Overland Route 12: Mongolia – China – Laos or Myanmar

Duration: 27-29 days
Distance: ca. 7.950 km
Highlights: Xi’an
Best travel time: May, June, September, October


Duration Details
Day 01

Mongolia – China (Takeshikenzhen)

Border crossing. Meet your guide at the border. Fromalities at the border. Stay near the border.

Day 02
Takeshikenzhen – Altay
Formalities at the traffi administration. You will receive your temporary Chinese driving license and number plate after the vehicle check.

Distance: approx. 345 km

Day 03
Altay – Karamay
Distance: approx. 415 km
Day 04
Karamay – Turpan
Distance: approx. 500 km
Day 05
Turpan visiting day
Visiting day in Turpan.Cultural influences are multiple here. The encounter between the culture of the West and that of the East is perfect. The caves of the thousand Buddhas of Bezeklik, the ruins of Jiaohe and Gaochang are very beautiful witnesses of the rich history of the region. The Flamboyant Mountains are among the sites to visit during your visit to Tourfan. A stifling heat emanates from it but the places have become very popular following the famous novel The Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en. The Emin Minaret is the oldest Islamic tower built in Xinjiang. It is located in the very city of Turpan.
Day 06
Turpan – Shanshan – Hami (Kumul)
Walk to the Mazar Village of the Tuyugou Valley, this village is known as the oldest village in the Uygur. Visit the desert park near Shanshan and Hami Hui Kings Tomb…

Distance: approx. 410 km

Day 07
Hami – Dunhuang
Drive to Dunhuang in the morning. Visit Dunhuang Caves, Moon Fountain and Mingsha Sand Hill in the afternoon.

Distance: approx. 490 km

Day 08
Dunhuang – Jiayuguan: Jiayuguan Fort, Overhanging Great Wall
The city of Jiayuguan has a population of about 300,000. It is located at the entrance to the Gobi Desert and near the Qilian Mountains. Jiayuguan, one of the province’s first cities, has a history dating back more than 600 years. The city was then a strategic gateway on the ancient Silk Road.The Jiayuguan Fort marks the western end of the Great Wall of China.The Great Hanging Wall is the other jewel of the Great Wall of China to be found in the city of Jiayuguan. Because of the 45 degree inclination of the walls, one would think that the walls fell suddenly from the sky…

Distance: approx. 370 km

Day 09
Jiayuguan – Zhangye – Mati Si
Located 65 kilometers from Zhangye, the caves and temple of Mati, or Matisi, were established under the Northern Liang dynasty, about 1600 years ago. The temple is embedded in the mountain which itself is pierced by many caves. It preserves more than 500 Buddha sculptures and more than 1200 square metres of frescoes.

Distance: approx. 280 km

Day 10
Mati Si – Qinghai lake (south shore)
Qinghai Lake is not only the largest lake in China but also an extraordinarily salty lake, at an altitude of 2,205 meters. A paradise for ornithologists and cyclists, this bluish vastness is a beauty. Around the lake, villages are there to remind us of the cultural mix so specific to the Qinghai region.It is an important pilgrimage site for Tibetans and attracts many believers. They go around the lake, but it takes about eighteen days on horseback and twenty-three on foot. To the west of the lake is an island, with a temple called “Mahādeva”, i. e. the heart of the lake, which was the residence of about twenty monks.

Distance: approx. 410 km

Day 11
Qinghai lake – Tongren
The Tongren region is famous for its Thangkas artists. It is the art of painting, sewing, filler a religious image on a support generally of fabric. This work must then be consecrated by a lama.The city itself is a large, largely Tibetan village where the vast Longwusi monastery dating back to the Yuans (13th and 14th centuries) is located.In the surroundings you can also visit the Wutunsi monastery, which has several halls dedicated to the deities and a superb stupas decorated with multiple coloured statues

Distance: approx. 360 km

Day 12
Tongren – Xiahe (Labrang)
Labrang is known to be the largest monastery outside Tibet. It currently has about 2000 monks, half as many as at its peak, due to wars between local lords and the cultural revolution.It is an ideal place to immerse yourself in Tibetan culture and religion. Shortly after the Tibetan New Year, the Mönlam ceremony takes place, with many festivities, on this occasion the giant thanka is held on the hill facing the golden stupa.

Distance: approx. 110 km

Day 13
Xiahe – Lanzhou:
Distance: approx. 230 km
Day 14
Lanzhou – Xi’an
Distance: approx. 630 km
Day 15 Xi’an visiting day
Day 16 Xi’an – Guangyuan

Distance: approx. 465 km

Day 17
Guangyuan – Panda Breeding Station – Chengdu
Distance: approx. 330 km
Day 18 Chengdu – Kangding

Distance: approx. 325 km

Day 19 Kangding – Litang:
Distance: approx. 290 km
Day 20
Litang – Xiangcheng
Distance: approx. 205 km
Day 21 Xiangcheng – Shangri-la
Distance: approx. 210 km
Day 22 Shangri-la visiting day
Day 23 Shangri-La – Tiger Leaping Gorge

Along the way, we drive through the Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world. It is possible to do a hiking tour in the gorge (2.5 hrs. hiking time), hiking to the Tiger Leaping Stone. Another option is to do the high trail (appx. 6-8 hours). Discuss with your guide which option you prefer (we suggest to hike into the gorge).

Distance: approx. 200 km

Day 24
Tiger Leaping Gorge – Lijiang
You drive to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Lijiang. In the town of Lijiang, there is the possibility of taking a walk through the historic old town and visiting the Black Dragon Pool. Lijiang and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer the traveler. Baisha and Shuhe are old towns at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountains, and it is worthwhile to take a break and relax here.

Distance: approx. 120 km

Day 25
The day in Lijiang

Lijiang and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer the traveller. Baisha and Shuhe are old towns at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountains, and it is worthwhile to take a break and relax here. The day in Basha and Shuhe can also serve as a flex day if it turns out that the trip schedule cannot be kept.

Day  26
Lijiang – Shaxi – Dali

A short drive to Dali via the new highway. We visit the Three Pagodas in Dali and the old town. In Dali, there will be an opportunity to get to know the Tibet Moto team personally. We will be pleased to invite you to drink a beer or a cup of coffee with us. On the way to Dali, we can also visit the old town of Shaxi on the Tea Road.

Distance: approx. 190 km

Day 27
Dali – Kunming
Distance: approx. 350 km
Day 28
Kunming – Jinhong
Distance: approx. 530 km
Day 29
Jinhong – Mohanzhen – departure for Laos
The last day of travel in China leads us to the Sino-Laotian border. Customs paperwork. We recommend making the drive to Luang Namtha.

Distance: approx. 190 km

Contact us for your own overland tour

Exit into Myanmar

Day 22

Dali – Tengchong (Heshun)

Distance: approx. 325 km

Day 23
Tengchong – Ruili – Muse (Myanmar)
Distance: approx. 200 km


Day 22

Dali – Ruili – Muse (Myanmar)

Start in the early morning (before sunset) and drive to Ruili. Exit into Myanmar. We suggest to stay overnight in Muse.

Distance: approx. 415 km

Part 1: https://goo.gl/maps/4CtMAQAKUsF2 (until Lanzhou)

Part 2: https://goo.gl/maps/A9gHu57AdZM2 (exit into Laos)
Part 2: https://goo.gl/maps/CU6n2idKnw82 (exit into Myanmar)