Yunnan to Guizhou - Cycling in North Guizhou
There are many road leading through Guizhou. The 22 hours train ride from Kunming is one, but on bicycle you will experience, what some would call: "the real China".
The Northern Route from Kunming to Guilin contains two separate legs, one that leads to Guiyang and one that leads to Libo. This page is about the Northern route in Guizhou. The southern route is described on our cycling in South Guizhou page
Your first part of the journey will lead you to the Stone Forest, a spectacular Stone rock formation that goes way beyond the relatively small park. The whole are is huge, which becomes clear when you are cycling towards the town of Shilin (from either east or west!)
There's a few nasty climbs to take but in the end, it's all not too difficult. Just before the Stone Forest you can stay in Shilin. There are many hotels on the main street and some of them are excellent bargains. The Stone Forest itself is a beautiful place. Here is more about the Stone Forest
It's a good 2 or 3 days bicycle ride to Xingyi (I used 3 days). It's all not an unpleasant ride though I have to say, nothing really special. Traffic is not bad, sceneries are not special but it's nice cycling through rural areas.
Xingyi is the border town with Guizhou province.
The town is not very spectacular and as it goes with many Chinese cities, it has been renovated over the years. It is however a good city to stay a day or two, visit the parks and enjoy some of the local food.
Xingyi is the city to make up your mind. You have two options to continue: take to northern road to Anshun, Guiyang, Kaili and then further to Zhaoxing and ultimately to Guilin. The alternative is, if you ask me, more exciting (cycling in South Guizhou)
Anshun, Guiyang and north Guizhou
North Guizhou sees a share of tourists, but not many. Most of them come for the Huangguoshu waterfalls (later more about the Longsheng/Sanjiang/Zhaoxing area). I had the bad luck to visit the falls in the dry season so I haven't seen them in their prime.
Guiyang is for most travelers the base to visit the falls but you can stay in Anshun too. The Huangguoshu waterfalls are a short bus ride away although if you are on the bicycle you want to stay in the nearby town Huangguoshu which is much nicer to do. Anshun is 43 km away.
Make sure you visit the falls just after the rainy season, August is a good month as the falls dry up in winter. I visited the falls in April and there was little water which made the falls a disappointment.
Going north to Guiyang you can follow two roads. Once I did the motorway by bus and it was not pleasant. On the bike I followed to Qingzhen and Guiyang. It's about 100km on a good road though busy too (and the only one accessible for bicycles).
Guiyang is, especially for a big city not unpleasant for a day extra rest. There are plenty of markets though there's little further to see.
Guiyang to Longsheng and Guilin
After Guiyang it became nicer, especially the road from Kaili that leads to Conjiang, Rongjiang and to Zhaoxing, Sanjiang, the road from Longsheng to Sanjiang, and Longsheng and the road to Guilin. This road leads you along many minority villages with wind and rain bridges and plenty of rice terraces.
Of all my bike rides the south of the province is still one of my favorites. It's not because of the spectacular sceneries but mostly because of the genuine friendship I found. Especially in Sanglang was great but in other towns (Wangmo, Duyun, Libo) the people were amazingly friendly. Here is the full story about cycling through south Guizhou and my experiences in Libo and the road further into Guangxi.
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Baise to Yangshuo & Guilin
A little traveled road leads from Baise (Bose) at the Yunnan/Guangxi border through the heart of Guangxi to Hechi, Yizhou and Yangshuo - Guilin.
Cycling in South Guizhou
Guizhou is a kind of best kept secret of China, Only some areas in Guizhou are visited by tourists. There's more to see, as I describe on my central Guizhou page.
Longsheng, Sanjiang and Zhaoxing are popular travel destinations for travelers who have a few days extra and are not afraid of a bit extra traveling. Cyclists visit the area more often.
The Stone Forest is called one of the nature wonders in the world. True or not, this huge area 85 km east of Kunming offers a magic sight of strange rock formations formed 270 million years ago.