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South Yunnan - Tonghai and Jianshui

In South Yunnan towards the Vietnamese border Tonghai and Jianshui are two places easily forgotten by tourists. It's really a shame since there's quite something to visit. As a cyclist you can have a very nice and not too difficult week making a nice circle in this area.

Cycling in Yunnan

On the road in South Yunnan

The bridge just outside JianshuiIt starts by leaving Kunming in the direction of the airport. From here you will follow the road parallel to the Dian Lake. It's a busy big road but the peace comes back after Chengjiang.

Chengjiang is just north of the Fuxian lake, the second lake of considerable size in Yunnan. It's a good place to stay for a night.

If you follow the quiet east road around the lake you have some beautiful views over the lakeside before reaching Jiangchuan. There is no need to stay here since Tonghai is nearby and the town is not really worth a longer visit then the time to have a good meal. 

That said, it's a bit of climb in the hills between both cities. The center of Tonghai is quite nice, partly traditional with a nice typical tower in the center.

But Jianshui is in fact much nicer. The city is located 220 km south of Kunming. The town center is more traditional and there is a beautifully restored Confucian temple with on the back of an artificial lake.

In the afternoons there are traditional music performances. Indeed, a great place to spend some hours reading or enjoying the music.

Just outside Jianshui, there's a typical Seventeen Span Bridge to be seen. It's on a small road going south out of the city.

Confusius temple Jianshui

There are several options to cycle from here:


From South Yunnan to Vietnam, take road number 323 going east to Gejiu. Vietnam is about 2 day rides away from Gejiu. Cycle out of Jianshui following Gejiu and from there straight to Vietnams' border at Lao Cai. I can not comment on this road as I have never cycled it myself

The bridge just outside Jianshui
Seventeen Span Bridge near Jianshui

Stone ForestGuangxi

There is one direct road that leads from Yunnan into Guangxi province with a possibility to go to Nanning and Guilin. The road leads from south Yunnan, starting point in Jianshui to Baise at the border of both provinces. I cycled this road, here's what happened.

Stone Forest

The Stone Forest can be reached from Kaiyan. It's about 150 km on a good and rather busy road but it's not difficult.

More about the Stone Forest here

Shiping, Yuxi and Kunming

This is an attractive road. It follows the 323 in western direction following the river to the beautiful Yitong lake.

Once back on the main road (#213), you can either go Kunming (north) or Jinghong (south).


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Yunnan to Nanning (Guangxi

This page describes the road following the Vietbnamese border in Yunnan to Guangxi with the option to to go into Vietnam (if you have a Vietnamese visa).

Yunnan to Nanning (Guangxi)

Map of Yunnan

Map of Yunnan
Map of Yunnan


Located in the south west corner of Yunnan, the Baoshan province is overlooked by mainstream tourists but it's worth a visit. The cities of Baoshan, Tengchong and Ruili are worth the effort and a very pleasant cycling journey.

local cycling in Yunnan