South of the Clouds Tour

Riding day one of our Yunnan motorbike tour brought us from Dali to the west Cangshan mountain range to the old town of Shaxi which is located 110 km south of Lijiang.

On the first riding day we had the opportunity to get used to the bikes and also to the road traffic. The roads started to form gentle curves which brought us with pleasant anticipation to our first station -Shaxi old town.  Shaxi or also knownas Sideng in the past, was once an important trading station on the “Tea Horse Road” a trail of the southern Silkroad.

On the next day, we continued along the Yangtze river and passed by the famous Yangtze river bend of 170 degrees. Here, the mighty Mongol army crossed the river hundreds of years ago. Soon after, we reach another mighty river of Asia: the Mekong.

Afterwards, we continued our way towards to Tibet, along the shores of the Mekong, downstream with spectacular views of the Mekong gorge.

Deep in the vast gorges of upper Mekong river lies an oasis, the little, cosy village of Jiabe. The village people gave us a warm welcome with sumptuous of drinks and food. We spend the night near the traditional Homestay of a Tibetan family.

The next day we headed to Shangri-La. An unforgettable ride with unforgettable elevation gain. We started with an altitude of about 2000 m and reached 4292 m – the Baima Snow mountain pass. We rode by dramatic rock landscapes on the Baima Pass (the pass of the white horse) until we finally made it back to 3300 meters in Shangri-La.

Continue Reading Part 2.