Dates: Jul. 18 - 29, Aug. 14 - 25, Private Tour (Yours to choose)
Chengdu, Danba, Tagong grasslands, Kangding
Bikes! Don't want to bring your own bike? No problem. Use our Canadian made Rocky Mountain Instinct 950: $600/tour
Starts in Chengdu and ends in Kangding (with transport back to Chengdu)
The heart of Western China welcomes you as your driver navigates the throngs of cyclists which mix with the rhythm of a modern city. After a rest at your hotel, you're off to dinner and a visit at China's historical Three Kingdoms era Zhuge Liang Memorial Temple and Jinli Ancient Street.
Your private guide will escort you to the Giant Panda Research and Breeding Center for close up viewing of these curious creatures who are more native to Sichuan than the people themselves. In the afternoon you will stretch your legs with a leisurely ride to Luodai Historic Town followed by an evening's entertainment at the Sichuan Opera. Cycling: 25km.
The true adventure begins! After an early morning shuttle out of Chengdu to Baoxing (3hrs), you will cycle a moderate ascent toward higher elevations as the environment changes from bamboo forested lowlands to evergreen covered highlands. Tonight's accommodation will be in the Tibetan village of Qiaoqi (2500m), the staging town for your journey North the following day toward the Tibetan frontier. Cycling: 55km.
Today is your first full day in the saddle and a feast for your senses. With your support vehicle along for assistance if needed, today's ride includes an intimate introduction to Jiajin Mountain. After reaching the top of your first 4000m pass there's little to compare with the exhilaration of cruising over 30km of rewarding downhill on the other side to a secluded hotel outside of Dawei (2700m). Cycling: 85km.
After yesterday's hard work you are rewarded with a long gradual descent along the Xiaojin River valley to the town of Danba (2300m), the heartland of a Tibetan related people group called the Jairong. The visual confluence of customs and dress makes an already exotic journey even more surreal. Your quaint accommodation for the next two nights is an historic Tibetan village high on the mountain above town. Cycling: 90km.
A day off the bikes (if you prefer). Camera in hand, today's exploration is by foot through quaint villages and visits to the ancient handmade watchtowers unique to this historic region of Tibet. In the afternoon you'll have some personal space to wander the narrow streets of the tight-knit mountain town of Danba.
DAY 7 - Danba to Bamei. Eager to get back in the saddle, today you descend back down to the river as you follow a moderate climb through a quiet valley, known as "Yak Valley", to the village of Dong-gu (2400m). Continuing on, the scenery changes again on a gradual ascent towards the pasturelands at higher elevations as you pass Mt. Yala (peak: 5820m) and nomad encampments with their roaming animals. In case you were wondering just how unique and epic your Tibetan cycle adventure would be, today all such speculation will give way to incredulity as you cross your second 4000m pass and roll into Bamei (3500m). Cycling: 85km
After yesterday's hard work you are thrilled to earn a leisurely morning ride across high elevation grasslands, passing more nomads and yaks, to the authentic nomad trading town of Tagong (3000m). An afternoon's exploration of this unique town and it's historic temple will prepare you for some western food at the Khamba Cafe. Cycling: 35km.
Fuelled up on coffee (along with some eggs and toast) in the morning, you are ready to assail the highest mountain pass of your trip. On your way to the scenic heights of Zheduo pass (4200m) you'll bid your last farewells to the highlands as you anticipate the rewarding 35km descent to the bustling Chinese and Tibetan trading town of Tagong (2400m). Cycling: 110km.
Back in civilization and well rested after a comfortable sleep at a lower elevation than you've been at in days, you'll have a fascinating tour of the Tibetan Museum of Cultural History, a scenic walk up to the look-out on Paoma Mountain, followed by an evening community dance in the town square (feel free to join in!).
With a full sense of accomplishment, today you relax on your scenic transport back to Chengdu for a final night at the Fraser Suites and a farewell banquet. Shuttle: 7 hrs, 330km.