9-Day Scenic Wonders Tour of Hunan and Guangxi

This tour is perfect for the traveller that wants to see it all in a short time. The scenery on this trip is varied and impressive: limestone crags, primeval forests, rice-terraced mountains, meandering rivers, and the world-famous karst peak landscapes of Yangshuo. Against these stunning backdrops, you will visit places of both historical and cultural interest.

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

Detailed itinerary

Day 1:  Tianmen Mountain (L, D)
Take the 7.4km long cableway to the top of Tianman Mountain, the highest mountain in Zhangjiajie (standing at 1520 metres). Then spend the rest of the day hiking out to the various scenic spots.  See sub-primitive forests, Tianmen Temple (Buddhist centre of Western Hunan) and Tianmen Cave, made famous by Russian stunt pilots who flew through the 30 metre wide natural archway. Overnight in Wulingyuan.

Day 2: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (B, L, D)
Full day hiking in the Zhangjiajie National Park. First, take the cable car up Tianzi Mountain, then sightsee Yangjiajie and Yuanjiajie on foot, before taking the Bailong elevator back down the mountain. Overnight in Wulingyuan.

Day 3: Zuolong Gorge-Fenghuang (B, L, D)
Drive to Zuolong Gorge. Take a 2-3 hour adventurous hike through the forested gorge, balancing on spikes and climbing ladders along the gorge walls. After a late lunch in a locals’ home, drive to Fenghuang Ancient Town (3 hours). Have dinner in a small wooden restaurant overlooking the Tuo River. Overnight in a Fenghuang guesthouse.

Day 4: Dehang Scenic Area (B, L, D)
Drive to Dehang Miao Village (2 hours). Spend the rest of the day exploring the Dehang Valley, (optional 3 hour return hike to Questioning the Heavens platform or 2.5 hour return hike to Liusha Waterfall). Enjoy some cultural shows, demonstrating the traditional costumes and marriage customs of the Miao people. Transfer to Jishou from where you will take the overnight train to Sanjiang in Guangxi province (Soft sleeper).

Day 5: Sanjiang-Chengyang (B, L, D)
Arrive in Sanjiang in the very early hours of the morning and transfer to Chengyang Dong Village. Sleep in late in the morning then spend the rest of the day exploring the traditional architecture and stunning natural landscape of Chengyang and surrounds. Overnight at the Dong Village Hotel (basic guesthouse with private bathrooms).

Day 6:  Chengyang- Dragon Backbone Rice Terraces (B, L, D)
Enjoy a local song and dance performance in Chengyang Dong Village. Then set out for the 3-4 hour drive to Dazhai, at the foot of the Jinkeng Rice Terraces. Hike for approx. 1 hour up through the ricefields to the Beautiful View Guesthouse. In the late afternoon you can hike to further viewpoints or relax on the balcony of the guesthouse taking in the sweeping views.

Day 7: Dragon Backbone Rice Terraces-Yangshuo (B, L)
Set out in the mid-morning for the 4 hour trip to Yangshuo, arriving in the mid-afternoon. The rest of the afternoon and is yours to explore Yangshuo. In the evening you have the option of attending the spectacular light, sound and drama performance- Liu San Jie, with the  illuminated karst peaks  acting as a backdrop.

Day 8: Li River Hike (L)
Travel out to Yangdi where you will begin your full day’s hike along the Li River, enjoying karst peak and river views, quaint mud brick villages and a hearty lunch at a riverside restaurant. After arriving at Xingping, travel 1 hour back to Yangshuo for a relaxing night on West Street.

Day 9: Biking along the Yulong River (L)
Spend the day biking along the Yulong River, riding from Yangshuo to Yulong Bridge, to Jiuxian-Chaoyang Village-Gongnong Bridge and finally to Moon Hill. Take a 40 minute climb to the top of the natural archway of Moon Hill for great views over the karst peaks. 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 + people
Single supplement
Budget 6700 CNY 5250 CNY 4600 CNY 4200 CNY 3900 CNY 1000 CNY
Comfortable 7200 CNY 5700 CNY 5000 CNY 4500 CNY 4100 CNY 1400 CNY

Price inclusions

  1. Accommodation: Budget: 2 nights in 3 star standard hotels, 6 nights in simple guesthouses; Comfortable: 5 nights in 3 star standard hotels, 3 nights in simple guesthouses.
  2. Entrance tickets and cable car fees:  Tianmen Mountain (258 RCNY), Zhangjiajie National Park (248 CNY), Bailong Elevator (56 CNY), Tianzi Mountain Cable Car (52 CNY), Zuolong Gorge (70 CNY), Dehang Scenic Area (60 CNY), Chengyang Dong Village (60 CNY), Dragon Backbone Rice Terraces (80 CNY), Li River Scenic Area (80 CNY), Moon Hill (15 CNY)
  3. Activity fees: Chengyang song and dance performance, bike hire in Yangshuo
  4. Transportation: Budget- Transportation is by hired vehicle in Hunan and mostly public transport in Guangxi; 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. All travellers will travel by soft sleeper class for the overnight train from Hunan to Guangxi.
  5. Meals : 6 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 6 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
  5. Liu San Jie performance in Yangshuo (188 CNY for standard seats)


  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.

Travellers’ feedback

Marina Wosnik from Germany writes…

‘I really want to thank everybody on the tour for your fantastic company. I really enjoyed this trip, in fact it was the best time I had during my 3 1/2 year stay in China. I never expected that the Backroads were so marvelous and for sure you made the tour just perfect and unforgettable for me.  Thanks.’

Rodney Shoulders from Britain writes…

‘How was our trip? you asked, absolutely FANTASTIC!!! Thank you so much for organising such an interesting and well run tour for us. Our guides Pan and Michael where first class, both a mine of information who never seemed to tire under the barrage of questions that were fired at them. Both of our drivers Mr Li and Mr Li were also faultless. Always willing to help with carrying heavy bags and always with a smile. Both vehicles were spotlessly clean at all times.

All the accommodation provided was of an excellent standard, with the exception of the Phoenix Melody Inn where we experienced a couple of minor issues.

The group of six seemed to be the perfect size. I can imagine that anything larger would be a nightmare for the guides. We all gelled extremely well and had no conflicts of interest.

Thank you once again for providing us with a truly memorable trip. We will have no hesitation in recommending your company to others.’

Lindy Ocampo from the Phillipines writes….

‘The Hunan/Guangxi trip was wonderful, well-organized, and the activities were diverse and fun-filled. The sights were marvelous, food was delicious, the local people were warm, and our small-sized traveling group meshed together well. There is nothing that I would change and am glad to have chosen your tour company to organize this adventure tour for us.

The tour guides, Eric, Pan, and Michael were all great. We loved that you chose locals as our tour guides as they were able to represent well their respective minority groups and regions.The drivers, though they cannot converse in English, showed through actions their enthusiasm to assist and please us.

Overall, our first trip to China was a memorable and wonderful experience and I thank you for that for making it so! We will definitely recommend your tour company to our friends.’


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