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This motorbike tour is an adventure for connoiseurs and the ones who are widely traveled. We will cross the Tibetan Eastern Himalayas and are riding through the four provinces Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai. The always sinuous mountain roads will lead us through exciting changes in culture and landscape, changes that are so manifold and high in contrast that it is like driving through a whole continent. We will discover the graslands of the nomads, will crisscross through sand and stone deserts, go up over the highest passes of the Himalayas and down along the longest rivers of asia, the Yangtze and famous Yellow river. The adventure will begin in the mega metropolis of Shanghai and will end at one of the biggest salt lakes of the world: Qinghai lake, before heading back to Shanghai.
Tour overview: Adventure China Motorbike Tour: At the Roof of the World
2018: May 19 – June 04 / August 25 – September 10 // 2019: June 3 – June 19
This East Tibet motorbike tour is offered as well through our partner the MOTORRAD action team. Check their catalogue here.
Daily itinerary: Adventure China Motorbike Tour: At the Roof of the World
Flight to Shanghai: Arrival in Shanghai. Individual transfer to the hotel.
Shanghai visiting day with subway and taxi: Today you will experience the modern metropolis of Shanghai. Visit the People´s park and the historic Yu gardens – a garden built in classic Feng Shui style. Afterwards, visit the Bund promenade at the Huangpu river with great views on Shanghai´s skyline. Near Nanjing road, one of the largest shopping streets in the world, you will take the elevator up on top of the Oriental Peal tower to enjoy the view.
Shanghai: Today is reserved for the application of the temporary Chinese driver´s license.
Shanghai – Lijiang: Flight to Lijiang. Airport transfer. We stay overnight in the old town of Baisha. Visit of UNESCO-world heritage city of Lijiang in the evening.
Lijiang – Shangri-la – Benzilan: Motorbike ride to Shangri-la. In Shangri-la we visit the world´s biggest prayer wheel. Here we are already in Tibetan area. We go further up on a winding mountain road above 3600m and then down into the hot and dry valley of the Yangtze at Benzilan. 5 hours / 260 kilometers
Benzilan – Xiangcheng: In Benzilan the road to Qinghai begins. We are driving through narrow gorges, through small Tibetan villages and very rocky landscapes. Just before Xiangcheng we go on a road full of potholes over three passes, first on 3300m, then on 3800m and last 4150m. 6,5 hours / 240 kilometers
Xiangcheng – Litang:After Xiangcheng we can enjoy a fully developed paved road going up on 4700m to the Haize lake land. That is an area with hundreds of lakes and thousands of rock boulders. It is going further up on 5300m with gorgeous views on nomad´s land. This is for sure a first class driving experience. In late afteernoon we arrive most high-lying city of the world: Litang on 4100 meters. In lake land we have the option to drive to two lakes ( ten kilometers one way distance) aside the main road on an unpaved road. There is the possibility to split the group: With supply vehicle to the hotel and with guide on the motorbike to the lakes. 5,5 hours / 210 kilometers
Litang – Ganze: In Litang the 7th Dalai Lama was born. So here we have the option to visit the birthplace of Dalai Lama with the Taxi. Start of this detour would be 8am. The motorbike driving day will start two hours later. Ganze lies in the middle of nomad´s grasland, the road to there is following an alpine valley with coniferous forest and little monasteries, always surrounded by high mountains. 6 hours / 255 kilometers
Ganze – Seda-Stadt:Seda is the world´s biggest Buddhist academy. Centred in a mountain basin, all hillsides are covered by the small asketic huts of the thousands of nuns and monks. We go diectly into the city monastery and will have an amazing view from up the hill, where we can enjoy sunset. After that we go further to Seda city. 5,5 hours / 235 kilometers
Seda-Kloster – Jiuzhi:We hit the road very early for this long driving day. It is going through an enourmously vast country with the most amazing winding part you can imagine. On this day we go over seven passes over 4000m. Five kilometers aside the road is a crystal clear lake, where we are going to have a picknick. 7,5 hours / 340 kilometers
Jiuzhi – Maqu – Langmusi: Today the moutains run down into a totally plain high plateau, where we cross the Yellow river two times, before we find ourselves in idyllic Langmuse, surrounded by fascinating highlands. 5,5 hours / 210 Kilometer
Langmusi – Labrang:Labrang is a great temple complex on 2800m surrounded by graslands. It is still a very important Buddhist academy and was an important trading place between Tibet and the silk road in former times. The whole town is inhabited by monks. There is a three kilometer long Kora (a clock-wise pilgrimage around a holy place), a special thing to do in Labrang. We will visit the monastery after we arrived and there is the option the go to a Tibetan karaoke show in the evening. 2,5 hours / 190 kilometers
Labrang – Guide: After the high steppes we suddenly find ourselves in the sandstone gorges of Yellow river. Following the Yellow river through a bizarre sandstone area that is reminding of Yellowstone National Park, we are snaking our way through an extensive river valley and through the stone pillars of Kanbula. In Guide a big prayer wheel is run by the Yellow river. 6 hours / 250 kilometers
Guide – Qinghai lake: Just close to the source of Yellow river, the water is really azure clear so that the river is inviting for a bath. Leaving the river we make our way through wastelands unless we are suddenly looking down on an ocean. Qinghai lake is waiting for us. 6 hours / 240 kilometers
Qinghai lake – Hainan – Xining: The sandy beaches bait us. Tibetans offer a ride on big white Yaks. There is the option to visit the sand dunes of Qinghai lake (10 kilometers one distance). Perfect sand dunes loom into the lake. Our last riding day brings us to Xining, modren capital of Qinghai. Here we leave the bikes and enjoy our last supper. 4 hours / 210 kilometers
Xining leaving day: Flight to Shanghai. Individual programm in Shanghai in the afternoon / evening without guide.
Shanghai leaving day: International flight
= (Experienced) driving time without breaks
Included services: Adventure China Motorbike Tour: At the Roof of the World