Southern China Cycling + Service Learning

Southern China Cycling + Service Learning

Trip Highlights

  • Return home with an intimate insight into rural China
  • Cycle through rural villages and vast limestone pinnacles near colorful Yangshuo
  • Complete a worthwhile service project at a rural school
  • Ride bamboo rafts down the Li River
  • Trek through Coiling Dragon Gorge enjoying the scenic mountains and waterfalls

Trip Summary

On this trip you go as a traveller, only to find that you become the main attraction, as local people are delighted to see that we travel as they do - on bicycles. We jostle for room with lumbering buffaloes, friendly farmers and of course local cyclists while at other times we cycle for long periods in complete serenity on country roads. Our cycling pace is relaxed with time to stop in villages or any other sites of interest. A mini bus accompanies us to carry our gear and provides a welcome break when you have had enough cycling for the day. Following our cycle ride we have ample time to appreciate the rich culture and history of Yangshuo where you will conduct a worthwhile service project at a rural school. This is a service learning adventure to get excited over!


These trips involve cycling and/or walking for up to five hours a day at a slow but steady pace. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health. (Note: These are not easy trips).

Suggested preparation: 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week. For a cycling adventure, cycling twice a week for three months prior to departure is recommended. You need to be comfortable and familiar with changing gears and the use of your front brake.

Sample Itinerary

After all this thinking and planning the day has finally arrived for you to depart on your Southern China Cycling and Service Learning Expedition. Your guide will meet the group in front of Star Bucks on the 1st floor of the China Ferry Terminal at 7:30am. He will be wearing a World Youth Adventures t-shirt and placard. You will then travel together on the catamaran boat service to Jiangmen, arriving at Jiangmen Pier at approximately 11:00am. Welcome to China! After clearing immigration and customs you will meet your driver and vehicle at the pier and transfer to lunch in local restaurant. After lunch we transfer approx 20km by coach out of hectic streets of Guangzhou to begin our cycle, approximately 40km, at the quiet settlement of Jiao Tang. After being set up with your bikes and having a thorough safety briefing the adventure begins where we ride at a leisurely pace to Zhaoqing and covering approx 40km. Remember that at all times there will be a support vehicle there for you to use should you get tired or want a rest. Overnight in central location. Note: our leader will travel to Hong Kong the day before you arrive. He will be waiting for your group at the China Ferry Terminal and assist you with the group check in.

Meals:  L,D

We cycle through classic rural China. The road weaves past high bamboo forests and small villages, the ubiquitous rice paddy fields and vegetable gardens. There is flexibility today to ride as little or as much as you wish depending on the weather conditions and how you are feeling. Approx 50-70km cycling Accommodation Deqing Hotel Hotel (3* central)

Meals:  B,L,D

Coach out of Wuzhou towards Yangshuo where we commence cycling along the most scenic route to Yangshuo. Yangshuo is an idyllic town set amidst limestone pinnacles and rice paddies. The surrounding region is very beautiful, spotted with small villages and imposing karst rock formations. The village itself has fantastic shopping and restaurants, and lively ambiance. The cycle route to Yangshuo is along undulating roads and we are sure the whole group will be making the most of the support vehicle today! Approx 40km cycling Accommodation Lijiang Hotel (3* central)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today you will complete the Community Project, helping a primary school in the countryside surrounding Yangshuo. The school name is Lilong Primary School and is located in a small village called Baisha. The school has approximately 100 students between the ages of 6 to 13 years old across grades 1 to grade 6. The students are from local subsistence farming families located in the nearby valleys. You will be assisted by expert local builders who will ensure that the project work is completed within the required time frame and on budget. Please note, for safety reasons no students will be allowed to climb ladders, use power tools or be required to do any heavy lifting or dangerous work. You will not need any specific skills or experience, just the willingness to participate and the ability to roll your sleeves up and get a little dirty. The work may physically challenge some students, although be very rewarding for all involved. Some additional ideas on the school project: 1) Teach a game in the school playground; 2) Play a basket ball game; 3) Have lunch with students at a local restaurant; 4) Plant trees at the school ground; 5) Paint or refurbish a classroom, and 6) Paint a mural The school classrooms are equipped with very basic chairs and desks and some do not even have a blackboard. Presently, there is very basic playground equipment for the students to enjoy, however with the help of Discovery Bay International School, we aim to change that! After consultation with the local authorities and the school council, and with the assistance of a team of local laborers, you will construct a small concrete paved basketball court with hoops, backboard and line markings. Basketball is a very popular sport at the school and the court will also be able to be used for other games such as volleyball. The students are very motivated to learn English and there will be opportunities for you to teach a conversation based English lessons, or any other lesson you feel comfortable doing such as art and craft or music. A plaque with gratitude for DBIS will be unveiled at the completion of the project. Accommodation Lijiang Hotel (3* central)

Meals:  B,L,D

After two days of Service work you will be so excited to be jumping back on the bikes! Cycle 20km to Xingping. After lunch and a safety briefing travel down the beautiful Li River aboard a motorized bamboo raft (4 passengers per raft ONLY). A coach will drive you back to Yangshuo where you spend your final night. A special celebratory farewell dinner has been arranged to celebrate what you have achieved over the week. Note: passengers must wear life-vests provided on raft. Approx 20km cycling Accommodation Lijiang Hotel (3* central)

Meals:  B,L,D

We depart Yangshuo and drive the 75km to Guilin. Today is busy day exploring all the natural and cultural sites of Guilin. In addition to its natural wonders, Guilin is also well known for it's rich culture due to the numerous minority groups who reside in the area. First off we visit the symbol of Guilin city - Elephant Trunk Hill, here a limestone mountain has eroded in the shape of an elephants trunk drinking water. Next we head underground into Reed Flute Cave, which is described as being "the art gallery which was created by nature". After lunch you will visit the Seven Star Park and Shan Lake before transferring to the airport at the suitable time for your flight home to Hong Kong. All services conclude upon arriving at Guilin Airport yet the memories will last a lifetime!

Meals:  B,L

What's Included

  • All meals (5 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners)
  • Comfortable well located hotels
  • Private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Support vehicles while cycling serving water, fruit, snacks
  • 21 speed touring bikes and helmets
  • Expert bilingual guides throughout
  • Group medical kit
  • All entrance fees and activities
  • The cost of sourcing, organizing and managing the project but not the cost of materials
  • Pre-departure information kit to help you prepare
  • One way boat ticket from Hong Kong to Gaoming

What's Not Included

  • International airfares and departure taxes
  • Visa costs
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Additional meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Beverages and items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry etc
  • Tips and gratitudes


Duration:6 Days
Starting Point:Hong Kong
Finishing Point:Guilin
Activities:4 days Supported Cycling
Adventure Touring
Service Learning project
Grade:Introductory  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG3301