Yuncheng – Pingyao

1st June 2014        29’C         310km
Yuncheng – Pingyao

This mornings ride was boring, semi-industrial town after semi-industrial town, and the guide for some strange reason kept driving into the centre of the towns, and into thick traffic, rather than using the bypass roads that skirted the edge of each town.  This means it takes a significantly longer time to get anywhere, and also means spending hours fighting traffic.   After we stopped for lunch, and they got lost again leaving town (and my GPS was showing exactly which way to go) I split.

Initially planning to use the national road 180, but I made a decision to take a chance and try and get onto the freeway where motorbikes are not allowed.  As it turns out, this time I was able to easily sneak past the toll gates, no one saw me and yelled at me, as they had in the past, and I was now cruising on a beautiful two lane expressway.  After about 20 minutes, I realised I had not seen a single other vehicle on the road, and wondered if I had entered onto a new and unopened road, it was so quiet.


Finally the road looped onto another and as I headed down the ramp onto the next freeway, I saw a cop car and thought my game was up.  But they didn’t turn their lights or siren on, and so I continued on, overtaking the cops and reaching Pingyao almost 2hrs before the guide.

I stopped for fuel, and went through the whole teapot hassle of filling up again, playing games with the service station attendants, pretending I didn’t understand what they wanted when the ask me to move the bike two metres forward so they can use the teapot, asking them why do they want to make tea in a dirty teapot, etc, etc.  All in good humour, but it is a crazy rule, and doesn’t apply at every service station.  It is truly bizarre.   Once the teapot madness was complete I sat and had a cool drink with the staff, chatting in symbols, before riding into town, locating the hotel and parking in the courtyard.


The afternoon was spent exploring the beautiful walled city of Pingyao, which has thankfully been left as it is, without too many tourist shops, and plenty of little backlanes where local people are going about their usual chores. A great little town.

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5 Comments on “Yuncheng – Pingyao

  1. The guide sounds fairly useless – but I guess its mandatory to have one?

  2. Yes, it is mandatory at the moment in China. And yes, the guide is completely useless. Doesn’t know what to see, where to go, how to get there.

    Actually, with my 12 weeks of Chinese lessons I took 3 years ago (where I hardly applied myself) I can do most things easier, faster and with less screw ups (and have more fun) than when the guide tries to help.

    • Guess there is no criteria to be a guide then – if it is mandatory at least they should add some value….. Good to see that sometimes you miss turns and separate from the guide 🙂

  3. Please share with us the guide details. So that we’d make sure not to use them in future.

    • Hey Peter, I’ll be glad to give you a full run down on my experience when I’m back in SG. The company I used was NAVO. They were and have been excellent on the administration side of things, but the guide far from expectations.
      I know others who have used the same company and gave excellent reviews, so I guess it really just depends which guide you get. Some are good, some not.
      NAVO is the most expensive option of all the guide companies, I chose them because of their reputation. But if I was doing this again I would choose the cheapest option, not the most expensive. As even the worst guide from the cheapest company would have been better.

      I’ll give you a bunch of tips and recommendations over a teh tarik or beer soon 🙂

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