Cycling in China

China is not a country, it’s a continent, I occasionally tell people. China is likewise the nation with the most bikes worldwide although Holland has possibly a bigger density of bicycles per head of the population.

Cycling is wonderful, there can be no question. But what regarding biking in a country like China? There are two ways to approach the issue and they rely on the moment you have available.

If you have restricted time, state 3 or 4 weeks, limitation on your own to one location, even a province like Yunnan is already as large as France or Texas. Nonetheless, if you have time on yourself, you can conveniently spend a year, even two in China. Even in 2 years you will not need to do roadways double. China is huge.

What to bring

China is an economical, apart of the large cities. Most of what you require in terms of garments you will have the ability to get. In cities like Beijing, Kunming and Chengdu there are these days outdoor stores in situation you require exterior product. However, bring your very own footwear as big dimension footwear are difficult to locate.

Excellent bicycle shops are rare. Your ideal option is Hong Kong yet in Beijing, Kunming and also Chengdu there are some great stores. For average repair work you will have the ability to find bike repair services at every road corner.

Bike repair work comes typically with a hammer and screwdriver. Tires are not difficult to find though you may get 2.10 inch tires with a great deal of account. These tires generally do not last more then 500 to 1000 kilometres.

Where to start?

Where to start biking in China? Beijing? Hong Kong? Shanghai? Personally I am not a follower of huge cities but I confess, Beijing is a city you need to visit. Nevertheless, I would choose Hong Kong as a good starting point. In Hong Kong you can obtain quickly a great Chinese visa, 2,3, 6 or even one year without an issue. To learn tips on buying your first motorcycle, click here.

Another advantage of Hong Kong is that you can obtain fairly very easy out! Consider example the watercraft to Zhaoqing at the other site of the pearl river delta and you are directly in the flatlands of China I did the road to Guangzhou too however I would not advise this. Check out right here why.

From right here you can cycle to Yangshuo, still a backpackers heaven and also worth a check out. Actually if you see south China, Yangshuo with it’s limestone mountains is a should and also it’s only concerning a week cycling from Hong Kong.

The fantastic biking locations in China.

Where are the locations you absolutely should do on bike? Once more it depends on time. I would certainly claim there are 3 unique different areas to cycle in China.

  • Yunnan
  • Guilin
  • Sichuan

This option is approximate. Many biker wish to cycle Tibet or Xian. Both are additionally amazing yet Tibet, with it’s elevation is not a simple way to begin your bike adventure. Xian has of course the magnificent Terracotta Warriors but in the Xian area there are lots of various other sites to go to, examine my Xian page for those information. Biking around Xian is good to do but, it is fairly far from various other areas with the exception of Luoyang.


Yunnan in south west China is most likely the very best and also most well known province for bicyclists. You can fly in to Kunming (global flight terminal with flights from Thailand) as well as begin your round trip right here with a flight to Dali, Lijiang as well as Zhongdian (Paradise). However Yunnan has a lot of other outstanding biking areas.

Baoshan, in the south west corner of Yunnan is remarkable. Baoshan borders with Myanmar. Around Tongcheng you will locate geisers, the border with Myanmar is extremely various from any area you find better in China.

Xishuangbana is located at the boundary of Laos and it does see fairly some tourists, mainly those who come or most likely to Laos. It’s lovely with several minorities as well as plenty of all-natural beauty to uncover. It’s a 10 to 14 days bike flight to Kunming.

Much minimal recognized is north east Yunnan. Here’s a great road, extremely beautiful that results in southern Sichuan. I confess, this road might not be your first concept to cycle in Yunnan however if you are late, or too early in the season and also you can not do the roadway out of Zhongdian to Chengdu, this roadway to Zhaotong and also more to the Bamboo forest and also at some point to Leshan in Sichuan deserves the initiative.

It will certainly take around 2 to 3 weeks to cycle Kunming to Chendgu this road. An additional choice is to cycle from Kunming to Vietnam with Tonghai and Jianshui.


Along with Yunnan, the Guilin location is among one of the most preferred places to obtain a bicycle as well as go around. The very best method to explore the area, Yangshuo, is anyway by bike. So even if you do not wish to bring your very own bicycle, you will most likely do a roundtrip on day-to-day base by bike.

Yet if you are considering far away cycling, it takes around 3 weeks to cycle from Guilin to Yunnan. Conversely you may wish to cycle to Vietnam. The road to the boundary will certainly lead you to Nanning and then in a couple of days to the Vietnamese boundary.

This roadway is perhaps not really spectacular yet it deserves the trip as few individuals ever follow this roadway. A lot of vacationers see the countryside passing away by in busses as well as trains and also the neighborhood Chinese see seldom foreigners in the real world, which creates sometimes superb experiences.


Last, but definitely not the very least is Sichuan. Cycling in Sichuan can be fairly an experience you won’t neglect quickly. Several biker pertained to Chengdu, the resources of Sichuan to look for their way right into Tibet, a reasonable offer.

Nevertheless, if you are a bit late in the season, as I was at the time, you can have your Tibetan experience in a round trip west of Chengdu. A road that brings about Tibetan communities as Danba as well as Barkam and afterwards back to Chengdu. On this roadway you will experience severe elevations up to 4000 meter and typical Tibetan communities heading.

The road north to Gansu is one more terrific alternative. This road is well traveled. Less traveled yet still interesting is the 2 week trip to Xian. This road will lead you via the north eastern level lands to the mountains that separate Sichuan from the Xian. Heading you find some unexpected gems like the rock caverns of Guangyuan, a hardly ever checked out location comparable to the caverns of Luoyang.


China by bike is excellent to do. Right here are some added tricks to make life in China less complicated. I claim easier because cycling in China is rather easy these days. To make it easier, purchase a provincial map in the Xinhua book shops in the province you are biking.

These maps are typically much better in top quality then the foreign generated maps and they offer you the possibility to obtain simple in touch with residents as these maps are in Chinese personalities. Together with for example the Nelles maps they are extremely valuable.

Right here is an additional trick I have actually normal carried out with quite some success. Outside the traveler locations hotels can be economical as well as incredibly great. What I typically perform in those communities and cities is mosting likely to among the a lot more expensive looking hotels and also request the space rate.

Generally they inform me it’s Y800 or Y1000 (US$ 1 is about Y8). Method too much naturally. So I ask forgiveness and make my way out. 7 out of 10 the staff calls me back to provide me “price cut”. “You can have an area for Y100”, and then the bargaining starts. Normally I can haggle it simple down to Y50 to Y70. In return I obtain after that a wonderful area, with bath and TV.

In Huangjiang it was also much better, for Y100 I obtained a two rooms, with 2 large TV’s, a couch where at least 12 large fat individuals could sit on, a king-size bed and also TWO washrooms. I normally joke concerning this saying they offered me this suite because the staff comprehended my bicycle required some rest also. This can happen in China, as well as I loved it!