Xining – Chengdu: Motorbike Expedition through Eastern Tibet and over the Himalaya

Date:On request
Price:On request
Highlights / Route :Xining – Qinghai-Lake (Kokonor) – Yellow River – Tongren – Xiahe (Labrang-Monastry) – Langmusi – Sertar- – Aba – Chengdu
Length:~ 1900 km
Duration :11 days / 9 riding days
Longest riding day:7.5 h / 350 Km
Average riding day:5.5 h / 200 Km
Style / Level of difficultiy:Expedition with overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses and 6 nights in the tent (camp). With mobile kitchen and lounge tent. / 90% paved; simple
Motorbikes:Shineray 400 / Yamaha YBR 250 / BMW G650 GS

On this expedition we cross the eastern Himalaya from the capital of Tibet Province – Qinghai (Xining)  and drive to the capital of Sichuan : Chengdu. We cross grasslands, drive along the Yellow River through landscapes of sandstone, meet and camp with nomads and visit one of the largest monasteries of Tibet: Sertar. We often go to a level beyond the 3000 meters and cross curvy mountain passes. At the Tibetan Thanka blacksmith Tongren we learn about the Tibetan art and visit the old town with pilgrims. A journey through the original, rural China and Tibet. This adventure can be booked together with the Chengdu – Dali that takes place right after this trip.

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


Daily itinerary for Xining – Chengdu: Motorbike Expedition through Eastern Tibet and over the Himalaya

TagRoute: Beschreibung
1 Xining arrival day:  Pick-up service from the airport and acclimatization. Joint Dinner  in the provincial capital of Qinghai.
2 Xining – Kumbum Monastery – Qinghai Lake: After breakfast we start with our trip. Before we get to the nearby 3,800 meters Qinghai Lake we take a break and visit the monastery of Kumbum Monastery (Ta He Si). The monastery dates from 1578 and is one of the six largest monasteries of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Arrived at the Qinghai Lake , we set up our first camp near a small monastry on a sandy beach. The Qinghai Lake (Kokonor) is considered one of the largest salt lakes in the world.
3 Qinghai-Lakw – Yellow River: From Qinghai Lake we go further to the Tibetan highlands and continue over a plateau which is inhabited by nomads and grazing yaks, before arriving on the shores of the Yellow river. The viwe on the Qinghai Lake from the top is spectacular. We visit the Xiaqiong Monastery, which is one of the most important in this part of Tibet (Amdo). On this day, we set up our camp on the bank of the Yellow River.
4 Yellow River – Tongren: The journey takes us over tibetan grassland to Tongren where we spend the night in a hotel. Before we arrive in Tongren we pass the monastery Achung Namdzong. It is one of the most important monasteries of the Nyingma school. Tongren is a center of Tibetan art and culture. Here you can purchase hand-painted Thangkas ( Tibetan paintings on animal skin ) or just watch the goings on the street.
5 Tongren – Xiahe (Labrang-Monastery): Labrang is one of the largest temple complexes of the Gelugpa school in the world. Several mountain slopes are planted with small one- or two-storey accommodation and temples for the monks. The mountain slopes are surrounded by grasslands and around 2800m altitude. Today the monastery is one of the most important educational institution of Tibet. In the 18th century it became a trading center because of its location on the Silk Road and Tibet. The monastery is located in a river valley and there are wonderful opportunities to camp here.
6 Xiahe (Labrang-Monastery) – Langmusi: Langmusi is a small Tibetan village amidst grassland and coniferous forest and marks the boundary between the provinces of Gansu and Sichuan. The village is surrounded by small red and white painted monasteries, such as the Kerti Monastery, yak herds and pine trees. this night we stay in a small guest house.
7 Langmusi – Jiuzhi: The road leads twoards south along the high plateau until we reach the mountains. Our destination today will be Jiuzhi, where we will get some rest before the long ride to the monastery city of Sertar on the next day.
8 Jiuzhi – Sertar: The jounary leads us today over more than 7 passes of 4000m height, along barren grasslands and endless distances. The effort is worthwhile, because Sertar is a highlight of this trip. Sertar is the largest Buddhist educational institution in the world and was built up the hill over generations. The amazing view and the architectural extent can not be understood only by looking at photos.
9 Sertar – Aba:  Slowly but surely we are leaving the Tibetan grasslands and drive through pine forest and along small lakes to Aba where we will stay a longer time in our camp.
10 Aba – Chengdu: On the last day of riding we get back to civilization. Chengdu is a large, modern and vibrant city and also the provincial capital of Sichuan.
11 Chengdu Departure Day: : Transfer to the airport.


Included Services:

Gelber Fluss Shineray 400 / Yamaha YBR 250

Overnights stays in  hotels and guest houses
English speaking tour guide
Accompanying vehicle for pillion riders, equipment and luggage
Meals (Breakfast, lunch), mineral water
Gas, engine oil, spare parts
Help with applying a Chinese visa

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