Lugu Lake in Yunnan: Beyond Off-The-Beaten-Track2024-01-06T10:54:33+01:00

Motorcycle Tour Beyond Off The Beaten Track

Best regions in Yunnan

This adventure let you experience remote countryside roads in one of the most beautiful regions of Yunnan. We follow hundreds of kilometers the azure blue Yangtze River through deep gorges, curvy tarmac roads and some of the most beautiful old towns China has to offer. Ride and rest with us next to 5500 meter high mountains and pure nature.

Yunnan …

… is a very beautiful travel destination. The landscape changed every day and we learned a lot about Chinese culture. The locals were very friendly and made this tour a unique experience.

Maren U.

A big thank you …

… to Tibetmoto Tours. The tour showed us the most beautiful places in Yunnan. Truly a great region.

Leonie G.


Great tour, beautiful roads, good route, nice group.

Timo K.

On request

On request

8 days / 7 nights / 5 riding days

Motorbike trip with overnights stays in hotels and guesthouses.

Contact us

Beyond Off The Beaten Track – Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Dali

Airport shuttle to your hotel in Dali old town, where this bike trip begins. Dali is the former capital of the Nanzhao kingdom on the shores of the 42 kilometer long Erhai Lake. Depending on your arrival time visit of the old town and the 12 century old Three Pagodas.

Day 2: Dali – Shaxi – Tiger Leaping Gorge

After the delivery of the motobikes the journey starts by riding first along the shores of the Erhai Lake. After leaving the villages with the white Bai minority style houses we enter the mountains surrounding Dali and ride along the side of the Cangshan mountain range. We arrive in Shaxi in the early afternoon to visit the old town before we hit the road again. Shaxi has many well preserved historic buildings, an ancient town sqare dating back to the time of the Tea Horse Road, and a wooden theater state – a unique attribute of a town in ancient rural China. Later in the afternoon, after crossing Shi Bao Mountain we arrive at the Tiger Leaping Gorge. After a 20 kilometer ride through the gorge we arrive at a small guesthouse with a great view into the gorge. The gorge itself is one of the deepest gorges in the world, which 5500 meter high mountains raising above.

Distance: approx. 200 km

Day 3: Tiger Leaping Gorge – Wumu

After breakfast we leave the gorge for Wumu in the north. Quickly we gain height and from up here the gorge looks like a gigantic crack in the valley landscape. Together with our bike we take a ferry crossing the Yangtze River and arrive in Wumu in the afternoon. Wumu is located at the shores of the Yangtze River, most inhabitants belong to the Naxi minorty group. On the entire way to Wumu we cross mountains and enjoy the views of the surrounding valleys in which the locals grow wheat and vegetables.

Distance: approx. 150 km

Day 4: Wumu – Shitouchen Stone Village – Labo

From Wumu we ride further north to the small village of Shitouchen, which was build on a rock 7 centuries ago to protect the villagers from invading Tibetan troops. We cross again the Yangtze River and spend the night in Labo, a small town.

Distance: approx. 220 km

Day 5: Labo – Lugu-Lake

It´s a relatively short ride to Lugu Lake, where we arrive around lunch time. The landscape gets more green and lush, the farming village grow wheat, water mellongs and other fruits. We ride the bike for a short while along the Lugu Lake shore before we reach Lige, a small peninsula on the lake, where we will stay over night. From here you can take a boat to nearby islands.

Distance: approx. 100 km

Day 6: Lugu-Lake – Baisha

Instead of riding direktly to Baisha (Lijiang), we ride around the lake and explore some of the small beaches. Around the lake are small villages, Buddhist temples and thick pine forests. The road to Baisha offers again great views and curvy mountain roads.

Distance: approx. 220 km

Day 7: Baisha – Dali

Baisha is the less touristy counterpart of its bigger brother Lijiang, although only 10 kilometer to the north of Lijiang. Spread out in the middle of wheat fields is the small historic old town where cafes and some restaurant are offering a relaxed coffee or meal. In the embroidery center well know Chinese masters present and sell their art. From Lijiang it is possible to make an excursion to the famous old town of Lijiang, for many China travellers a highlight. From Baisha we take a different mountain road back to Dali. Depending on the time a longer road, along the east side of the Erhai Lake, can be taken, and visit a 450 year old temple was build on a small island (Xiao Putuo).

Distance: approx. 200 km

Day 8: The End

This journey ends in Dali. Transfer to the airport.

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.

Tour Concept by RC Hendrik

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