Find your ideal cycling holiday
China - Guangxi Province & Beijing (with UK flights)
13th October 2020 - 27th October 2020 (15 days)
Guangxi Province, in south west China, is a land of exquisite landscapes with natural and man-made wonders, stunning karst rock formations, caves, terraced rice paddies, tea plantations and crystal clear waters of the Li river with cormorant fishermen. The tour starts in Guilin city, a modern tourist metropolis, and takes us into some hilly terrain and along some dirt tracks through stunning scenery, at a steady pace, to see the local culture of the large number of ethnic minorities. The tour ends with an internal flight to Beijing for a two-day visit to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven. Riders will need to be capable of cycling up to 100km a day in hilly terrain. Good hotels with breakfast and most dinners included. Fully supported with English speaking guides and vehicle transfers. Cycle hire is included, with mountain bikes supplied by the local agents.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Richard Dugdale
- Grade Challenging
- Booking Status Places Available
- Accommodation Hotel & Guesthouse
- Board Basis Half Board
- Travel Arrangements Air
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Full Vehicle Support
- Holiday Ref 03520
Tuesday 13th October
Fly from London Heathrow to Beijing on Air China flight CA788 departing 1520, arriving 0835 next day.
Wednesday 14th October
Continue to Guilin on Air China flight CA1471 departing 1230, arriving 1545. Meet local guide and transfer to a local hotel. We will take dinner in the hotel or nearby. Stay 1 night. Meals: None
Thursday 15th October
We will collect our hire bikes and carry out the necessary adjustments and fittings. Transfer to Baishu Town before cycling through the remote villages and farmland, following the river valleys to Taiping Town. Transfer to Luicheng County just north of Luizhou City. Cycle 50-80km, depending on the route chosen. Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Friday 16th October
Transfer to Chengyang Town, home to the Sanjiang Dong minority people. Cycle along the border of Guangxi and Hunan province through Dong wooden villages. Cycle 44km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Saturday 17th October
Transfer to the quieter roads near Pingtan Town. Cycle 50km to Piaoli town, then transfer to the Longji Rice Terraces, from where we will walk up to the mountain-top village of Ping'an (transfer/cycle option for part of the way). No vehicle access to the village. Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Sunday 18th October
A short walk and transfer before cycling through orchards and along cycle tracks to Lingchuan on the edge of Guilin. Cycle 60km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Monday 19th October
A short transfer followed by cycling through grape farms and along the Lingqu Canal, built for grain transport in 214 BC by the same emperor who built the Great Wall. Cycle through Xing'an to Daxu Ancient Town. Cycle 100km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Tuesday 20th October
Cycle through pleasant countryside to Xinping and on to Yangshuo. Cycle 80km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Wednesday 21st October
Cycle from Yangshuo and view the amazing karst landscape and pinnacles around the Li river, followed by a transfer to Gongcheng to see the temple and sample the food and oil tea. Cycle 70km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Thursday 22nd October
Cycle to Guilin over the mountains, experiencing some dramatic scenery. Transfer last section into the city. Cycle 75km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
NB. The route this day may have to be altered due to ongoing road expansion in the area, which might make it dusty and dangerous. A decision will be made in midsummer whether to substitute this for a ride to Nanshan Pasture. This might also mean a slight change in yesterday's ride.
Friday 23rd October
Our last day of cycling, we ride around the sights and small industries of Guilin, visiting the Reed Flute Cave. It is an amazing natural limestone cave over 180 million years old, with multicoloured lighting, and has been one of Guilin's most interesting attractions for over 1200 years. Cycle 45km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Saturday 24th October
Rest day or sightseeing. Afternoon transfer to Guilin airport for China Southern Airlines flight CZ3287 to Beijing departing 1810, arriving 2100. Meet local guides and transfer to hotel. Stay 3 nights. Meals: B
Sunday 25th October
With local guide visit the Great Wall, Mutianyu section, 70km north-east of Beijing (2 hour drive). Using the cable car will save some walking. This section of the Great Wall was originally constructed in the mid-6th century and was rebuilt in its current form during the Ming Dynasty in 1569. The Mutianyu section spans over a mile and contains a total of 23 watchtowers, making it one of the longest fully-restored portions of the Wall. Meals: B
Monday 26th October
An early transfer to the Temple of Heaven complex where locals wil be doing their morning exercises, Tai Chi, Hacky Sac and traditional games. Afternoon in Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City built over 500 years ago. The day will end in Jingshan Park with great city views from the Wanchun Pavilion. Meals: B
Tuesday 27th October
Transfer to Beijing airport for Air China flight CA855 to London Heathrow departing 1220, arriving 1555, where the tour ends. Meals: B
Meals: B = Breakfast D = Dinner
Accommodation & Meals
Staying mostly in 3-star hotels, sharing rooms, with some Chinese style guesthouses when in remote areas. All breakfasts are included along with dinner on all but four nights. Vegetarians can be catered for if indicated on the Booking Form.
Full vehicle support with a coach to transport riders and luggage, and a small truck for the bikes.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is valid for at least 6 months at the end of the tour. You MUST obtain a visa before travel. This must be applied for online, followed by a personal visit to a Visa Application Service Centre in London, Manchester or Edinburgh by appointment.
You should contact your doctor at least 3 months prior to travel to obtain any vaccinations and the latest advice to travellers. You can also check requirements and obtain advice on the website: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £2,900 is based on a minimum number of 13 people taking part in the holiday; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3. If there are insufficient bookings by 4th August 2020, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.
- Return flights from London Heathrow to Guilin and from Beijing
- All transfers as indicated in the Itinerary
- Full vehicle support with English speaking local guides
- 13 nights hotel/guesthouse, sharing room
- 13 breakfasts, 9 dinners
- Mid-morning/afternoon snacks on cycling days (nuts etc)
- Water when cycling
- Internal flight from Guilin to Beijing
- Entry fees to the Reed Flute Cave, Great Wall/Cable Car, Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City, Jingshan Park
- Bicycle hire
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from London Heathrow
- Drinks with meals
- Dinner on the first and last 3 nights
- Entry fees at any other attractions visited
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
- Single occupancy supplement (£365, subject to availability)
A deposit of £500 per person is payable upon booking, with an Interim Payment of £500 per person due by 20th March 2020. The final balance of £1,900 per person is to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 4th August 2020.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 20th March 2020
20th March 2020 to 3rd August 2020
4th August 2020 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
The ancient city of Guilin, founded in 214BC, was destroyed by the Japanese in 1944. The new city of over eight million people is nestled in a scenic wonderland. We see many terraced rice paddies, beautiful woodlands, bamboo forests and wide navigable rivers with cormorant fishing still carried out. We pass through small river valleys and quaint ethnic villages of minority peoples who have farmed here for over 1000 years. We will enjoy magnificent karst rock formations and wonderful caves with multicoloured formations. At the end of the tour we visit Beijing and will visit the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square and Jingshan Park.
Rides & Rest Days
This tour is best suited to experienced cyclists. Riding surfaces will be a mixture of well-surfaced roads and some poor gravel or dirt sections. Cycling distances are between 50 and 100km over hilly terrain. Vehicle assistance will be available if needed. There will be time to explore Guilin and places of interest during the tour and to explore Beijing at the end. The tour involves some walking to see some of the larger sights.
The maximum number of participants will be 17 excluding the Tour Manager(s).
Weather & Clothing
Guilin enters its gold autumn period in October when it is warm and fairly dry. The average low and high temperatures are respectively 17°C and 26°C but could reach 30°C. There could be about 25mm (1 inch) of rain on 2 or 3 days during our time in Guilin, but generally in the form of light rain or drizzle. There should be around 5 or 6 hours of sunshine on average each day. You will need sun cream plus head and eye protection along with a rain jacket and a windproof top. It could get cooler at higher elevations.
Cycles & Equipment
Mountain bikes will be provided by our agents. You will not need to carry luggage, but a rack top pack or bar bag will be useful for carrying wet weather gear, spare clothing needed for the day, camera, snacks and your map. You will need to bring your own bar/saddlebag and any small tools you may feel necessary for small adjustments on route, although the guides should not be too far away with spares etc. Helmets are a requirement of our agents for insurance purposes. These can be obtained from them but are standard cheap units, so it is highly recommended that you take your own helmet if possible.
Maps & Guides
GPX routes will be provided for each day of riding. A map of China South can be found on the internet. Gizi Map produce a China South Map, which is at 1:2,000,000 scale and a bit large, but might be useful.
Travel Insurance & Advice
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.
China uses 220V, 50HZ electrical supply. Three types of socket are used:
1. The 2 round pin type as used in Europe
2. The 2 flat pin type as used in USA
3. The 3 flat angled pins as used in Australia
The currency is the yuan (renminbi), currently worth about 11p, or 9 yuan to £1.