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road from Nanning to Kunming (China)

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road from Nanning to Kunming (China)

Hi everyone,
We are a Belgian couple and are cycling in december from Guangzhou to Guillin and Yullin From there on we would like to cycle to Nanning and further on to Kunming .From Kunming we would fly out back home Does annyone know the best way to cycle to Kunming from Nanning? Thanks for your help

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Smiles from Kunming

Hi there. The area changes quite quickly with the growth of new roads and the patterns of traffic that follow, so specific routes are not going to last since someone last rode them, necessarily.

That said, I have a few tips, which I think you will find of value.

Firstly, definitely try to go via Xingyi in Guizhou. It's right on the Guizhou/Yunnan border in the southern area and has spectacular scenery. I am sure you will have seen nothing like it. First there is a tremendous gorge ('malinghe daxiagu' meaning 'Great Gorge of the Horse-(Mountain-)Range River') full of waterfalls and tropical plants, very deep, which you can walk through. Second, there are some amazing hills with karst formations and little picturesque villages known as 'wanfenglin' (forest of 10,000 peaks).

Secondly, if you get a chance try to deviate to the south a little to make it through Jianshui and Shiping before coming north to Kunming via Tonghai. This will give you access to some amazing old architecture, some of the best preserved in China. Specifically, don't miss either the village of Tuoshan (west of Jianshui), the bridge en-route (you'll see it between there and Jianshui), or the famous historic town west of Shiping whose name I forget.

After checking that town out, come back toward Shiping slightly then take the AMAZING road north to Tonghai. This features some killer scenery but also a killer climb. Almost no traffic. Totally beautiful. Tropical Tai-style peoples at the bottom, hardcore mountain culture at the top. Drop back down the other side to Tonghai ("connection to the oceans") and enter the high-altitude lake plateaux of central Yunnan. Suggest following Fuxian Lake (after Xingyun Lake) up the western side (if in a rush or wanting an easy road) or eastern side (if not in a rush and disliking traffic). The western side passes through Jiangcheng which has a good old museum of the local area. The local area is famous for uncovering the ancient Dian culture's royal tomb which was accounted for in 2000+ year old Chinese historical epochs. There is also good info on historic fishing in the lakes and so forth. Fuxian Lake, the northernmost before you reach Kunming, has two great attractions. North of the lake, in the north-eastern side, is Maotianshan which is one of the oldest fossil sites in the world ... one of only three sites globally documenting the initial emergence of complex life as nervous systems began to evolve. We're talking sea-floor goop-level serious age here. Just east of there a little further from the same mountain roads is an access route to a fantastic view over the Nanpanjiang, one of the longest rivers in the country, flowing out at Hong Kong as part of the Pearl River Delta, but extremely spectacular topography. Just nice to look at.

If I haven't sold my trimarans yet you can hit me up and I'll take you out on the lake on some fast sailboats. Give me a call. Welcome to stay with us in Kunming and/or in Chengjiang (north of Fuxian) if timing works.

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