Yunnan: Cycling Tour from Shaxi to Yangbi – Cyclists Heaven!

Terraced Fields

Yunnan has attained a reputation as the most beautiful Chinese Province, combining stunning landscapes, a unique cultural diversity and mild climate throughout the whole year. Domestic tourism is booming and the classic destinations such as Lijiang and Dali have become overcrowded and rather commercialised. But there are still many beautiful places to be discovered in China’s South-Western province.

One of these Places is Shaxi, a former merchant town in which tea-traders used to stop overnight on their way from the Yunnan tea plantations into the direction of the old Silk Road. Shaxi’s old towm has certainly profited from the tourist boom: The buildings and alleys around the pretty market square have been restored in an authentic style and the atmosphere is peaceful and somewhat romantic. On Fridays, farmers from the surrounding villages still get together to trade their produce on the lively market.

After spending a night in one of Shaxi’s unique boutique hotels, you will be ready for a long cycling stage. Despite its 108 km length, we cycle gently downhill for most of the stage: Starting at an altitude of 2100m,the destination Yangbi is located on 1550m. On this route you will experience the original beauty of the Himalayan foothills: On rolling terrain you pass rivers, Eucalyptus plantations and numerous terraced fields, watch farmers bringing in their crops, and see some of the Bai people’s famous pagodas in the distance. The road is new and smooth and quiet. Can a bicycle ride get more rewarding than this? We doubt it!

This stage is part of our tour “South of the Clouds” where we explore the Eastern foothills of the Himalaya. From the Tibetan grasslands at Shangri-La we cycle Southwards to the famous town of Dali.