The back road to Xingping is a kind of hidden secret. Most travelers to Yangshuo will not even hear about it, guides don’t offer it in their tours, and even locals do not use it as there is no reason to go there. Or is there?
On a Friday afternoon Kelly (owner of Kelly’s Cafe in Yangshuo and Kelly’s Guesthouse in Xingping) asked me if I was interested in joining her and her friend Vivian to cycle to Xingping on a secret hidden road.
We left the Sunday morning, it was grey and slightly raining. We cycled out of town on Shenshan Road (where you will find the Yangshuo hospital) climbing the little hill and cycle out of town follow the direction to Cuban.
It was a road I had cycled before. This was the road that would eventually lead to Baisha and Putao (have a look here).
Until a few years ago, this was a dirt track but with the development of Yangshuo this area north of Yangshuo too had been given a proper road. Not many travelers go here as, as one of the local guides told me, it’s really not interesting. Interesting or not, that was up to me to decide.
We had to follow this road for quite some kilometers until a T-junction leading to the left and Baisha (still 9 km from that point and right to Nine Horse Fresco Hill and Xingping.
On the way we had to climb several hills, never steep, never difficult but considering the weather situation, certainly not all too pleasant and, for the most without the spectacular views I have had in the past when using the road.
Kelly was not much experienced with cycling but she had a good bike, constructed by Rich, her manager of Kelly’s Guesthouse in Xingping. Vivian had also a good bike. She had cycled often on dirt roads and hills and although she claimed not to have cycled a lot the last few months, she had no problems to climb the hills too.
The main problem for me was the weather. The rain made the roads wet and the air cold. Living in a tropical country (Malaysia), I had almost forgotten what it was to feel the cold wet wind on my face.
It was a pleasant and relatively easy tide. After the Baisha-Putao junction we cycled quickly to the last top before descending to the last junction to the ferry crossing. This was the only dirt track we had to take. We ended at the ferry crossing which is a kilometer or 2 north of Xingping.
We had to wait a bit for a ferry to take us to the other side and had to cycle from there back to Xingping. It had taken us effectively 3 and a half hours to reach Xingping, including some stops. Not bad.
In Xingping we could take a nice warm shower and a meal manager Rich had prepared for us. By the time I was prepared to go back to Yangshuo it had started heavy raining. Thus we waited a bit longer but at 6pm I asked the girls what they wanted to do. Kelly was tired and decided to take the bus back but Vivian joined me in cycling back on the main road back to Yangshuo. The last 25 km of the day would start in the dripping rain but the rain would stop soon and we arrived in just over an hour and just before dark back in Yangshuo. It had been a very pleasant ride.