Tibet border lands motorbike tour

Cost from US$1280, 6 days adventure ride to Tibet border lands
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    Motorcycle adventure to mysterious Shangri_la China

    Riding through this charming southern province will expose you to a fascinating history, breathtaking scenery, ancient architecture and diverse cultures. The old houses and cobbled streets will be accented by the colorful attire of ethnic tribes. 

    The scenery will be dotted by snow capped mountains, terraced rice fields, green forests and raging rivers. Your Yunnan days are filled with jaw-dropping scenery and enough culture to fill even the most culturally starved traveler. 

    This week long adventure takes you into Yunnan's frontier Tibetan region with its fascinating culture and dramatic scenery. Our trip starts from Lijiang and goes to the Tibet border.  We visit the UNESCO hritage site and Tiger Leaping Gorge, the third deepest gorge in the world. This ride is among the best rides of the world. 

    Our adventure continues to Tibet border land, we ride over 4292 meter white horse pass and we will ride further towards the Tibet border to see the highest unclimbed mountain in the world Mt. Kawakarpo. 

    Day 1  Lijiang (2400m) 
    Arrive in Lijiang, check in the hotel pre-booked by Ridechina. We suggest you manage to arrive earlier to visit this world heritage town. It is the most popular tourist destination in China, even surpassing Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden Palace. A real party atmosphere permeates Lijiang and it is a great place to meet and mix with the local population. We meet at 18:00 for a group dinner. (D) 

    Day 2  Lijiang - Tacheng
    Test ride your motorbikes, We then start our long ride up the Yangtze River Basis to another town on the Ancient Tea-Horse Road, Tacheng. We follow the Yangtze River Watershed Basin northwards to Tacheng through bucolic farming country. The locals here live in small farming communities in traditional homes and are inextricably wedded to their lands, growing rice, corn, and other basic food crops exactly as their ancestors did for hundreds of generations. Another glimpse into a way of life who’s days are numbered. The great pleasure on today’s ride comes from simply observing the people go through their daily, time-honored routines as we putt-putt along on our motorcycles across a landscape as pretty as a painting. It’s hard to ride even a kilometer without jumping off your sidecar for a quick snapshot.
    In the afternoon we enter UNESCO World Heritage region called the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas. Here, three of Asia’s great rivers, the Salween, the Mekong, and the Yangtze, come tumbling down from their headwaters deep inside the Himalayas. They run in parallel gorges eroded deep into the earth’s mantle. Only thirty kilometers as the bird flies separate the three incredibly massive gorges at their narrowest point. We spend the next few days riding into and out of and along each river gorge in sequence. Motorcycle riding just does not get any more exhilarating than this. As we approach Tacheng, we are right back on top of the Ancient Tea Horse-Road that we rode along earlier. (B,D)
    Day 3  Tacheng to Deqen
    Another great riding day to the base of the highest unclimbed mountain in the world in Deqen. Our night’s destination is Deqen, hard on the Tibetan-Chinese border. Deqen sits at 3,400 meters and is surrounded by snow-capped, glaciated mountains. The scenery in this town, wherever one looks, is stunning. North we ride up the raw Mekong River gorge through an otherworldly landscape of raging wild rivers, near vertical cliffs, and towering, snow topped peaks that soar to over 5000 meters. Just another ho-hum day in the saddle on the Shangri-La Motorcycle Tour as we climb onto the Himalayan plateau proper.
    The base of Kawakarpo, the highest unclimbed mountain in the world at 6,740 meters, is in Deqen. Buddhists from all over Tibet pay homage to Kawakarpo to begin a 240 km. pilgrimage around its base. For some it takes months to complete, because step by step by step they completely prostrate themselves on the ground.
    Day 4  Deqen to Shangri-La
    The ride to Shangri-La over the highest mountain pass on the tour. Today we take aim for the namesake of this tour: Shangri-La. Does a sexier sounding destination exist anywhere? And just when you think the riding cannot possibly get any better, it does. The 5-hour ride to Shangri-La takes us through some of the most stunning scenery on this tour. We hit our highest elevation point on the tour – just shy of 4,300 meters.
    In this part of China the majority of the people are ethnic Tibetans. They have kept their culture even purer and more traditional than their brethren who actually live in Tibet. Everything is different here: yaks graze in the high mountain pastures and wander along the roadside, houses are built in the traditional Tibetan style, and the cuisine is decidedly different. Yak steak with barley bread and Yak butter tea anyone? A dozen different ethnic minorities wearing their traditional clothing can be seen on the streets of Shangri-La, sprinkled throughout with saffron-robed monks of the Mahayana Buddhist sect. At night there is always something going on in the Old Quarter’s town square lined with antique stores and shops of all kinds.
    Day 5: Shangri-La to Lijiang
    The most spectacular road in all of Asia – Tiger Leaping Gorge. We ride on probably the most memorable road of all, the one that takes us through Tiger Leaping Gorge. This fantastic road follows a contour line along the third-deepest gorge in the world. Tiger Leaping Gorge is formed by the fierce and young (at this point) Yangtze River, which slices a path through towering, snow-clad mountains. Impossible not to jump off of your bike every few minutes to snap a few pics. This could be the #1 road in Asia for sure. Lunch today is at a simple family-run guesthouse and farm that serves the freshest food you will ever eat. (B,D)
    Day 6: Lijiang World Heritage

    Lijiang’s charming Old Town is a maze of cobbled streets, canals, and stone bridges that date from the Ming Dynasty. You are free to explore this ancient city at your leisure. 

    Apr. 16 (Sunday) - Apr. 21 (Friday), 2023

    Oct. 29 (Sunday) - Nov. 03 (Friday), 2023

    Tour Prices in USD

    500cc ZF500X: $1280/person 4+ riders


    3 riders add $200/person to advertised price


    2 riders add $400/person to advertised price


    1 rider add $1200/person to advertised price


    Single room Supplement: $200/person

    Passenger Rider: $880/person



    All breakfasts and dinners

    Motorcycle rental

    Fuel for motorcycles

    Motorcycle pannier for your luggage

    All overnights in hotels twin sharing 

    Third party liability insurance for MC

    Entry fee to parks and monasteries

    Tour guide on motorcycle


    Lunches and bottled drinks

    All services not mentioned

    Tipping or gratuities to guides and drivers

    Mandatory international travel insurance

    Excursions other than those specified in trips

    Extra cost if  tour is delayed or changed

    "Great experience in a amazing region; perfectly organised" From the first moment, upon arrival at the airport in Kunming, until the last day of departure, we have been accompanied by the guide Wong who did a great job. Everything worked well, the hotels where nice and clean, the tour and roads chosen were great and the scenery was impressive. We also really liked the variety of nice roads and point of interests as well as the awesome cities and villages we visited; great mix of unhurried rides (not too long) and fascinating sightseeing. All in all a very good experience that I highly recommend. 

    Andi - Belgium


    "Mountain biking" in Yunnan on JiaLing 600s with RideChina" If you want to experience some of the most beautiful riding roads, have a glimpse of China as it was and how it is changing, while staying away from western tourist crowds, this is a trip to enjoy and remember for a long time! 

    Michal - Canada


    We have settled back in here at home and everything is going fine. Hope things are OK with you. I want to say thank you for such a great adventure !

    John and Carole - Australia

    Photos and Video of this trip: https://ridechina.com/Trip-Photos/list/Southern-Yunnan.html


Maximum 8 riders




6 days, 4 riding days


Intermediate Level, challenging mountain roads with switchbacks, high altitude (3000 - 4500 m) in remote areas,5 -8 hours riding per day with short gravel and unpaved sections. Total distance 2000 KM. Daily rides 180 - 280 Km. Mostly on asphalt roads, highest pass at 4290m, highest overnight at 3300m.


Lijiang - Yangtse River - Mekong River - Mt. Kawakarpo - Shangri_la - Tiger Leaping Gorge - Lijiang


Hand picked hotels and fine guesthouses, possible to upgrade all lodgings.

✥ Visit Lijiang world heritage old city
✥ Ride through Tiger Leaping Gorge
✥ 4290m White Horse Pass
✥ Kawakarpo mountain 6740m
✥ Yangse and Mekong Valleys
✥ Minorities and Local Winery
✥ Foothills of Himalaya


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