At the Roof of the World China Motorcycle Tour2024-01-06T10:53:33+01:00

At the Roof of the World Motorcycle Tour

This motorbike tour is an adventure for connoiseurs and the ones who are widely traveled.

We will cross the Tibetan Eastern Himalayas and are riding through the four provinces Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai.

The always sinuous mountain roads will lead us through exciting changes in culture and landscape, changes that are so manifold and high in contrast that it is like driving through a whole continent. We will discover the graslands of the nomads, will crisscross through sand and stone deserts, go up over the highest passes of the Himalayas and down along the longest rivers of asia, the Yangtze and famous Yellow river. The adventure will begin in the mega metropolis of Shanghai and will end at one of the biggest salt lakes of the world: Qinghai lake, before heading back to Shanghai.

Through China with the motorbike!

I’ve always wanted to travel through China by motorcycle. The Nepal tour with the partner company Classic Bike Adventure went so well, I booked a tour with Tibetmoto without further ado. It was really a great tour, thanks.

Michael H.

Motorcycle Tour

I’ve always been skeptical about whether you can tour China by motorcycle. Let’s say: Yes, it works! During the motorcycle tour I got to know a whole new side of China. The landscapes are very beautiful, the inhabitants welcomed us and marveled at our motorcycles every time. I was always in a good mood.

Uwe O.

Nice Tour

A very diverse tour of China. The landscapes change almost every day, so it never gets boring. Our guides were very knowledgeable and the motorcycles ran perfectly.

Oskar E.

On Request

Shineray X5: 3.990€
BMW 800 GS: 4.890€
Pillion: 2.990€
Single Room +490€

17 days / 16 nights / 12 riding days

Eastern Tibet adventure motorbike tour with overnight stays in hotels and guest houses.

Contact us!

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The tour guide was great. The tour was great. The bikes were great. The organization was great. Everything was great.

Vincent L.

Private Tour

I booked this tour privately with my friends. Hendrik was very helpful. We all had a lot of fun together on the tour and I’m already looking forward to the next one with Tibetmoto.

Phillip S.

This tour …

… was great. I never thought that China is so diverse. The residents were very nice and our motorcycles ran very well, except for small problems that the mechanic repaired in a very short time.

Klaus H.

On the Roof of the World – Itinerary

Day 1: Flight to Shanghai

Arrival in Shanghai. Individual transfer to the hotel.

Day 2: Shanghai visiting day

With subway and taxi: Today you will experience the modern metropolis of Shanghai. Visit the People´s park and the historic Yu gardens – a garden built in classic Feng Shui style. Afterwards, visit the Bund promenade at the Huangpu river with great views on Shanghai´s skyline. Near Nanjing road, one of the largest shopping streets in the world, you will take the elevator up on top of the Oriental Peal tower to enjoy the view.

Day 3: Shanghai

Today is reserved for the application of the temporary Chinese driver´s license.

Day 4: Shanghai – Lijiang (Baisha)

Flight to Lijiang. Airport transfer. We stay overnight in the old town of Baisha.

Visit of UNESCO-world heritage city of Lijiang in the evening.

Distance: approx. 300 km

Day 5: Lijiang – Shangri-la – Benzilan

Motorbike ride to Shangri-la.

In Shangri-la we visit the world´s biggest prayer wheel. Here we are already in Tibetan area. We go further up on a winding mountain road above 3600m and then down into the hot and dry valley of the Yangtze at Benzilan.

Distance: approx. 260 km

Day 6: Benzilan – Xiangcheng

In Benzilan the road to Qinghai begins. We are driving through narrow gorges, through small Tibetan villages and very rocky landscapes.

Just before Xiangcheng we go on a road full of potholes over three passes, first on 3300m, then on 3800m and last 4150m.

Distance: approx. 350 km

Day 7: Xiangcheng – Litang

After Xiangcheng we can enjoy a fully developed paved road going up on 4700m to the Haize lake land. That is an area with hundreds of lakes and thousands of rock boulders. It is going further up on 5300m with gorgeous views on nomad´s land. This is for sure a first class driving experience. In late afteernoon we arrive most high-lying city of the world: Litang on 4100 meters.

In lake land we have the option to drive to two lakes ( ten kilometers one way distance) aside the main road on an unpaved road. There is the possibility to split the group: With supply vehicle to the hotel and with guide on the motorbike to the lakes.

Day 8: Litang – Ganze

In Litang the 7th Dalai Lama was born. So here we have the option to visit the birthplace of Dalai Lama with the Taxi. Start of this detour would be 8am. The motorbike driving day will start two hours later. Ganze lies in the middle of nomad´s grasland, the road to there is following an alpine valley with coniferous forest and little monasteries, always surrounded by high mountains.

Distance: approx. 255 km

Day 9: Ganze – Seda-City

Seda is the world´s biggest Buddhist academy. Centred in a mountain basin, all hillsides are covered by the small asketic huts of the thousands of nuns and monks. We go diectly into the city monastery and will have an amazing view from up the hill, where we can enjoy sunset. After that we go further to Seda city.

Distance: approx. 235 km

Tag 10: Seda-Monastery – Jiuzhi

We hit the road very early for this long driving day. It is going through an enourmously vast country with the most amazing winding part you can imagine. On this day we go over seven passes over 4000m. Five kilometers aside the road is a crystal clear lake, where we are going to have a picknick.

Distance: approx. 340 km

Day 11: Jiuzhi – Maqu – Langmusi

Today the moutains run down into a totally plain high plateau, where we cross the Yellow river two times, before we find ourselves in idyllic Langmuse, surrounded by fascinating highlands.

Distance: approx. 210 km

Day 12: Langmusi – Labrang

Labrang is a great temple complex on 2800m surrounded by graslands. It is still a very important Buddhist academy and was an important trading place between Tibet and the silk road in former times. The whole town is inhabited by monks.

There is a three kilometer long Kora (a clock-wise pilgrimage around a holy place), a special thing to do in Labrang. We will visit the monastery after we arrived and there is the option the go to a Tibetan karaoke show in the evening.

Distance: approx. 190 km

Day 13: Labrang – Guide

After the high steppes we suddenly find ourselves in the sandstone gorges of Yellow river. Following the Yellow river through a bizarre sandstone area that is reminding of Yellowstone National Park, we are snaking our way through an extensive river valley and through the stone pillars of Kanbula. In Guide a big prayer wheel is run by the Yellow river.

Distance: approx. 250 km

Day 14: Guide – Qinghai Lake

Just close to the source of Yellow river, the water is really azure clear so that the river is inviting for a bath. Leaving the river we make our way through wastelands unless we are suddenly looking down on an ocean. Qinghai lake is waiting for us.

Tagesetappe: ca. 240 km

Day 15: Qinghai-Lake – Hainan – Xining

The sandy beaches bait us. Tibetans offer a ride on big white Yaks. There is the option to visit the sand dunes of Qinghai lake (10 kilometers one distance). Perfect sand dunes loom into the lake.

Our last riding day brings us to Xining, modern capital of Qinghai. Here we leave the bikes and enjoy our last supper.

Distance: ca. 210 km

Day 16: Xining leaving day

Flight to Shanghai. Individual programm in Shanghai in the afternoon / evening without guide.

Distance: approx. 240 km

Day 17: Shanghai – Germany

International flight

Included Services

  • 16x overnight stays in hotels and guest houses
  • Motorbike of your choice
  • Mechanic service, engine oil, spare parts, comprehensive insurance with self contribution
  • 16 x breakfast, 14 x dinner, mineral water
  • All entrance fees
  • Supply vehicle with spare motorbike
  • Temporary Chinese driver´s license
  • Group airport transfers
  • Domestic flights: Shanghai – Lijiang / Xining – Shanghai
  • English speaking motorbike tour guide on own motorbike
  • English speaking guide in supply vehicle

Excluded Services

  • Gas for the motorbikes of the participants
  • Individual airport transfer
  • International flights
  • lunch and beverages

Questions & Answers

Will every tour take place exactly as described in the tour itinerary?2021-01-08T23:13:47+01:00

All our itineraries give you a good overview what you will experience and discover when booking with tibetmoto. The itineraries are nevertheless best understood if they are seen as a suggestion rather than as a 100% planned and a thousand times done way of traveling. We like to keep every tour, every adventure, every trip unique and special. We are proud to say that we have never done a trip two times exactly the same way. Our team does not like to offer mainstream tourism tours, and we believe that people enjoy their time best when they have freedom and possibilities to choose from. Freedom and flexibility are very good ingredients to cook an exceptional discovery or adventure, to meet unusual people and visit off-the-beaten-track places.

How does camp life look like on expeditions?2020-11-12T18:02:03+01:00

After arriving at the camp ground we pitch up the tents, our team will set up the mobile kitchen, the electricity generator is being started and we can think of having a cold beer. All supplies and the luggage is carried by our supply truck. We do not have always pre-chosen camp grounds which are always frequented by us, since every expedition is different. Depending on the time in the afternoon we start looking for “the perfect spot”. Perfect spots have a water source such as a river or a lake and a flat piece of land for the tents. Some spots we use more frequently since they are so perfect that the location is hard to beat. Camping together with nomads offers an opportunity to experience their way of live, culture and habits. Sitting in the evening together in a nomad tent somewhere on the Tibetan grassland and listening to Tibetan nomads` songs is a truly genuine experience.

Dinner is being served in a large dining tent where we have tables and chairs to comfortably sit together, eat and drink. The separate, smaller, sleeping tents are designed to accommodate each two people, but if you choose the “single room” option (you will find that option below each expedition itinerary) you will have your own tent. Our tents are army tents where you can almost stand upright. The sleeping “hard wear” is a foldable army field bed, which puts your body about knee height away from the ground. We provide you with the entire hard wear, plus blankets and insulation mats. The only item you should bring along is your personal sleeping bag. If you don´t want to bring your sleeping bag all the way to China we can provide you with a new sleeping bag for a reasonable price.

Which documents do I need?2020-11-11T22:35:03+01:00

You will need your passport, a pass picture, national driving license, international driving license and flight ticket. Please be sure to make photocopies of all of your important travel documents and carry them separately. They can be invaluable in an emergency.

We also need a scan of the Chinese visa six weeks before the tour starts.

All scanned documents should be sent to us on an A4 sheet of original size

What can I expect from an overnight stay with a tibetan host family?2020-11-12T18:01:15+01:00

A home stay is an opportunity to get access into another culture by joining the host family for dinner and breakfast and sleep under their roof, as their guest. Most families live together in a several generation house, from children to old grandparents. A lot of home stays are semi-farms with at least a few cattle such as chicken and cows around the house. Often are fields attached where family member go to work after breakfast. Here, local family and work life can be experienced as it is instead of “only” observing it from the outside.
We believe that joining a home stay is on of the best ways to get in touch which what surrounds you in a foreign country.

How well do I have to be able to ride a motorcycle?2020-11-11T21:59:51+01:00

You should be able to ride a motorcycle safely, especially on winding mountain roads. An uncertainty is common, but you quickly get used to the local traffic. Our tour guide will give the group useful and good tips on riding in China. Before the start of the Tibet and China Motorcycle Tour, there will be an introduction to road traffic behavior.

Do I need a driving license?2020-11-11T21:57:31+01:00

For the Tibet and China motorcycle tour you need a valid national and international driver’s license.

What is the currency in China?2020-11-11T21:56:01+01:00

In China, the currency is the CNY (Chinese Renminbi). The exchange rate is around 1€ to 7.56 CNY (as of 05/2020). The CNY is not a freely convertible currency, so you cannot get it at every bank in Europe. The exchange rate, which is determined by the Bank of China, can be observed under the following link:

However, we recommend withdrawing a larger amount of CNY from an ATM with all major credit cards or debit cards after arriving in China. Our on-site tour guide is happy to help. Due to the often very poor exchange rate for the CNY in Europe, it is not worthwhile to exchange significant amounts of CNY in Europe. There are also many ATMs in Lhasa where you can withdraw money. Our experience shows that the majority of our participants spend around 20€ a day.

What about my luggage? Where can I transport it?2020-11-11T21:51:45+01:00

The luggage will be transported in the support vehicle. Don’t forget that on domestic flights, the pastries usually cannot exceed 20 kg!

What clothes should I pack?2020-11-11T22:26:29+01:00

For a motorcycle tour you should bring motorcycle clothing including a helmet. Of course you also should pack warm clothing (as layers or as undersuit). It can get cold! You should also bring gloves and a rain suit.

How is the Road Condition?2020-11-11T21:45:13+01:00

The roads on the motorcycle tour are mostly paved (with a few exceptions). Due to the new asphalting of road sections, it can temporarily lead to a poor condition of the road. The paved roads are mostly in good condition. However, there may be isolated potholes or gravel lying on the ground. The route on the motorcycle tour also includes sections with new asphalt, on which you can enjoy European standards or even better. These routes are wonderful to ride! Due to moisture and the difficult to see oil or diesel traces, however, extreme caution is always required!

What is the deposit for renting a motorcycle?2020-11-11T21:42:45+01:00

Deposit for a rental motorcycle (partial cover):

The following cash deposits are required:

Shineray X5 400: EUR 500
BMW G 310 GS: EUR 1,000
BMW F 800 GS: EUR 1,500

If the participant/motorcyclist causes damage during the Tibet motorcycle tour, the deposit is the maximum amount.

Do I need a chinese visa?2020-11-11T21:39:18+01:00


All participants in the Tibet and China motorcycle tours require a visa to enter China. The passport must be valid for another six months. You have to apply for the visa yourself at a service center, the Chinese embassy or on behalf of an agency. Due to frequent changes in the application procedure, we recommend that you use an agency. This is slightly more expensive than filing your own application, but it saves you a lot of work and time.

We will apply for all of the necessary Tibet permits for the motorcycle tour.

Included Services2020-10-30T12:59:35+01:00

Included services:

  • 16x overnight stays in hotels and guest houses
  • Motorbike of your choice
  • Mechanic service, engine oil, spare parts, comprehensive insurance with self contribution
  • 16 x breakfast, 14 x dinner, mineral water
  • All entrance fees
  • Supply vehicle with spare motorbike
  • Temporary Chinese driver´s license
  • Group airport transfers
  • Domestic flights: Shanghai – Lijiang / Xining – Shanghai
  • English speaking motorbike tour guide on own motorbike
  • English speaking guide in supply vehicle

Not included services:

  • Gas for the motorbikes of the participants
  • Individual airport transfer
  • International flights
  • lunch and beverages

Tour Concept by RC Hendrik

About RC Hendrik
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