Yangshuo‘s countryside is a cycling paradise with countless village trails and paths leading through some of the most amazing scenery South-China has on offer. Starting from Yangshuo there are some beautiful less traveled roads winding for miles into the hills passing by the Yangshuo Tea Plantation and Stone Village in the north, Xing Ping in the northeast and Fuli and Liugong village in the southeast. Another beautiful area with local trails through farmlands and little charming villages can be found in the area around the Yulong river, (Dragon river) where Moon Hill and many of Yangshuo’s caves are situated.
Recommended countryside cycling routes in Yangshuo
Li-river biking routes
One of the most beautiful non touristic rides of the area start just North of Yangshuo in Shibanqiao, a small scenic village within walking distance of the centre where the Tai Chi & Kung Fu School of 5 times world champion Master Fu is located as well as some of our most recommended accommodations in Yangshuo. To reach Shibanqiao village (flat stone bridge) head to the Li-river from anywhere in Yangshuo centre and turn left cycling along the river upstream with the li-river at your right hand side. Go below the yellow covered corridor with the market stalls and the Li-river cruise docks and continue straight ahead (do not turn right at the juncture to continue along the river) and you will find yourself in one of Yangshuo‘s most authentic little villages, in Shibanqiao. From here 3 amazing village cycling routes start discussed here below. We learned about these trails through the accommodations in this village and we use their detailed maps and image booklets for these particular unspoiled countryside village routes.
This is one of the most scenic and less traveled biking routes of Yangshuo, probably because of its hilly character which requires a good condition or a scooter. From the county hospital at Shenshan Lu in Yangshuo drive uphill and follow the road through the town gate into the countryside. Follow the signs for Fairyland which is actually the 7-star tea plantation about 12km from Yangshuo. Follow the same road and where in doubt keep right. This will take you to the main crossing where left is a shortcut to Baisha Town in the West and right continues along the scenic hill route with several viewpoints over the rice fields and Li-river, Husband Mountain, Stone Village, and eventually Putao Town. At the crossing in Putao you can have lunch in one of the local restaurants nearby and turn left back to Yangshuo. On the way to Yangshuo you will meet Baisha where you can either continue to Yangshuo or better take a right turn at the crossing (follow the signs for the highway) and turn left after about 2 km at a sign for ‘Yulong bridge‘. From there follow one of the options described in the Yulong river section below.
The distance to Putao town is only 40 km on a road in superb condition, paved and hardly used since 2011. However there are some long lasting climbs – though none of them are steep – with especially the first part to the tea plantation being quite a challenge. Take enough water and sun protection with you, especially in summer, as there isn’t a lot of shade and although you may enjoy a cool breeze in the hills, it is easy to get sunburnt. If you do not fancy such an enduring ride, this route can easily be done with a scooter. There is hardly any traffic along the first mountainous 40km to Putao and the road is in perfect condition. By bicycle this route takes about 8hrs while a scooter will get you there in about 3hrs.
This ride is perfect for a half day bike ride out of Yangshuo as it only takes about 2 hrs until the road will disappear into the Li-river and you can return the same way still enjoying this scenic route in between the Li-river and its mountain side. To start this route leave Yangshuo as discussed earlier and follow this road until the same T-juncture. Turn right here as well but after a few hundred meters take the first right paved turn again leading you to the Li-river on a lightly rolling not too hilly road passed small little villages and great views over the river and karst peaks beyond. There is yet no other alternative than to come back the same way but the views are so amazing you will not regret having to do so.
3. Yangshuo > Li-river > Fuli Town > Yangshuo.
There is a very beautiful country road from Yangshuo centre crossed the Li-river to Fuli town. From anywhere in the centre of Yangshuo centre cycle to the Li-river and turn left cycling along the river upstream with the Li-river at your right hand side. Go below the yellow covered corridor with the market stalls and the Li-river cruise docks and continue straight ahead. After about 500m turn right at the juncture following the directions of the Li-river retreat. Follow the road for about 2 km until the road takes a 90 degrees turn to the left where you will find a tomb with a little trail in front at your right hand side. (if you meet a T-juncture you passed it about 500m so you need to return). Take the trail in front of the tomb which leads to the river where a ferry will help you cross the river (should not be more than 5Y per person including bicycle).
Once crossed the river go up the hill on the path in front of you for about 50m (you might have to get off as it’s quite steep) and follow the trail along farmlands and enjoy the serenity and scenery of Yangshuo‘s countryside. Continue for about 15km always choosing the straightest option ahead and you will stay on course to reach the main road between Xingping (turn left,15km) and Fuli town (turn right,3km). The total cycling trip to Fuli would take about 1.5-2 hrs, to Xing Ping 2.5 hrs.
To come back we recommend the scenic road partly along the banks of the Li-river for which you need to cross the river south next to the ‘3 sisters cafe’. (do not ask for Yangshuo yet but for the Li-river as otherwise they will guide you to the dusty main road between both towns) Here you can leave your bikes free of charge while you wander around the old town or visit the market. This restaurant also produces good food and has nice views. Once crossed the river you will pass Dutou village where you need to turn right for Yangshuo passing by Mushan village (mentioned below). Just ask for Yangshuo and you will be directed to the only and highly scenic road along rice paddies, farm lands and the Li-river. This road is paved and in excellent condition as of 2014. After crossing the river in Fuli you can also make a left turn to Liugong (mentioned below) and return to Yangshuo passing Muqiao and Aishan village.
4. Yangshuo > Shibanqiao Village > Fuli Bridge > Yulong Bridge > Jiuxian village > Yangshuo
This is another beautiful countryside route through many small local villages from Yangshuo centre leading to the Yulong river and Jinlong bridge, the starting place for the Yulong bamboo rafting downstream. Although this 800 year old bridge is not particularly spectacular, the scenery is magnificent and this 10m high bridge offers a great spot for a dive into the river (just be careful there are no bamboo rafts floating underneath) and there are plenty of spots to go swimming along the way. This is one of our own routes not on any Yangshuo maps.
Yulong river biking routes
This cycling route starts from the only gas station in the centre of Yangshuo passed the only traffic lights in Yangshuo. The road straight ahead takes you to the countryside road to Chaolong which is made up of 3 villages: Jima, Chao Yang and Chao Long village with the Yangshuo Cooking School.
1. Yangshuo > Jima village > Chaoyang village > Xiatang village > Jiuxian Village > Yulong bridge > Yangshuo
From Chao Yang village stay on the road to Xiatang village, a great swimming spot (turn left on a trail to ‘Yulong river‘), and continue all the way to the Yulong bridge. You may need to ask for directions (or take a guide) because the small trail leading to the bridge in this village with lot’s of narrow cobbled streets is a bit tricky to find. At the Yulong bridge there are several options:
- Cross the bridge and find a trail to the left that will lead to a paved road where you will meet to left turns leading to bridges where you can cross the river and continue cycling or bamboo-rafting to the Gongnong bridge where you can visit the old mighty Big Banyan Tree, the Water cave (a large, complex set of caves with spectacular underground scenery) and Moon Hill.
- Another longer alternative from the Yulong bridge near Baisha takes you up river to the next much larger bridge (Jinlong). Cross the bridge over the river and head towards Jin Bao Town then on to Gaotian which is south of Moon hill. Opposite of Moon Hill is the entrance gate to Moon Hill Village where you can relax and have lunch in a traditional farmers restaurant. Here you can also visit the Water cave.
- Return to Yangshuo along a main road to Baisha town where at the crossing, the right turn leads to Yangshuo (left to Guilin).
2. Yangshuo > Chao Yang > Aishan > Muqiao village > Liugong > Fuli > Yangshuo.
Follow the way through the traffic lights described above and just before Chao Yang village, take a left turn (actually the road bends to the right where you need to go straight ahead on a wide dirt road following the signs of ‘The Giggling Tree‘). Just after the Giggling Tree turn left at the T-juncture and continue along the Yulong river to the Gongnong Bridge. Cross the bridge and take the second path to the left. After approximately 600 meters there is a path branching off to the right, this is the way to Jianshan Temple, a renovated Buddhist temple spread across many levels. After the temple head back to the path you came from and follow it along the Yulong River heading downstream until you reach the main road at Aishan and follow this south in the direction of Yong village. The road to Liugong is about half way between Aishan and Yong village on the left hand side. Follow this road to the end where you’ll enter the sleepy riverside village of Liugong where you can wander around the ancient cobbled streets of this 800 year old village. If you cross this road and follow the path until you cross a second bridge you will reach another main road which will lead you back to Yangshuo town. Near the village are also the famous three-color ponds. The level of water in the ponds always remains equal throughout the year regardless of the water level of the Li River. As the name suggests the ponds have three different colors giving rise to many a local folk story about their supernatural existence. From Liugong there is a beautiful country road just south of the li-river past the artistic old town of Fuli passing by the stage of the light show in Yangshuo, back to the centre of Yangshuo.
|Getting There: Bikes or scooters can be hired locally and transport arranged by taxi/van to more distant locations.|
|Times/Duration: Sunrise to sunset|
|Prices: Bikes are generally available between 20-50Y depending on size and quality. Multilingual cycling guides start from 200Y a day.|
|Cycling Tours: Contact us for English or French speaking local guides and good bikes (all sizes and ages + tandems) to ensure a smooth interesting and highly enjoyable countryside cycling day.|