10-Day Beyond the Backroads Village Trek

This trekking tour fully embraces the Backroads of China ethos: to go beyond the regular tourist trail to experience places with raw scenic beauty and cultural vitality. Over the 10 days you will have the opportunity to hike through ricefields, between limestone peaks, alongside tea plantations and beside crystal clear rivers. You will stay in homestay accommodation with three different minority groups: Yao, Dong and Miao. For those wanting to experience rather than tour Guangxi, this is the trip!

Tour starts/finishes: Guilin
Fitness level required: High
Time of year available: March-early December
Time of year recommended: April-May, October-November

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Guilin/Yangshuo-Mt Hebao (L, D)
Drive to Xingping and hike for approximately 2 hours to reach Hebaoshan Village. In the afternoon climb Hebao Mountain and watch the sun setting over the karst peaks. Stay in a small riverside guesthouse.

Day 2: Mt Hebao-Yangdi-Bojitang (B, L, D)
Hike for approximately 3 hours to reach Yangdi. Along the way you will see farmers walking their water buffalo along the river’s edge, men casting their hand sewn nets out onto the water in the hopes of catching fish, and small villages consisting of mud-brick houses. Have lunch in Yangdi, then drive for approx 3 hours to arrive in Bojitang village. This area is home to the Pan Yao minority people. Overnight in a small guesthouse.

Day 3: Bojitang-Jiuwu (B, L, D)
You will begin your trek with a tough 3.5 hour climb (14 km) up through forested mountains to a Red Yao village called Yujia. Have lunch in Yujia, then continuing hiking for another 2 hours (5km) to arrive in Jiuwu Red Yao village. Overnight in Jiuwu village in homestay accommodation.

Day 4: Jiuwu-Tiantouzhai (B, L, D)

Have a local breakfast of bacon and oil tea. From Jiuwu we continue hiking for approx 4.5 hours (9 km) across terraced slopes and bamboo forests and past several small villages to arrive in Dazhai at the foot of the Jinkeng Rice Terraces. Have lunch in Dazhai, then hike on for a further hour to arrive in Tiantou Yao Village at the top of the Jinkeng Rice Terraces. Have dinner on the balcony of the Beautiful Views Guesthouse taking in the sweeping views.

Day 5: Tiantouzhai-Chengyang (B, L, D)

Hike up to No. 1 viewpoint for more amazing views then collect your baggage and head back down to the Dazhai carpark. Travel on to Chengyang Dong Village (3.5 hours). In the afternoon explore the village, including the 100 year old Wind and Rain Bridge and numerous drumtowers. Overnight at the Chengyang Dong Village Hotel.

Day 6: Chengyang-Jichang-Gaonong (B, L, D)
Hike for 5 hours from Chengyang to Gaonong, and stopping in Jichang for lunch. Today’s hike is hilly, passing through small rice terraced fields. Overnight in Gaonong in homestay accommodation.

Day 7: Gaonong-Mapang-Guida (B, L, D)

Hike for 5 hours from Gaonong to Guida, through rice terraces and tea plantations. On the way visit Mapang Dong village enroute, home to the Mapang Drumtower, the most famous of the 160 Dong drumtowers still in existence in Sanjiang county. Overnight in homestay accommodation in Guida Miao Village .

Day 8: Guida-Gaoya-Dudong-Yangxi (B, L, D)

Hike for 5 hours from Guida to Dudong, a Dong village on the borderland of Hunan, Guangxi and Guizhou provinces. It was an important centre for guerrilla action against the Japanese in the 1940’s and is home to the biggest drumtower in the region. Have lunch in Dudong and visit some nearby villages. Drive for 1.5 hours to Yangxi town where you will stay overnight in a small guesthouse.

Day 9: Yangxi-Boat to Danzhou (B, L, D)
Take an early morning ferry from Yangxi down the Beijiang River to Dalang Township (3.5 hours), then drive on to Danzhou. Danzhou is an intact ancient town dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Have lunch in the village and spend the afternoon exploring the town. Overnight in a small guesthouse.

Day 10: Danzhou-Guilin (B, L)
Drive from Danzhou back to Guilin (5 hours), enjoying spectacular karst peak scenery along the way. Tour concludes.

Tour prices

The following table shows the price per person for groups of varying sizes. The budget and comfortable options differ in terms of transportation and accommodation. Please see price inclusions below for details.

2 people 3 people 4-5 people 6-7 people 8 or more Single supplement
Budget 5200 RMB 4000 RMB 3700 RMB 3200 RMB 2800 RMB 600 RMB
Comfortable 6000 RMB 4500 RMB 4100 RMB 3400 RMB 3000 RMB 600 RMB

Price inclusions

  1. Accommodation: All travellers spend 6 nights in simple guesthouse accommodation and 3 nights in homestay accommodation.
  2. Entrance tickets: Li River Scenic Area (80 CNY), Dragon Backbone Rice Terraces (80 CNY), Chengyang Dong Village (60 CNY), Mapang Drumtower (10 CNY)
  3. The following activities: Chengyang song and dance performance
  4. Transportation: Budget- Transportation is by public buses, occasional hired vans and local ferry on the Bei River; Comfortable- Transportation for all transfers is in a 7 seater minivan for groups of up to 4 people, an 11 seater Jinbei vehicle for groups of 5-7 people and a 15 seater vehicle for 8-10 people. From Yangxi to Danzhou, we hire a local boat.
  5. Meals : 9 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners as indicated on the itinerary. Lunches and dinners will be standard Chinese food including rice and a variety of meat and vegetable dishes. Breakfasts will be a combination of Chinese breakfast foods (noodles, steamed buns, eggs) and western food (pancakes, fried eggs) where available.
  6. Guide: An experienced English speaking tour guide

Price exclusions

  1. Snacks, drinks and western food
  2. Travel insurance
  3. Personal expenses such as phone calls or laundry fees
  4. Porters’ fees


  1. Surcharges will be charged for peak travelling times such as Chinese New Year, May Day (May 1st-7th) and National Day (October 1st-7th). For tours at these times please contact us for a customized quote.
  2. The prices quoted are to be used as a guide only. A final tour quote will be provided to you at the time of enquiry which may be higher or lower than the price listed above.


Below are some images from previous tours in this area. Click to view larger images.


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