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Overview

From the coast to the mountains, discover the diversity of China. Take a closer look at the blend of cultures in Guangzhou then travel inland to see an impressive mixing pot of ethnic groups. Come face-to-face with the traditions and lifestyles of the people with guided treks and bike rides.

Trip Highlights

Guangzhou to Guilin By High Speed Train

Understand Guangzhou’s colourful heritage

See how the port town’s culture and architecture have been influenced by centuries of trade. 

Trek to hill tribe villages

Take to the trails in Longsheng and Yangshou and encounter a variety of ethnic groups with deep-rooted traditions. 

Travel by high-speed Train

Experience China’s efficient- and fast! - train network with a comfortable journey from Guangzhou to Guilin

Itinerary

1

Arrival in Guangzhou

Estimate distance and journey time: Guangzhou airport – Guangzhou city (approx. 35km): 40 min *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

After being greeted at the airport and transferred to the hotel, begin exploring Guangzhou in a destination that beautifully captures its multi-cultural background: Shamian Island. Ripe with French and British influence, this riverside region is a popular destination for locals performing their daily exercise rituals, and also houses the French-built Our Lady of Lourdes Church, another colonial icon.

Standing in stark contrast to the western-style structures of Shamian is the Qingping Market area. Traverse the long avenue separating the island from the northern reaches of the city, and this ancient quarter comes to life. Once thriving in the sale of dogs, cats, rodents, and owls for consumption, this region today focuses more on Chinese pharmacopoeia (traditional medicine.) From a mind-boggling range of ginseng varieties to pungent dried seahorses and scorpions, this classic medicinal neighborhood still retains much of its traditional atmosphere.

To further add to the sensory walking tour, produce vendors sell colorful, exotic fruits and pungent spices, mahjong players loudly clack tiles, clothes vendors shout, clap, and exclaim daily sales to all passer-bys… with the Longjin Covered Market selling everything in between. After the lively stroll, a more reverential visit will succeed at the 19th century Chen Family Temple (visited by car to give the feet a rest!) Here beautiful Southern Chinese architecture and stunning paintings/sculptures pay homage to the wealthy merchant Chen clan.

Conclude the historic tour with a visit to the Western Han Nanyue King’s Tomb Museum, home to a vast collection of Zhao Mei’s (137-122 BC) funerary objects. Unearthed in the 1980’s, this museum’s collection is considered to be one of the best in the country. 

Optional: Interested in a local Dim Sum tasting? One of the most famous foods of Cantonese cuisine, these sweet and savory snacks are often compared to Spanish tapas… a must-try for anyone visiting Guangzhou! Contact us further for more information or bookings.

Overnight in Guangzhou 

2

Guangzhou - Kaiping - Guangzhou

Estimate distance and journey time: Guangzhou – Chikan (approx. 140 km): 2h (by car) Chikan – Jinjiang (13km) by bike Jinjiang – Majianglong (7km) by bike Majianglong – Chikan (10km) by bike Chikan – Li garden (7km) by bike Li garden – Chikan (6km) by bike Chikan – Zili village (8,5km): 20 min by car Zi village- Guangzhou (approx. 135km): 2 h (by car) Guangzhou – Guilin (approx.478 km: 2h50min) *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Depart early from Guangzhou for a cycling journey through the nearby village of Chikan. Before collecting the bikes in the town center, take note of the amazing architecture that surrounds the riverside area. Built by wealthy Chinese merchants, these opulent structures boast grand pillars and oversized balconies, which are today used as backdrops for films set in colonial times.

Taking to two wheels, the cycling aspect of the journey will embark into the nearby countryside. Surrounded by bamboo forests, domesticated animals, and lush plantations, this region stands in stark contrast to the aforementioned Chikan splendour. For those interested in a uniquely alternative experience, there is an (optional) encounter with a local duck farmer. Get an insider glimpse into the rearing of ducks and the origins of ‘Cantonese style roast duck,’ one of the most popular regional meals… Perhaps not an experience for the faint hearted!

The next stop on the cycling journey will expose the first beautiful diaolou of the region: the Ruishi Lou of Jinjiang Village, famous for its Byzantine architecture. Soon to follow are the towers at Majianglong, a cluster of structures acclaimed by locals for their excellent Fengshui (mountains in the back with the Tanjiang River in the front.) Plenty of watchtowers are to follow as the path winds gracefully through subsequent bamboo groves and lush countrysides.

Lunch is recommended back in Chikan (not included).

With a full stomach, continue onwards towards Zili Village (famous for its large concentration of diaolou) for a stop at the Li Gardens before dropping the bikes off and returning to Chikan. Transfer back to Guangzhou by car.

Overnight in Guangzhou

(Ride up to 43 km)

Note: Chikan provides best options for lunch; Skip lunch and reduce the total itinerary by 4km.

Difficulty: Moderate (flat all the way, one third of the cycling itinerary will be along national road)

3

Guangzhou - Guilin - Longsheng

Estimate distances and transfer times: Guilin– Ping’an (approx. 88km): 2h *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Day three begins with a high speed train northwest to Guilin.

Note: Second class tickets are included Train Station: Guangzhou – Guilin

Train number: D2368

Estimated departure time: 09:56

Estimated arrival time: 12:48

Met by a local guide and transfer, dive right into the beauty of Guilin with a visit to the Longsheng area, or, more precisely, the Red Yao Minority village of Huangluo Yao. Still observing age-old cultural practices, Yao women are characterised by their long black hair, which, according to tradition, isn’t cut until they are 16 (their appropriate age to find a husband.) The hair is then cut, saved, and later given to the future husband’s family. Red Yao women pride themselves off the ability to grow exceedingly long hair… one woman’s hair recently measured 1.75m in length!

Enjoy a leisurely walk through the village.

Continue the day’s explorations into the village of Ping’an. Despite being only 20 kilometers away, the winding roads make access to the village more difficult (40-minute transport.) At 600 years old, this Zhuang minority village is one of the area’s most unique. Particularly passionate about song and theatre, this minority group is the largest in China with a total population of 17 million.

While we strongly discourage attending a local performance, we will arrange one upon request.

Depending on the location and choice of hotel, it is possible to walk to the highest point in the village in around 30 minutes. Local porters are happy to transport with bags.

Settling in at the hotel and overnight in Ping’an

4

Longsheng / Yangshuo

Estimate distances and transfer times: Longsheng– Yangshuo (approx. 160km): 3h30 (depending on your hotel location) *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Day four will commence with a leisurely four hour walk (contingent on personal pace and photo stops) along the “Dragon’s Backbone” (Longji), one of the most beautiful stretches of rice terraces in the country. More than 700 years ago, locals carved and tiered these 1,000-meter mountains in order to cultivate rice, vegetables, and tea. Today the region resembles a range of colossal staircases, housing villages of the Dong, Miao, Yao, and Zhuang minorities start to take a walk from Ping’an Village to the Ancient Zhuang Village and then heading back. (Both offering stunning panoramas of the surrounding area.)

Option 1: If there is a further interest of hiking with more challenge, another route of 4 hours hiking (one way) from Ping’an Village to Dazhai Village, passing by Zhongliu and Tiantouzhai, can be a choice.

Option 2: If 4 hours walking takes too much strength, there is a possibility of getting down the hill from Ancient Zhuang Village, and being transferred back to the entrance before walking back to hotel in Ping’an Village.

Note: As the terraces are water-based growing systems, their appearances change with the seasons: water glistens between the months of May and August, and brilliant greens slowly develop into light, wheat browns between September and the October harvest. Travel between December and March is not advised, as snow and fog can hinder the experience.

Transfer to Yangshuo and overnight in Yangshuo.

5

Yangshuo /Hebaoshan / Xingping / Yangshuo - Trekking

Estimate distance and journey time: Yangshuo – Hebaoshan (approx. 27km): 45min (depending on your hotel location) Xingping – Yangshou (approx. 27km): 45min (depending on your hotel location) *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer(Trek up to 16km along Li River principally along country flat paths with very short hilly parts and some detour on tarmac road) (Total duration of the trekking: 2.5/3 hours) Trekking difficulty: Easy (Grade 2) Night in Yangshuo. (Grade 2) Night in Yangshuo.

Depart Yangshuo by private vehicle and head to the Hebaoshan. Here begins the exciting water-based aspect of the journey, with small, local “ferries” helping cross the Li River at three separate occasions. Enjoy lunch in a local, providing a unique, full-immersion experience in the Yangdi area.

The route concludes at Xingping, an ancient village boasting over 1000 years of history (recognizable from its appearance on the Chinese 20 Yuan note.) Known specifically for its ancient Ming and Qing Dynasty houses, it also boasts a lively market (held every 3 days), where everything from cockerels to geese are up for sale. To add to its traditional charm, the riverside village is surrounded by “Sugarloaf Mountains” (karst formations) donning names such as “Five-Finger Hill” and “Camel Hill.”

What better way to wrap up a long day of trekking than with a rewarding foot massage? After the private transfer back to Yangshuo, relaxation and rejuvenation await!

Note: Sturdy shoes are highly recommended, as is UV-blocking sunscreen and sunglasses. Hydration is also key! 

6

Yangshuo - Cycling

The final full day features two varying options of brilliant cycling experiences. Transfer without a guide at 8:30am by car/minibus to the town of Yangshuo (the departure time can vary depending on the exact location of your hotel.) Pick up bicycles and meet up with the cyclist guide.

Option 1: Depart at 9:00am on bicycle from Yangshuo (10 kilometers) towards the village of Baisha. Hugging the Yulong River (Jade Dragon River), this route will cross the famous 400 year old Yulong Bridge and ride along the riverside bordered by orange, mandarin, chestnut, and pomelo trees. A beautiful cruise through the idyllic Guangxi countryside, famous for its superb karst peaks.

Feeling exhausted or still have some energy left?

Either turn back across the river and return to Yangshuo, or continue further south towards Moon Hill. This imposing hill pierced by a moon-shaped hole offers spectacular views of the surrounding area. The ascent takes between 30 to 60 minutes (price of the entrance ticket is not included in the total cost of the trip.)

Option 2: Depart around 9:00am for the 500-year-old village of Mushan, situated 3km west of Yangshuo. Known for its layout following the “8 Trigrams of Taoism,” Mushan holds particular importance for those interested in the study of Fengshui. Follow along the general path of the Li River, reaching out towards the 800-year-old fishing village of Liugong (famous for its ancient houses and tri-colored pools; about 20km from Yangshuo.) Return to Yangshuo passing through Yongcun with an extension to Moon Hill for an optional visit (entrance ticket is not included in the total cost of the trip.)

After cycling excursion, transfer back to hotel.

Option 1: Ride up to 40 km (60km with Moon Hill extension).

Difficulty: Easy (flat all the way; partially paved around the Jade Dragon River area but principally along country paths)

Option 2: (Ride up to 40 km)

Difficulty: Easy (flat all the way; partially paved around the Li River, but principally along country paths)

7

Guilin / Guangzhou

Estimate distance and journey time: Yangshuo – Guilin (approx. 83km): 1h30 (depending on your hotel location) *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Relax, reflect, and rejoice in an amazing Guilin/Guangzhou experience! Transfer back to Guilin airport or train station. 

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner).
  • English speaking guide(no shopping basis rates) (for other languages supplements apply)
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals not mentioned
  • Visa for China
  • Other services than mentioned
  • International and domestic flights
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.

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