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Cycling the back road to Xingping


If you have some time to spare, it's worth to cycle the back road to Xingping. It might not offer you the spectacular view over the karst limestone mountains as other routes do, but it is worth the effort to cycle this way to Xingping.

The start of the back road to Xingping and Baisha journey (2009)

The start of the back road to Xingping and Baisha journey (2009)

The start of this journey starts in Yangshuo by taking the road to the hospital, Shenshan Road. After the hospital you will cycle out of town following the direction Cuban, Baisha and Putao. (for those who would like to go to Baisha, have a look here)

May 2011, here's Vivian climbing the first hill

May 2011, here's Vivian climbing the first hill

From this point on the road, nowadays in perfect condition, will go up and down. Follow this road until you reach a T-junction, left Baisha and right Putao and Nine Horse Fresco Hill. Up to this point I have cycled the road several times but the back road to Xingping from this point I only did once, in May 2011, with very bad weather conditions.

Back road to Xingping
Due to the rain, the views were not as spectacular as I remembered

Kelly from Kelly's Cafe in Yangshuo asked me to join her and her friend Vivian to explore this road. She knew I had cycled most of it and she had only done it by motorbike once. For Vivian it was the first time at all to be here.

back road to Xingping and baisha
Scenery in better weather conditions

We followed the same road as I had done in 2009 and 2010 to Baisha. The weather got worse. The rain made it freezing cold but it did not seem to matter much to Kelly.

Kelly had no problems with the cold weather
Kelly had no problems with the cold weather

We arrived at a T-junction. Here we had to choose, left to Baisha, another 10 km or so or right to Putao and, more important to us, Nine Horse Fresco Hill.

Vivian (front) and Kelly reaching the top of the last hill

Vivian (front) and Kelly reaching the top of the last hill

There were several hills before finally we came to a small junction with a dirt road where could go down in search of the ferry to Xingping. It was due to the rain and bad road condition not easy to cycle comfortable down but we had a few nice scenic views:

Towards the ferry to Xingping
On the way down to the ferry to Xingping

By the time we were in Xingping all of us were cold and hungry. Fortunately Kelly's Guesthouse had some good food and coffee and a nice shower. Vivian and I decided we would cycle back to Yangshuo, Kelly was too tired and choose the bus. By the time we were back in Yangshuo we have had a very satisfying day, despite the bad weather.

Waiting for the ferry to bring us to Xingping

At the jetty waiting for a boat to drop us at the other side

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Map of Xingping

Xingping is very scenic. Click on the map below to enlarge

xingping map

Map of Xingping


Xingping

Xingping is what Yangshuo used to be. Once a day the tourist boats enter the town and Xingping changes for about an hour but the rest of the time, it is a town like 100 years ago. Xingping is certainly worth a visit with bike rides and walks in the limestone mountains nearby. And with a good hotel (This Old Place) you can't go wrong.