Mark the weekend of the 25-27th May 2018 to join our disco de wheels (think silent disco on a bike) through the limestone mountains of Yangshuo. Its a magical experience, grooving on a bike to the same tunes as your friends, the eclectic-collection of soul, disco and ambient tunes enhancing the the fairytale limestone-karst landscape of Yangshuo, and elevating your ride into a euphoric no-attitude biking experience. We finish the day with live music and great food in an old farmhouse deep in the remote Guangxi countryside, where we also sleep.
Take some head-ache pills in the morning, and a lovingly-brewed coffee, then ride on to a delicious and mellow riverside-bruch and swim before heading on home.
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 completed our first Mongolia festival Ride to the Ulaanbaatur Naadam. A Yangshuo Bike festival ride in Mongolia was as crazy as it sounds. We rode on the Terelj grasslands for 6 days, inviting three Shamans plus one acclaimed throat-singing mouth-harp twanging, flute-playing horse head fiddler to join us for the ride, and perform / ceremonialise for us in the evenings. We camped with our very own Naadam champion wrestler, who gave us insights on them Naadam, and then after the trip went tracking the Prwevalski Horse – a huge conservation success that you should google.
Mark the dates 6-13 July for 2018.
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 25-27 May 2018 (2800 RMB)
3. Mongolia Naadam Festival Ride 6-14 July 2018 (US$2700 / (US2400 if bought as a gift before Christmas 2017))
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.
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!!