Total tour distance: 511 miles
Daily tour distance: 50 miles
Difficulty: 50 / 100
The Red Spokes 'Hidden China' adventure cycling holiday through the rural South East, begins in Guiyang the capital of Guizhou province. We transfer out of the city into quiet minority areas where the cycling begins. Following quiet back roads up into mountain villages we discover a world apart from the modern face of China.
As many as 30 different ethnic minorities live peacefully alongside one another in the areas we visit in Guizhou and northeast Guangxi, with a huge variety of cultures. Generally, Dong villages are set along river valleys while Miao villages are scattered on the hills. The minority communities have maintained their cultural traditions over centuries, living simple remote lives, away from modernity and full of character. We discover their world as we cycle through a landscape of rice terraces carved out of the mountain, rising up in layers towards the skyline.
The Dongs are known for their architecture, particularly the octagonal pagoda-type drum towers (Gulou), and wind and rain bridges that provide shelter for people during bad weathers. Built without a single nail, they are the symbol of Dongs and served as a gathering place for the villages to discuss and settle important matters, stage festivals or entertainments The Miao were among the first people to settle in present day China, and among the first rice farmers in China.
Having visited the remotest of settlements up in the hills, and experienced cycling in the most inspirational, breath-taking mountain scenery we bicycle down out of the rice terraces towards Guilin. From here we journey alongside the tranquil waters of the Li River and into the hilly landscape of Karst limestone peaks to Yongshou where our cycling tour ends.