|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||37 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Aug 29, Sep 15, 2015; Aug 27, Sep 12, 2016|
|Start city:||Chengdu, China|
|End city:||Chengdu, China|
This tour is an exciting 15 day loop starting and finishing in Chengdu City, the capital of the Sichuan Province. We cover roughly 435 miles (700 km) through stunning Chinese and Tibetan scenery, culture and fantastic biking. Starting in the hustle of Chengdu City, we make our way northwest into the agricultural and rice growing regions and then climb slowly through river valleys lined with snow covered peaks to the wide open spaces of the Tibetan Plateau. There are a couple of known touristy towns (known at least to Chinese people) early on in the trip, but from then on the towns are local, rural and in some places very remote.
We visit a panda breeding sanctuary and Buddhist monasteries, meet with Tibetan nomadic yak herders, and take the challenge of crossing three high mountain passes. Stunning scenery, colourful culture, intriguing history and delicious food combine to create one of the most diverse, interesting and memorable biking destinations on the planet.
We ride between 12-75 miles (20-120 km) per day for a total distance of 435 miles (700 km) spread over 12 days of biking. We bike on mostly paved roads where at times bikes and small tractors out-number cars. The terrain varies from gentle meandering river valleys to long sustained climbs and lovely long descents. We climb over four high mountain passes, three of which are over 13,000 ft. (4000 m) however in all cases the gradient is fairly gentle. This tour is suitable for bikers with a good level of fitness and perfect for a hybrid or touring style bike.
Your group will be made up of 6-12 bikers from around the world, plus Escape Adventure leaders, local guide/interpreter and local crew. Our trusty support vehicle carries all your luggage, can help you up the hills (if you like) and always has lunch, snacks and water at hand. Accommodation is twin-share in local hotels and guesthouses most of which have en-suites however it is occasionally necessary to share bathroom facilities. Meals and snacks are all provided mostly taking advantage of the delicious fare in local restaurants. This excludes two lunches and two evening meals which are at your own expense to give you more opportunity to explore and experience local cuisine.
Learn more about guided tours
Day 1: Arrive in Chengdu
Arrive individually in Chengdu, where a local tour company representative will pick you up. Alternatively you could take a taxi, available outside the airport, for approximately $USD10. We will meet in the hotel reception for a pre-departure meeting at 5pm.
NOTE- please change money today if necessary. You can use the ATM in Chengdu City to get enough local currency for the duration of your trip. Meals included: dinner.
Overnight in Chengdu.
Day 2: Chengdu (25 miles/40 km)
Get into the vibe of China with a city tour of Chengdu by bike including a visit to a Giant Panda Breeding Research Center and some other local surprises. Meals included: breakfast and dinner.
Overnight in Chengdu.
Day 3: Chengdu - Pingle (39 miles/63 km)
We begin with a vehicle transfer out of the city and ride through a grain growing area and paddy fields to Pingle. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner .
Overnight in Pingle.
Day 4: Pingle - Lushan (47 miles/75 km)
We bike on through farmland and steamy bamboo forests over our first pass at 4101 ft (1250 m) to Lushan. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in Lushan.
Day 5: Lushan - Yaoji Forest Reserve (12 miles/20 km)
We gain some altitude in the morning with a transfer up to a lake created by a new dam project. Biking around the lake we enter the Tibetan area and cycle on to Yaoji Forest Reserve. Meals include: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in Yaoji Forest Reserve.
Day 6: Yaoji Forest Reserve - Rilongguan via Jiajinshan pass (44 miles/70 km)
Today we tackle our first major pass as we climb over Jiajinshan pass at 13,800 ft (4200 m). With views of the Himalayan foothills and yaks for company, it’s an awesome achievement, and we will be generously rewarded with a 20 mile (36 km) sweeping downhill. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in Rilongguan.
Day 7: Rilongguan - Danba (75 miles/120 km)
Today is a long and flowing day as we follow a river valley downstream through farmland and orchards to Danba. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in Danba.
Day 8: Rest day - Jaiju Tibetan Village
Spend the morning walking through small hillside villages to explore some ancient defensive towers and then head into Danba town to check out the sights in the afternoon. In the late afternoon we take a short drive up to Jaiju Tibetan village and spend the night in a Tibetan stone house. Meals included: breakfast and dinner.
Overnight in Jaiju Tibetan Village.
Day 9: Jaiju - Donggu (30 miles/49 km)
We head back down to the river valley and follow the river as it gently climbs through a quiet valley to Donggu. Meals included: breakfast, lunch dinner.
Overnight in Donggu.
Day 10: Donggu - Bamei (34 miles/ 55 km)
Biking on up the river valley we cross over a 12,795 ft (3900 m) pass and drop down into the wide open Tibetan Grasslands. In the afternoon, we take a break from the saddle to visit an historically important Buddhist Monastery and temple. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in Bamei.
Day 11: Tibetan Grasslands: Bamei - Tagong (19 miles/30 km)
We bike across the rolling grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau to Tagong. In the afternoon, we'll explore the town, local shops and nearby temples. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in Tagong.
Day 12: Tagong - Kanding (68 miles/110 km)
Today is the most challenging day of the trip; just remember the support vehicle is there if you need it! We'll pedal through the rolling grasslands dotted with Nomad tents and grazing yaks. In the afternoon we will climb our last and highest pass at 14,101 ft (4298 m) and end the day with a downhill run to Kangding. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in Kangding.
Day 13: Yangtze River - Shangli (16 miles/25 km)
Leaving the Tibetan area, we will transfer back down one of the river valleys that feed the Yangtze River. In the afternoon we will climb a steep hill followed by a gentle ride past rice paddies and farmland to the ancient village of Shangli. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in Shangli.
Day 14: Sichuan Basin (28 miles/ 45 km)
Our last ride of the trip brings us back down to the rolling farmland of the Sichuan Basin. Afternoon transfer to Chengdu. Meals included: breakfast and lunch
Overnight in Chengdu.
Day 15: Departure
Airport transfers can be arranged.
Please remember that this is a guide only and due to unforeseen circumstances it may be necessary to make changes to the itinerary.
Note: This tour does not enter Tibet (Xizang) as currently defined by China. However the tour is primarily in the area occupied by people who are culturally Tibetan and who consider their land to be Tibet.
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Accommodation is twin-share in local hotels and guesthouses most of which have private bathrooms, however it is occasionally necessary to share bathroom facilities.
Xinliang Hotel, Chengdu
Bikes available for rent on this tour (reserved in advance at the time of booking):
The bikes are equipped with flat pedals. You may bring your own pedals if desired.
Tour saddles are included, but you may bring your own seat. Please ensure that your seat will fit with a universal seat post.
Please plan to bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes. Helmet rental is not available on this tour.
We ride between 12-75 miles (20-120 km) per day for a total distance of 435 miles (700 km) spread over 12 days of biking. We bike on mostly paved roads where at times bikes and small tractors out-number cars.
The terrain varies from gentle meandering river valleys to long sustained climbs and lovely long descents. We climb over four high mountain passes, three of which are over 13,000 ft (4000 m) however in all cases the gradient is fairly gentle. This tour is suitable for bikers with a good level of fitness and perfect for a hybrid or touring style bike.
Tour start and end
Nearest airport: Chengdu China
Transfer to/from the airport and the tour start/end is included as part of the tour package.
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Escape Adventures is a small owner operater company, which began leading cycle tours in East Africa in 1999. It then expanded to New Zealand in 2003 and Asia in 2007. They design, create and lead all of their tours personally to retain a high standard and customer experience.
They are located in Takaka, New Zealand and now offer tours in Kenya, Tanzania, China (Tibet), Laos, Cambodia and New Zealand. They are constantly planning new tours in new destinations. Their strenghts include personal service, small groups (maximum of 12), attention to detail in designing and planning trips. All trips have at least 2 trip leaders plus local interpreter on all trips.
Information coming soon.