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Simao, Yunnan

Simao Yunnan used to be the entrance point for travelers in Xishuangbanna but since Jing Hong has it's own airport, the importance of Simao has declined. The city itself doesn't justify a visit for the sake of visiting itself.

Bai villages in south China
Bai villages on the road to Simao

I have however very good memories about Simao. It was here I went into a weld shop where they fixed me a new strong front rack for my bicycle. Here's the story

Again the map proved mistakes. Simao was not 58 km from Pu'er, it was just 45. The Nelles maps are not always accurate. The road to Simao proved to be in excellent state with an exception of a few kilometers where, as you can expect, I got flat.

It all started with my hotel where I didn't have hot water and thus no shower, it was simply too cold that morning. The breakfast was as usual: a bowl of good (flat) noodles. Then I left Pu'Er.

I expected a junction to an expressway but instead the road worsened and went slightly up. After 4 km the first climb of the day started. Cars and mostly trucks passed me. But the climb didn't take long and then the road became bad. I got flat but that was because of a piece of glass.

After this little incident, I started climbing again, just 9 km. The hills were never far away and most of the land was in use for agriculture. During this climb I passed a long row of waiting cars and trucks.

A major road construction work was in progress but at the moment I was at the head of the column the row of cars were allowed to continue. The bad part took a few hundred meters.

Farmers in SimaoThen the long row of cars and trucks passed me one by one. When the long row of vehicles had passed me I was more or less alone at the road. For the next 6 km I was climbing.

Soon I had to take off my jacket although the wind was still cold. Here and now and this part of China, even a temperature of 22°C can still feel cold.

At the top of 1550 meter I expected to go down before the last climb would come. When I left Pu'Er I expected 58 km, I had seen a sign of 18 km after 24 on the way and I had done now 35 km so this could be a long descending though I didn't remember how long the descending should be.

But what I did remember was my meeting with a Chinese guy some years earlier. Here's the story how I met him and where he came from.

It was only a few kilometers down before the last climb started. But again it wasn't a long or hard climb. And at the top at 1700 meter I didn't have good views at the top either. The last few kilometers to Simao went straight down to the same level as I started earlier the day.

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Break and repair your front rack

In the first years of my journeys I had several problems with my front rack. The rack provided by my bicycle shop couldn't handle the weight, still not even 20kg. In Simao I went to fix this problem for good.

The front rack

Map of Yunnan

Map of Yunnan
Map of Yunnan

A meeting outside Simao

When cyclist meet they stop and exchange experiences. On my way from Jing Hong to Kunming (my first time), I met only one cyclist, a Chinese from Yining, far west of China, here is the story:

The Chinese cyclist