Catriona in China attire.
Golden Getaway: If you'd like to see China's magnificent countryside, enjoy the outdoors, and don't mind getting fit at the same time, then this World Expeditions cycle tour is for you.
The best way to explore the Chinese countryside and meet some locals is by taking a slow World Expeditions cycle tour through some of the rural provinces. Each tour is different, and the good part is that unexpected things can happen.
The average day covers about 50km, and in that time you stop for sightseeing and food. The exact amount of cycling depends on everyone’s fitness, but generally it’s about three to four hours in the morning, a stop for lunch, and then two to three hours in the afternoon. You arrive at your nightly destination no later than 5pm.
The countryside is extremely beautiful, with the contrast between the imposing limestone hills and endless fields.
Just outside the small town of Jiu Long, a boat ride to see the beautiful karst rock formations is something special. This area used to be a haven for people escaping from bandits, and today it still has a serenity and calmness. Many people pay a Chinese New Year pilgrimage there to pray and make wishes.
The next place we visited was the little town of Liannan, where the Yao people have lived in isolation for centuries. There are about 55 minority groups across the country, and they are different in their culture, dress and even their facial features. The women dress each day in pink and black traditional costume and dance for visitors. They even like you to join in, and the people are very welcoming, open and inquisitive.
World Expeditions supply bikes, but if you want to bring your own, special permits are needed to take them into China. They are hard to come by, and it’s also worth remembering that bikes are not allowed to be taken onto trains in Beijing.
From Zhaoqing in the south to Guilin in the north-west.
World Expeditions run 18 day moderate level cycle tours of China, including return airfares starting at $5240 from Perth and $5315 from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Prices are per person twin-share and include all accommodation, meals, transport, transfers, guide and use of bicycle.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Qantas: phone 13 13 13
World Expeditions: 1300 720 000
It is recommended travellers to China see their doctor at least six weeks before departure. Prior to travel, they should be up-to-date with vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid Fever, Tetanus and Diphtheria. However, depending on time of year and exact destination, other health precautions and preventions are recommended and are best discussed with your doctor.
For further information speak to your doctor or e-mail The Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Aborad at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit The Travel Doctor at www.tmvc.com.au