Few people ever take this road. Xingping to Guilin is however a good experience. It gives you the possibility to experience to go back in time. That was at least what I felt both times I took this road.
True, the main road, road 321 to Guilin is a better quality but this is the more exciting road. If you have the time, take this road, with a stop in Xingping, you will not regret it.
And for the ral adventurous, you an continue after Guilin you could cycle to Longsheng (heck, even cycling to the Qingshitan Reservoir and dam) and S anjiang and then cycle to Rong An and Luizhou before cycling back to Yangshuo.
This trip would take you about 2 weeks including days to explore the areas in Guilin, Longsheng and Sanjiang.
Xingping to Guilin
Let’s focus here on the road from Xingping to Guilin. I cycled out of Xingping. A few kilometers out of the town center, there’s a junction to your left and a bridge. After the bridge you arrive in a little village: Shujia Bao. Should you miss the junction and continue straight on thinking the good road is the way to Guilin, you will go deep in the mountains but not to Guilin. Fortunately there is a clear road sign (which, in May 2011, I conveniently missed).
At first the dirt track is flat but soon you will start climbing here and there, but it’s never difficult or steep. There’s hardly any traffic on the road too.
After missing the junction I went back to Shujia Bao and took the right direction. It was my third time cycling this road. The first time was in 2001 and the road has not been upgraded since but as there was hardly any traffic, it didn’t matter much.
It’s a beautiful little road swindling through the rough mountains. This time, May 2011, it was slightly raining and I got some problems with my chain and gear system just before the last climb.
However, I was able to fix the problem and starting the 7 km climb to just 500 meter altitude.
Passing the scenic view, the climb was not over. The road was however not very steep but not in good condition. For climbing it didn’t matter much.
I had now a beautiful view towards my left side and saw the Li River below. The next 7 km was going down but I had to take care as the road was still a dirt road.
By the time I was all the way down, I arrived at a T junction and went to the right in the direction, which was still 30km. Fortunately it was from here on a good asphalt road. Along the way, you will pass several caves, popular with Chinese tour groups. I didn’t pay much attention as my gear system again didn’t work proper.
In Daxu I had a quick lunch and continued my ride to Guilin on a busier ongoing road. Just before Guilin this road becomes part of the highway, a not very pleasant road to cycle but fortunately it was quiet.
Despite the wet weather, it had again be a very pleasant ride. I would strongly recommend this road because in a few years a railway will arrive in Xingping and it might be that some of the beauty now available will disappear.