My ride to Libo in south east Guizhou
Most likely you have not heard of Libo. I had never heard of Libo before I decided to cycle though south Guizhou. However, there are many little towns I had passed I had never heard of. At the time, it was already late November and it was cold.
The plan was to cycle from Kunming to Guilin following the road to Shilin (Stone Forest), Xingyi and then through south Guizhou to Hechi, skipping Liuzhou but take a short cut through a forest area west of Guilin and further to Yangshuo where I planned to spend Christmas and New Years Eve.
There are few, if any tourists in south Guizhou. At best you may find a lost traveler in Dushan but at that time of the year, I'm sure I was the only foreigner in the whole route from Xingyi to Libo.
So why use this road and not the more interesting northern route? Simple, I had done that route before!
The southern route had been rewarding, I had met very nice people, especially in Langsang and Luodian. But kilometers before Libo I could still choose to visit Zhaoxing and cycle back to Guilin the more scenic way by going north to Dushan. I choose not to.
Libo was (and still is!) a small town along a small river. At first glance it was not much different from any other Chinese town except that the surrounding looked very beautiful with hills around the town and town itself in the middle of the valley. I decided to stay a day and go around a little.
Street life in Libo Guizhou
Libo turned out to be a city expecting tourism in the longer run. The town center was completely rebuild, street names were in English and there were a couple of very decent hotels.
The town is located in a long stretching valley roughly in north south direction. There is a little road going south west out of the town in the direction of Nandan (67km).
The other way out was going east to Pingzhai and from there south to Luoyang. This looked like a good alternative.
The first part to Pingzhai went out of the valley with a nice climb. Further it went through a rolling landscape to Pingzhai. There the road seemed to stop!
There was a dirt road so I took that one hoping it won't take too long before the good road would come back. There was almost no traffic here and a bit further I understood why: the road was under construction.
For 30 km's I struggled through the dirt, at some places ankle deep. Basically the road follow a railway line but I didn't see any trains passing.
By the time I was in Luoyang, I was back on proper roads. Luoyang had not much to offer so I continued to Huangjiang. It had been a beautiful day but during the last kilometers to Huangjiang I felt I could use rest.
I found rest in Huangjiang in a good hotel where I got an amazing suite for Y100 ($12.50). (see this story)
This hotel was probably one of the cheapest and best I ever had. I had two rooms, living room and bedroom. Both had a big TV and both had a bathroom. By now I had left the bad roads and was on my way to the main connecting road between Liuzhou and Guiyang.
Getting to Libo
In case you feel you want to visit Libo, which is worth to go to, but only if you have time. The best way to get there is by your own transport, a bicycle is by far the best way.
You will be able to get a bus in either Huanjiang and Hechi. From the other direction there is a bus from Dushan. It's unknown to me if you can get a bus from Rongjiang. But if so, it's probably only one bus a day.
Should you decide to travel from either Guilin or Yangshuo, you will need a full day by private transport. It's a long way but if you have the time and the desire to go remote Libo is worth a visit for a few days.
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