Highlights of West Sichuan Motorcycle Tour – Himalayan Horizon Adventure2024-01-06T10:51:56+01:00

Himalayan Horizon Adventure

Discover the hidden highlights of the Tibetan Himalayan areas in western Sichuan. This Sichuan motorcycle tour takes you to remote and winding mountain roads, across high passes and into the areas of the Tibetan nomads. Highlights are the wide Haizi Lake Plateau at over 4,000 meters, the northern and southern Sichuan-Tibet “Highway” with endless winding roads and, as a cultural highlight, the famous Dege printing press, where Tibetan sacred texts have been printed for centuries.

The Sichuan motorcycle tour starts in Shangri-La in the Yunnan province and leads along the Yangtze and the Tibetan border up north to Dege. The northern Tibet-Sichuan Highway brings you to the vast and seemingly endless Haizi lake plateau and the famous Yading National Park. The tour ends in the old town of Shangri-La

I had …

… a lot of fun. The guides were very nice. The tour was well organized. Great.

Peter P.

Himalaya Horizon

Awesome! It is a really beautiful tour with a lot high mountains and winding roady.

Karl T.

5 Stars

What an adventure! Great tour, great guides, great group!

Barbara L.

Highlights Himalayan Horizon Adventure

  • The picturesque old town of Shangri-La in Northern Yunnan
  • The vast Haizi Lake High Plateau on 4,000 meters altitude (little Tibet plateau)
  • Dege printing press, where saced Tibetan scriptures are made the traditional way by monks and lay followers for centuries
  • The best of the norther and souther Sichuan-Tibet “Highway”, including the highest pass of 4,800m
  • The Yading National Park
  • The gorges of the uppter Yangtze river
  • The Tibetan town of Garze with its beautiful monastery
  • Off-the-beaten track adventure to one of the least know Himalaya regions

On request

On request

9 days / 8 nights

Accommodation in mid-range hotels and guest houses.

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Tibetmoto Tours …

… has put together a very nice tour with a lot of wide mountain views. I’m already looking forward to the next tour with Tibetmoto!

Paul C.

Thanks Hendrik

A really nice tour. Thanks for the organization.

Jan W.

It’s been …

… a well-organized tour. Excellent!

Armin F.

Himalayan Horizon Adventure Tour – Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Shangri-La or Lijiang

Arrival in Shangri-La or Lijiang. Airport pick-up service and transfer to the old town of Shangri-La. Your hotel is located at the edge of the old town. Old town walk, tour briefing and dinner. Your Sichuan motorcycle tour starts in Shangri-La, in Yunnan’s southeastern foothills of the Tibetan Himalayas at an altitude of 3,300 meters. Shangri-La borders to Sichuan province and is the perfect starting point. The name Shangri-La alludes to the ancient Tibetan legend of a place in the Himalayas where there is no aging, no illness, no death – and thus no suffering – where people live together in peace and harmony, a kind of heaven on earth. The English novelist James Hilton introduced the idea to the western imagination with his 1933 bestseller, Lost Horizon. You can easily get to Shangri-La on domestic flights from Chengdu, Kunming and other Chinese cities.

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A new express train also runs from Kunming directly to Shangri-La, treating its passengers to views of spectacular landscapes. Today we’ll explore the ancient Tibetan town of Dukezong, which was built entirely of wood almost 1,000 years ago. Shangri-La, which lies in a broad valley surrounded by mountains, was once an important trading town at the crossroads of the Tea Horse Road linking China, Burma and India, and the Silk Road through central Asia.  A Buddhist temple and the world’s largest prayer wheel with a height of 21 meters stand atop the small “turtle mountain” in the old city. It takes eight strong men and women to set the prayer wheel in motion – and good karma is your reward!

We’ll pick you up from the airport in Shangri-La and bring you to the hotel near the old town. If you arrive at Lijiang airport, we will arrange a private transfer to Shangri-La free of charge (2.5 hours transfer time). After a short rest at the hotel, we’ll get acquainted over dinner in a traditional Tibetan restaurant – our first opportunity to sample the regional specialities and good local beer.

Day 2: Shangri-La – Xiangcheng

Ride across the vast Shangri-La plateau. Decent to the shores of the Yangtze river. Leave the main road and cross into Sichuan province. Ride along the Yangtze river upstream and close to the Tibet-Sichuan provincial border through farmland and small Tibetan communities. Before reaching your day´s destination, you will cross a 4,200 meter high pass. Overnight in Xiancheng, a small Tibetan town surrounded by monasteries. If time permits you can visit the Chatring monastery, a large temple complex overlooking the Xiangcheng valley. This first day will already show you mightly Himalayan landscapes with all its beauty.

Distance: approx. 230 km

Day 3: Xiangcheng – Batang

Soon you cross four passes, all above 4,000 meter high.  Ride along the Tibet-Sichuan border and follow the Yangtze river upstream. Wondeful landscapes await you, dominated by farmland and small Tibetan village communities. The Yangtze Gorge opens up and allows for spectacular views. Overnight in Batang on the Southern Sichuan-Tibet Highway.

Distance: approx. 300 km

Day 4: Batang – Dege

The road snakes it way through the mountains while you follow the Yangtze river upstream and pass by grassland and dream-like half-forgotten landscapes. Before reaching Dege, you cross a 4,500 meter high pass. In the afternoon you will arrive a Dege, a small ancient town with a very special sight: The Dege printing press. In Dege you will visit the ancient printing press where sacred Tibetan scriptures are made the traditional way by monks and lay followers. Dege provides the Tibetan Bhuddhist canon throughout the Tibetan region to mainly monasteries. Printed scriptures and devotional objects are available around the printing press and in the small town.

Distance: approx. 290 km

Day 5: Dege – Garze

You have plenty of time in the morning to visit the printing p Save ress and the pilgrims circubulating the ancient complex. Start riding and cross a 4,800 meter high pass, the highest of the tour and one of the highest of the Sichuan – Tibet highway. Overnight in Garze, a town on the Northern Sichuan-Tibet highway surrounded by grassland and monasteries. Free afternoon for relaxation.

Distance: approx. 200 km

Day 6: Garze – Yajiang

Leave the main road and continue your trip along the Yalong river. Yanjiang is fairly low, on only 2,600 meters at the river shore

Distance: approx. 320 km

Day 7: Yajiang – Daocheng

Depart early! Today you ride on the most spectacular part of Southern Sichuan-Tibet highway. You cross two 4,500 meter high passes before leaving for the Haizi plateau. After the passes you will reach Litang. Litang is one of the highest towns on earth on approx. 4,100 meters and surrounded by vast grassland. Litang is also located on the southern Tibet-Schuan highway. The you enter and cross the above 4,000-meter high Haizi Plateau (“plateau of the small lakes”). A 4,600 meter high pass is waiting for you, then a 4,100 meter high pass. The area is know throughout China for its outstanding beauty and can easily be compared with Tibet. An optional excursion will bring you to stunningly beautiful twin lakes on 4,420 meters altitude, so close to the white clouds in the sky. Overnight in Daocheng, where you can relax and stretch your legs in the hot springs of today´s hotel.

Distance: approx. 300 km

Day 8: Daocheng – Shangri-La

Today´s ride will bring you on a newly build mountain road back to Shangri-la. A relaxing ride and perfect for the last tour day.
You will pass by the famous Yading National Park which you can visit if you like (unfortunately you would need to take the park bus and can not enter the NP by motorcycle, hence the visit is optional).

Distance: approx. 270 km

Day 9: Shangri-La

Shangri-La departure day. The motorcycles will be brought to the logistic company (if your flight takes off early this has to be arrange the day before). Airport transfer and end of the tour.

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Book your Tour now! Himalayan Horizon Adventure Tour

Since our tours get filled up fast, please book the Himalayan Horizon Adventure Tour now to avoid disappointment.

Our Next available tours are as follows:

On request

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Included Services

  • Acommodation in mid range hotels with private bathrooms
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Airport pick-up service from either Shangri-La or Lijiang
  • All entrance fees of sights mentioned in the itinerary
  • Motorcycle of your choice including fuel
  • English speaking motorcycle tourguide on own motorcycle
    (included: meals and accommodation for tourguide)
  • Service vehicle for luggage and passengers throughout the tour
  • Motorcycle gear: jackets, pants, helmets, boots (depending on availability / please inquire)

Excluded Services

  • Domestic Flights
  • Tips and gratitudes (not mandatory)
  • Personal health insurance (mandatory)

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: http://www.boc.cn/sourcedb/whpj/enindex.html

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.

Tour Concept by RC Hendrik

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