The Yangshuo Bike Festival

Yangshuo Bike Festival

Mark the weekend of the  25-27th May 2018 to join our disco de wheels (silent disco on a bike)  through the limestone mountains of Yangshuo, followed by live music and great food in an old renovated farmhouse deep in the sublime Guangxi countryside.

Yangshuo Bike Festival 2017 was the best one yet. Thanks to the bands, DJ’s the great weather, the farmers and friends that came along and contributed.

We have also just returned from our Mongolia festival Ride to the Naadam which was brilliant. Mark the dates 6-13 July 2018. Highlights included two performances on the grasslands by virtuoso throat singer, horse-head fiddle player and flute player, Dawa, now the poster boy for 2018.  We invited one Shaman to come along and ride with us – and ended up with three ( Shaman’s like to bike ride as well), plus three shaman-assistants who interpreted their words of theShamans deep in their trance states channeling their ancestors.

It was as  fascinating as it was photogenic.

The ride was brilliant, our Mongol hosts were awesome,including our very own ex-wrestlin champion Boldt, who  accompanied us for much of the trip.

We are currently programming for 2018.  The crossed through links below  are  2017 departures that have …well.. departed. But have a read through anyway to  get a taste of what  we will be building on for 2018.

1.Land of the Long Haired Yao Longji Terraces, Pingan to Guilin Pre Festival Ride 9-12 May 2017 (RMB 3800 / RMB 2800 as an add on to the festival)

2. The Yangshuo Bike Festival / Disco de Wheels 12-14 May 2017  (2800 RMB)

3. Mongolia Naadam Festival Ride 4-13 July 2017 (US$2700)

2017 started out as a  bike / foodie festival up in the Longji Rice Terraces,  and continued as a bike / music festival down in Yangshuo with DJ Sing Sing on the Disco de Wheels; a traditional erhu-zither combo; rock outfit – Retrophaze; and a mellow acoustic guitar session.

This year we are adding more arts, culture and creative experiences to our festival rides.
The Disco de Wheels ( silent disco on a bike)  will be flying the flag for Yangshuo. This is our easy ride which anyone that can ride a bike and listen to music at the same time should be able to join.

Our pre and post festival rides are a little more challenging and  venture further afield.

The pre ride will begin in the Longji Rice Terraces – two hours into the hills bordering Guizhou, homelands of the Long haired Yao who feature on this years poster. It  runs into the Yangshuo Bike festival and is designed for those cyclists who want to get some bike miles under their belts and make a longer holiday out of the festival.  Longji is  home to the Zhuang and Yao minorities. Yao women, dressed in brilliant pink are famous for whipping out their hair and strong-arming tourists into paying to see them comb it.  There are stunning hikes  along the steeply terraced dragon-backbone; our hosts in Pingan making delicious moonshine-refreshments from the hard-won mountain rice.   Zhuang-Yao inspired cuisine with stunning views are a real highlight. We ride the dragon’s backbone down into the dragon’s teeth – the limestone karsts of Guilin through pine forests dotted with wooden villages with options for white-water-rafting along the way.

We have chosen the month of May this year as it is beautiful – and an opportunity to see Yangshuo in a different season. There are different crops in the fields, and new seasonal dishes to cook up in the wok. Its should also be cooler than the 2016 ride.

Events extend into July this year, to the grasslands of Genghis’s decedents, on our Mongolia Festival Ride to the Naadam, highlights to include:
Local musicians playing Horse head fiddle;
a visit to a traditional Mongolian Shaman; grasslands camping and a homestay in a traditional felted Mongolian Ger;
lashings of mare’s milk, yoghurt; pickled polish vegetables, and the freshest lamb, beef, yak and fro you will ever taste prepared by our personal chef;
the world famous Naadam, a two day horse-racing, archery and wrestling festival that has been running since the days of the Khans.

Yangshuo Bike Festival 2017

Ride the limestone mountains and the luscious green rice paddies of Yangshuo with a mood altering group-unifying sound track. Silent disco on a bike is now a signature event, dubbed as the Disco de Wheels, with  tunes DJ’d through wireless headphones to enhance this entrancing landscape.

On this weekend long ride, we”ll feast on seasonal delights cooked up by farming friends. Three rivers – The Li, Jin Bao and Yulong  become riverine bars as we cool down  at the end of each day with a swim and a beer.

Music is added at every opportunity – a local Zither player to help the G&T’s go down; rock bands in our farmhouse venue; acoustic guitar under the pomelo trees, erhu with tea under a banyon tree.
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Land of the Long-Haired Yao Pre Festival Ride

Cascading hand-carved Longji rice terraces; remote hike to Yao Villages; Winding mountain descent and riverside cycle, the famous Guilin limestone karst landscape, Guilin Mifen noodles.

Itinerary at a glance

Day 1 arrive Guilin and transfer to the rice terraces

Day 2 Hike a remote “escape the tourists” trail in the terraces, Yao minority comfortable mountain viewing guesthouse/ home stay.

Day 3 Full day cycle, mostly downhill through pine and bamboo then along the Yi River – with options for rafting the last leg of our ride into our countryside guesthouse.

Day 4 Country back roads and farmers pathways (mostly flat and concrete) through small villages and market gardens, with views to the South China Karst System.

Mongolia: Ride to Naadam

Naadam;  a festival of nomadic culture and Mongolian might! dates from at least the 13th century when Ghenghis was terrorising Europe.

Genghis Khan‘s nine horse tails, representing the nine tribes of the Mongols, are transported from Sukhbaatar Square to the Naadam, kicking off a parade of horsemen, archers, wrestlers  monks, and twenty cyclists who will have just crossed the grasslands (that’s us).

Bulging muscles, oiled bodies alongside singing, dancing, feasting and flirting is the perfect culmination to a six day bike ride that brings us right into the heart of traditional  nomadic  and shamanic life – with the bonus of everyones excitement about the upcoming Naadam.

This is Mongolia – Yangshuo Bike festival style!!
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Photos from the 2015 Yangshuo Bike Festival



Photos from the 2014 Yangshuo Bike Festival