Lugu Lake, Yunnan: Beyond Off-The-Beaten-Track

Date:On request
Price:On request
Highlights / Route:Dali – Shaxi – Tiger Leaping GorgeWumuShitouchen (Baoshan) Stone VillageLugu LakeBaisha (Lijiang) Dali
Length:~ 1080 km
Duration:8 days / 6 driving days
Longest driving day:6 h / 200 km
Average driving day:5 h / 180 km
Style / Level of difficulty:Motorbike trip with overnights stays in hotels and guesthouses. / Easy – Medium; 85 % paved
Media:Flickr picture gallery
Motorbikes:Shineray 400 / Yamaha YBR 250 / BMW G650 GS

This adventure let you experience remote countryside roads in one of the most beautiful regions of Yunnan. We follow hundreds of kilometers the azure blue Yangtze River through deep gorges, curvy tarmac roads and some of the most beautiful old towns China has to offer. Ride and rest with us next to 5500 meter high mountains and pure nature.

Google maps only offers a basic overview on the route.
Many smaller roads are not documented.

Daily itinerary for Lugu Lake, Yunnan: Beyond Off-The-Beaten-Track

TagRoute: Beschreibung
1Arrival in Dali, Yunnan: Airport shuttle to your hotel in Dali old town, where this bike trip begins. Dali is the former capital of the Nanzhao kingdom on the shores of the 42 kilometer long Erhai Lake. Depending on your arrival time visit of the old town and the 12 century old Three Pagodas.
2DaliShaxiTiger Leaping Gorge: After the delivery of the motobikes the journey starts by riding first along the shores of the Erhai Lake. After leaving the villages with the white Bai minority style houses we enter the mountains surrounding Dali and ride along the side of the Cangshan mountain range. We arrive in Shaxi in the early afternoon to visit the old town before we hit the road again. Shaxi has many well preserved historic buildings, an ancient town sqare dating back to the time of the Tea Horse Road, and a wooden theater state – a unique attribute of a town in ancient rural China. Later in the afternoon, after crossing Shi Bao Mountain we arrive at the Tiger Leaping Gorge. After a 20 kilometer ride through the gorge we arrive at a small guesthouse with a great view into the gorge. The gorge itself is one of the deepest gorges in the world, which 5500 meter high mountains raising above.
3Tiger Leaping GorgeWumu: After breakfast we leave the gorge for Wumu in the north. Quickly we gain height and from up here the gorge looks like a gigantic crack in the valley landscape. Together with our bike we take a ferry crossing the Yangtze River and arrive in Wumu in the afternoon. Wumu is located at the shores of the Yangtze River, most inhabitants belong to the Naxi minorty group. On the entire way to Wumu we cross mountains and enjoy the views of the surrounding valleys in which the locals grow wheat and vegetables.
4WumuShitouchen Stone Village – Labo: From Wumu we ride further north to the small village of Shitouchen, which was build on a rock 7 centuries ago to protect the villagers from invading Tibetan troops. We cross again the Yangtze River and spend the night in Labo, a small town.
Labo – Lugu-See: It´s a relatively short ride to Lugu Lake, where we arrive around lunch time. The landscape gets more green and lush, the farming village grow wheat, water mellongs and other fruits. We ride the bike for a short while along the Lugu Lake shore before we reach Lige, a small peninsula on the lake, where we will stay over night. From here you can take a boat to nearby islands.
6Lugu-SeeBaisha: Instead of riding direktly to Baisha (Lijiang), we ride around the lake and explore some of the small beaches. Around the lake are small villages, Buddhist temples and thick pine forests. The road to Baisha offers again great views and curvy mountain roads.

BaishaDali: Baisha  is the less touristy counterpart of its bigger brother Lijiang, although only 10 kilometer to the north of Lijiang. Spread out in the middle of wheat fields is the small historic old town where cafes and some restaurant are offering a relaxed coffee or meal. In the embroidery center well know Chinese masters present and sell their art. From Lijiang it is possible to make an excursion to the famous old town of Lijiang, for many China travellers a highlight. From Baisha we take a different mountain road back to Dali. Depending on the time a longer road, along the east side of the Erhai Lake, can be taken, and visit a 450 year old temple was build on a small island (Xiao Putuo).

8Ende der Reise in Dali: This journey ends in Dali. Transfer to the airport.

This trip can be combined with other Tibetmoto trips, for example the North Yunnan Loop or the ride into Tibetan Sichuan

Included services:

250cc motorbike Shineray 400 / Yamaha YBR 250 / BMW G650 GS
Overnights stays in hotels and guest houses / in camps
English speaking tour guide
Accompanying vehicle for pillion riders, equipment and luggage
Meals (Frühstück, Mittagessen), mineral water
Gas, engine oil, spare parts
Help with applying a Chinese visa


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