in China and thoroughly enjoyed the Backroads experience. The mix of active biking and hiking combined with cultural activities, such as a visit to Terracotta Warriors, Forbidden City, tai chi lesson, a visit to a Chinese calligrapher, Chinese massage, acrobatics show, etc. enabled us to have a rich and memorable experience.- Toronto, ON
A truly memorable experience, Backroads enabled a valuable and unique perspective on China and its people. What a challenging environment in which to operate. It is only after traveling on an unguided basis in China that one can truly appreciate the skills of Backroads' guides. They enable their guests to have a smooth and hassle-free experience, while still getting the flavor of this intense, culturally rich nation.- Toronto, ON
Absolutely the best vacation I have ever taken. Backroads sets the standard that others aspire too. The logistics and support were flawless.- Williamsburg, VA
This was trip of a lifetime given the amount of China we saw (and conquered). For me this trip had special significance because I had been to China in 1983 and wanted to see how it had changed and because I celebrated my 50th birthday hiking on the Great Wall, staying at the Peninsula Palace in Beijing, and enjoying a fabulous dinner (with a great birthday cake to boot). Not a bad way to celebrate, if you ask me.- Bethesda, MD
I had high expectations and they were met. The food, the participants, and the guides were wonderful. The places we visited are all worth the trip. One of my favorite world trips ever.- Ormond Beach, FL
This was the best vacation I have ever had! What an incredible balance of culture and exercise. I learned so much of the history of China, and the local guides made it so personal by sharing their own experiences, thoughts and backgrounds. And to be able to have lunch at a local's home, to see the inside of a country home and understand a bit of what it's like to live there, were experiences that I know I could only have gotten through Backroads. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing China through all the "back roads," without the hoards of other tourists. The paths that we took were varied and scenic, whether through the streets of Beijing or along the rice paddies. Photo-ops were a constant. Laughter was a constant. I think the types of people you attract are just my type of people; we all got along so well I could go on forever, and I have been telling everyone I know about how fantastic this trip was. I can't wait for the next one!- New York, NY
This was an outstanding trip in every respect. We learned so much about China in eleven days. The days were varied; some challenging with lots of biking, some more focused on culture. The extra events, such as visiting a calligrapher in Xian, visiting a kindergarten class, having lunch in the hutangs of Beijing and attending an acrobatic show, were all wonderful extras.- Davidson, NC
Overall the trip was fabulous - very well organized and executed. Hotels were good, the food was great, and the extra activities lots of fun (especially loved the foot massage and tai chi sessions.) Loved having the local guides. Backroads has really figured out how to do a bike trip in China with the support of local resources.- Boston, MA
This was absolutely an awesome, eye opening, culture-laden trip to remember. What a phenomenal value. I honestly don't see how Backroads makes a decent profit, to be honest! The hotels were better than my expectations and the food was way beyond expectations.- Boston, MA