For cycling holidays abroad, the destination of China has to be one of the finest. China is, of course, a huge country that is full of both natural and man-made wonders. While you have likely seen many of them in photographs, experiencing them first hand is one of those things you just have to do at least once in your life.
Without question, the best way to ensure you can get close enough to all the wonders of this land is to travel through the country either on foot or, perhaps better still, on bicycle. The fact is cycling offers you the best of independence and freedom, helps to keep you fit and healthy and makes stopping whenever and wherever you want as easy as possible. It is also by far the best way to meet the locals, who will no doubt be all the friendlier to see you on such environmentally friendly transport.
While there are many routes you could take, there are a few areas which you should ensure you don’t miss. Flying in to Beijing is perhaps the best way to start and making a two day tour of this fabulous city before moving on will certainly not disappoint. The highlight of this city has to be making a visit to the fascinating so called ‘Forbidden City’.
Located in the centre of Beijing, the Forbidden City was an imperial palace that served as the home of countless Emperors from the beginnings of the Ming Dynasty right through to the final days of the Qing Dynasty. For more than five hundred years the Forbidden City was also the political and ceremonial base for the government of China. Nowadays it is home to the fascinating Palace Museum.
Building of the Forbidden City began in 1406 and was completed some fourteen years later in 1420. The ‘city’ stretches for a massive 7,800,000 sq ft and house some 980 buildings. The architecture here is typical of the Chinese palatial style which has since influenced numerous other developments throughout Asia. The city is now a World Heritage Site.
From Beijing there is always the opportunity to take a short trip along a remote section of what is perhaps the most famous landmark in the whole of Asia, that is, of course, the Great Wall of China. You are advised to spend at least two days exploring this famous structure, ensuring you leave plenty of time to visit both Tiananmen Square, the third largest of its kind in the world and famous for the protests of 1989 and the Summer Palace, known locally as the ‘Gardens of Nurtured Harmony’.
A Short Trip by Train
However, no group adventure holidays would be complete without making at least a short trip by train. From Beijing you could take the train to Xian, an historic site of ‘Terracotta Warriors’, before moving on to the glorious province of Yunnan, home to the fascinating Naxi people of Lijiang.
Returning to the bicycle, a ride through the stunning sights of Tiger Leaping Gorge before taking in the picturesque landscapes of Yanshuo, which have been the inspiration for generations of artists, will prove the perfect way to end your tour of the splendid region of China.
Georgina writes regularly on the subject of travel for a wide range of related websites and blogs. While her interests are endless, she loves writing on group adventure holidays and cycling holidays abroad.