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 night markets Opportunities to enrich your journey and connect with the locals abound, even though you may not share a single common word. .
Day 6 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 7-8 The Great Wall is even more incredible with breathing room We have a remote section virtually to ourselves, so we can actually walk on the wall - the world's most scenic StairMaster - rather than simply dodging throngs of tourists, which makes for quite a workout! 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 (1 night): 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
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
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Guest Trip Reviews
Take your older teens and 20-somethings on a trip they'll never forget - an active adventure in China! From traditional rural villages to modern Beijing's bustling streets, there's no shortage of culture to absorb and incredible sights to see. And there's no better way for your family to experience China than from the seat of a bike on our new Family Breakaway Biking Trip.- Regional Manager, Asia