Yangshuo – cycle trip & bamboo rafting

Sun was out today so I decided to rent a cycle and go out to explore the countryside of Yangshuo. Because so many people explore the countryside here by bike you can rent them everywhere for really cheap. I paid 10 RMB (1 GBP, 1,30 EUR) for the whole day. Temperature was about 20 degrees and it felt a lot warmer, because of the sun, so I even had to take the jacket off. I checked some cycling routes on the internet last night and decided on the one going south-west, because it would involve a bamboo raft as well.
The route first took me out of town to the Yulong River. I passed a few settlements and could watch farmers working on the field. The rural area is way different to the city. Roads were not sealed and cluttered with lots of boulders. Because of this I became really worried of getting a puncture. What the hell would I do in the middle of nowhere?! After a local woman with a similar bicycle passed by me I became less worried and started to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Mountains, trees with massive pomelos on them and the warmth of the sun made this cycle trip to the best I’ve ever done in my entire life.

This was basically the street I was cycling on.

I at some point reached the Dragon Village, where I had a little rest and bought corn on the cob for lunch. It’s actually quite popular in China to munch steamed corn for lunch. I then took a bamboo boat to enjoy the beautiful scenery even more. I paid 100 RMB (10 GBP/13 EUR) to have a one hour raft downstream. I asked the guide about the cycle and he said it’s ok to take it on the boat. Great, I was thinking, cause this way I would not have to come back. Compared to the bamboo raft I had taken to come from Guilin to Yangshuo this one today was much better. Rather than sharing the raft with 3 other people I was the only one on the raft today. Just me and the ‘driver’ (I call him driver, cause I have no idea of the exact word). Another plus for the boat today; it was an authentic bamboo boat made of bamboo and not plastic as the other one I had taken to come from Guilin to Yangshuo. Cause it had no engine and just moved because the man was propelling the boat with a pole the ride was really quiet and peaceful.

View from Dragon Bridge on Yulong River

Dragon Village

Wedding Pictures again. Seems like they're really popular up here in China.

Chinese lock

me on the bamboo raft

fisherman on Yulong River

After a good hour the driver dropped me off in the middle of nowhere. It was a good adventure, cause I had no idea where I was. It was just mountains, pomelo trees and bamboo fields surrounding me. No human beings whatsoever. ‘Good’ I thought ‘It’ll be ok!’ and went back on the bike. After seeing more settlements, fruit trees and even some oxen I spotted some foreigners. So I was stopping and asking them for the way back to Yangshuo. They actually were German and on the way back to Yangshuo as well, so we decided to stick together. What a coincidence.

ancient grave near by Yulong River

Being back in Yangshuo digesting what I had seen today I notice more and more how magnificent it was. I’m so glad I went on this cycling tour. With this wonderful weather today it was just the best I could have done.


  1. Especially in countries like Malaysia and Thailand we have found multiple types of bamboo rafting; these are especially design by people those are living in rural and backward regions. As due to lack of money they used bamboo rafting instead of inflatable rafts. But still they get better performance and floating in river with the help of bamboo rafts; bamboos re light in weight and easily float on water. Therefore the use of bamboos is rapidly increases in Asian Countries.

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