Discover South China by Motorcycle

Journey through Yunnan and Shangri-la

This motorcycle tour will show you the highlights and diversity of Yunnan province: We will start in Kunming and present to you not only the beautiful Old Town of Jianshui but one of the highlights of all over China: The rice terraces of Yuanyang. In general is Yunnan known for lush tropical forests and enormous rice terraces, tribal villages, ancient old towns off the beaten trek, winding countryside roads, and soaring high mountains close to Tibet. The adventure will start in Kunming and leads you from the south with its amazing old towns such as Shaxi and Lijiang through one of the deepest gorges in the world, the Tiger Leaping Gorge, to the Himalayan heights to Shangri-la. We stay in a small Tibetan village to experience the “real thing” after crossing a 4.300m high pass. From here we can see 6.774 m high and holy snow covered Kawa Karpo mountain. On our way back south we follow the Mekong River and reach Dali – another highlight of the trip.

The province Yunnan …

can be driven very well by motorcycle. Tibetmoto Tours has selected a very nice route for this tour. The roads were good and you were able to learn something new about Chinese culture every day. Excellent!

Adam L.

I was …

very well advised by Tibetmoto. Since I wasn’t sure what to expect on a motorcycle tour in China, I called without further ado and Hendrik explained everything to me in detail. The tour here was great and I would book it again at any time.

Oskar W.

The tour …

was a lot of fun for all of us. The guide knew his way around, the group got along and the route was great to ride with the motorcycles.

Julian W.

On Request

On Request

14 days / 13 nights / 11 riding days

Motorcycle tour with overnight stays in 3 guesthouses and hotels, in a Tibetan home and in a monastery.

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Discover South China with the Motorcycle – Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kunming

Airport pick-up and transfer to the hotel. Free time for acclimatization. Dinner with the other participants and your guide.

Day 2: Discover Kunming

After breakfast we start to discover Kunming. We visit Yuantong temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Kunming and a magnet for pilgrims. At the pagodas dating back to the Tang dynasty we can observe local life. In the afternoon we visit the bamboo temple which is located a few kilometer out of the city center.

Day 3: Kunming – Jianshui

The first day on the road will bring us to Jianshui. In Jianshui we can visit the small old town, the city gates and the Confucius temple – the second largest in all of China. Many temples and gates are located in these large garden like grounds. The facility not only served as a temple but as well as a scholarly center for teaching government officials and military personnel in the values of Confucianism.

Distance: approx. 190 km

Day 4: Jianshui – Yuanyang

A short drive along curvy mountain roads with a spectacular view and through small minority villages brings us to the Rice Terraces of Yuanyang. From 500 ago the local minority started to expand the terraces from year to year. Now, the terraces belong to one of the largest of its kind in the world. Upon arrival we visit small farming villages and sit for a traditional tea with locals.

Distance: approx. 150 km

Day 5: Yuanyang – Chuxiong

From Yuanyang we head north to Chuxions. In this small district capital we can visit pagodas which are located on a small hill and are overlooking the surrounding countryside.

Distance: approx. 450 km

Day 6: Chuxiong – Weishan

Weishan is a real undiscovered gem of Yunnan. Laid back in the countryside of Dali county not many tourists visit Weishan. The well preserved old town offers city gates and local shops and restaurants and an insight and the feeling of the old China. Here the freshly made noodles are still being dried on the open streets and life goes slow. In the afternoon we visit Wei Bao Shan, a Taoist temple complex on top of Wei Mountain. Here more than a dozen temples were built in traditional Feng Shui style more than 500 years ago. Locals gather here every day to drink tea and play Majiang, a traditional Chinese game.

Distance: approx. 200 km

Day 7: Weishan – Shaxi

Shaxi features one of the best preserved old towns of Yunnan province. The large outdoor theater and its many traditional courtyard houses make Shaxi very worthwhile to visit. At the old Tea Horse Road bridge, which connected Indian and Myanmar with China for tea trading, we can get an impression of the life of the tea traders. We follow the old trading route some kilometers into the mountains before walking back into the old town. In Shaxi we stay in a protected traditional courtyard house which is more than 100 years old and once belonged to a rich tea trading family.

Distance: approx. 200 km

Day 8: Shaxi – Baisha (Lijiang)

Baisha is the less touristy pendant to Lijiang and has a small old town with a embroidery center where China wide known masters still teach this almost forgotten art. In the afternoon we visit Lijiang old town, the UNESCO World Heritage site and the Black Dragon Pool – one of China´s most well know landscapes with the 5.500 meter high Jade Dragon Snow Mountain range in the background.

Distance: approx. 100 km

Day 9: Baisha (Lijiang) – Tiger Leaping Gorge

Today we reach the shores of the Yangtze river and follow this stream north into the Tiger Leaping Gorge – one of the deepest gorges in the world overlooked by the 5.500m high Jade Dragon Snow Mountain range which we saw the day before from the Lijiang side. We will not only visit the gorge from the road but see it from the highest point of the high trail where we trek to and manage the winding 28 bends. In the afternoon we will see the Yangtze River from close: we hike into the gorge and take a break on a rock in the middle of the water stream. We stay overnight in a small guesthouse inside the gorge.

Distance: approx. 80 km

Day 10: Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangri-la

Today´s destination is the famous Shangri-la. We cross Tibetan grassland scattered with yak herdes and reach finally the Himalayan mountain range. In Shangri-la we visit the old town, the largest prayer wheel in the world and the largest Tibetan monastery of southern China: Tsumtsaling.

Distance: approx. 200 km

Day 11: Shangri-la – Feilaisi – Deqin (Tibetan Village Homestay)

On our way further north we enter the Tibetan areas deeper and encounter soon the Mekong river on its way from the Himalayan heights to south east Asia. In Benzilan we visit another great Buddhist monastery of the area before we cross the 4.300m high Bai Ma Snow Mt. pass. From there its only a short ride to the view platform at Feilaisi – the flying temple. From here we have a phantastic view on Mt. Kawa Karpo. In Deqin we will be guests in a traditional Tibetan farm house and share meals together with the family. A real highlight of the entire trip. The green village is perched between mountains and a welcome contrast to the spectacular but rough Tibetan landscape and the wild Mekong river. The time in the village will give you the possibility of an unmasked insight into Tibetan culture and village life. The farm was built in traditional architectural style and has a traditional spacious living room with Tibetan wood carvings and a ceremonial prayer room. From the flat roof terrace you can see the pek of Mt. Kawa Karpo (6.774m), one of Tibet´s most holiest mountains.

Distance: approx. 300 km

Day 12: Deqin (Tibetan Village Homestay) – Qizong

From the village we drive back south along the beautiful shores of the Mekong river. We pass by small Tibetan villages until we reach Qizong. In Qizong we stay in a small Tibetan monastery, meet the monks and have a tea together. In the morning we try one more time Tibetan butter tea and home made bread (Baba).

Distance: approx. 230 km

Day 13: Qizong – Dali

Another great day, this time we leave the shores of the Mekong and enter the Yangtze River valley. We take a break in Shigu where the Yangtze turns 170 degree on its way to the East China Sea from its source in the Himalayas. In Dali there is a lot to discover such as the 1200 year old Three Pagodas and the picturesque old town. Dali lays between the Cangshan mountain range (around 4000m high) and the 41 kilometer long Erhai Lake. Other options are visiting small fishing villages near the lake or a short hike up the mountain.Distance: approx. 240 km

Day 14: Dali

The tour will end after breakfast. Of course, you can stay as well longer in Dali to discover more of this unique destination.

Distance: approx. 250 km

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Tour Concept by RC Hendrik

About RC Hendrik