Southwest China (Dali-Chengdu) Motorcycle Tour over the Eastern Himalaya2020-12-16T13:55:01+01:00

Southwest China Motorcycle Tour

Yunnan and over the Eastern Himalaya

This china motorcycle tour shows you the impressive Tibetan, Chinese and many other landscapes. Drive from the wide Erhai Lake in Dali in the heart of  Yunnan province high up to  the Tibetan mountains. Cross high passes and grasslands , inhabited by nomadic people, further up to Chengdu. Ride through the Tiger leaping Gorge , one of the deepest canyons in the world, and experience the wild Yangtze River on its way down from the Himalaya. On the way back to Dali we pass through the territories of the Mosu and Yi at Lugu Lake and the UNESCO World heritage town of Lijang. A unique adventure experience.

Our Guide …

…  guided us through Tibet and Yunnan. Tibet was really fascinating and the perfect place for riding with the motorbike!

Wolfgang T.

Thank you…

… Tibetmoto for this great organization. The tour was great.

Willy R.


I’m glad I booked the tour with Tibetmoto. With years of experience, they knew how to deal with every problem and immediately had a solution ready. Excellent!

Anna N.

On Request

On Request

16 days / 15 nights / 13 riding days

Overnight stays in hotels and guest houses.

Contact us

Southwest China Motorcycle Tour – Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Dali

Our journey begins in the old town of Dali, the former capital of the Nanzhao Kingdom, which was built on the banks of the 42-kilometer Erhai Lake. Airport pickup and transfer to your hotel. Depending on arrival time we have trough Dali old town and visit the 1200 years old Three Pagodas.

Day 2: Dali – Shaxi – Tiger Leaping Gorge

After the delivery of the motorcycles 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 square 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, with 5500 meter high mountains raising above.

Distance: approx. 190 km

Day 3: Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangri-la

After breakfast, we drive along the old road to the 3700 M. high mountain pass that demarcated the plateau of Shangri-la over centuries. The little busy road leads through the villages of the Naxi Lisu and isn’t straight for more than 100 meters. On this windy road, it goes to the White Water Terraces (Baishuitai), the birthplace of the endangered threatened Dongba religion. Here we will have lunch, put the bike aside and visit the sacred source of Dongba. Two hours later we see down from the top to the Tiger Leaping Gorge which opens up like a giant crack in the valley. The road through the gorge offers fantastic views of the Yangtze River and into one of the deepest canyons in the world. It also offers spectacular views of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountains, a massive of about 5000 M. height.

Distance: approx. 180 km

Day 4: Shangri-la – Xiangcheng

We take the road in a north eastern direction following the Yangtze River through a narrow gorge. 30 kilometers further after passing Derong on tarmac roads the grassland of Sichuan offers great views into wide valleys with herding yaks and nomads. Here we leave the province Yunnan and continue riding in Sichuan. After crossing a pass we will stay in the small Tibetan city of Xiangcheng.

Distance: approx. 280 km

Day 5: Xiangcheng – Litang

We drive along the widely stretched Haizi Lake, which is located on about 4,500 meters. Haizi is situated on a high plateau on which the sky and its clouds appear so close.

We drive over grassland to one of the highest cities in the world: Litang. Located at 4,014 meters above sea level and surrounded by snowcapped peaks the way to get here is a real highlight. The street is lined with nearby monasteries and you are free to stop and take a look. Litang itself is a city that is mainly inhabited by Tibetans. In addition to the good food (Momo: Tibetan dumplings) you can buy traditional clothes and jewelry.

Distance: approx. 210 km

Day 6: 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 motorcycle 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. 260 km

Day 7: Ganze – Sertar

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

Distance: approx. 150 km

Day 8: Sertar – Aba

Today’s destination is Aba. The landscapes of Aba and around are some of the most beautiful in northern Sichuan. Many monasteries, grasslands and the rural Tibetan livestyle are the Highlights here.

Distance: approx. 280 km

Day 9: Aba – Danba

Today’s destination is Danba. Danba is located on the banks of the river Sancha. In previous centuries pirates often drove down the river on small boats and attacked adjoining villages.

For self-defense the villages have built watchtowers along narrow river bends. In the villages themselves the watchtowers were built to protect and crop storage.

Distance: approx. 185 km

Day 10: Danba – Ya´an

Ya’an is a small town near Chengdu, which we will reach in the afternoon. Through the city a lovely river flows along and invites us to a relaxing walk. Here you will have the opportunity to try the traditional Hotpot dish and cool down with a beer afterwards.

Distance: approx. 300 km

Day 11: Visiting Day Chengdu

Ya’an is our basis when it comes to visits of Chengdu and it’s surrounding. Since traffic in the metropol region is terrifying, we will take the car instead the bikes. The contrast between the rural Tibetan livestyle and the economic center of Chinas West could not be more obvious.

We recommend to visit the Pana breeding center. Here you are able to get really close to Chinas national treasure. On the way back you can also visit the Giant Buddha of Leshan.

Day 12: Ya´an – Xichang

Xichang is a place where the life of the Yi minority plays a special role – it is one of the cultural epicenters which has its own architecture, language, religion and culture. Cut off for centuries from the rest of the world it opens slowly since the 1980’s.

Distance: approx. 380 km

Day 13: Xichang – Lugu-Lake

After we got to the Lugu Lake we are back on the roads of the province of Yunnan. The west side of the lake offers many beautiful places to stay, such as the peninsula Lige. You can take a rowing boat and get out on the lake. Lugu is the home of another minority, the Mosu. This culture is one of the last matriarchal culture of the world. The shore of the lake is lined with coniferous forest and small Buddhist temples.

Distance: approx. 260 km

Day 14: Lugu-Lake – Lijiang

Once again we encounter the Yangtze River, which has an azure blue to green colour over here. It is a short driving day to Lijiang. We stay in the old town of Baisha from where we have plenty of time to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Distance: approx. 230 km

Day 15: Lijiang – Dali

We cross a mountain range that separates Lijiang and Dali. After four hours of driving we arrive in the old town of Dali.

Distance: approx. 190 km

Day 16: Dali

The journey ends after breakfast in Dali.

Questions & Answers

Included Services2020-11-17T10:11:32+01:00

Included Services

  • Shineray 400 / Yamaha YBR 250 / BMW G650 GS
  • Overnights stays in hotels and guest houses
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Accompanying vehicle for pillion riders, equipment and luggage
  • Meals (Breakfast, Lunch), mineral water
  • Gas, engine oil, spare parts
  • Help with applying a Chinese visa

Tour Concept by RC Hendrik

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