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18 Days Cycling Tour from Golmud to Lhasa

18 Days Cycling Tour from Golmud to Lhasa

(TBT006) Golmud - Kunlun Mountain - Wudaoliang - Tuotuo River - Amdo - Nagqu - Namtso - Yangpachen - Lhasa


Strictly speaking, this is the most difficult bike route among a number of riding routes available. Starting from Golmud (2200 meters above sea level), you will ride uphill with growing altitude, and then reach Kunlun pass (at an elevation of 4767 meters). Located on the heartland of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Wudaoliang is also a focal area of Kekexili uninhabited area with bad climate and less oxygen. As a saying goes, “The moment you arrive in Wudaoliang, the hostile environment makes you feel so hopeless. All you want to do is burst out crying.” Then ride ahead to traverse Tanggula Mountains at an elevation of 5231 meters, which is the highest point in this tour, and never forget to take photos. Afterwards, we move southwards to visit Namtso lake (4718 meters above sea level) via Amdo and Nagchu. Stay overnight at the lakeshore.

Next day, you will head to Yangpachen town and refresh yourself in famous Yangpachen hot spring. Finally, we arrive in Lhasa and the tour ends. In conclusion, this bike tour covers Kunlun pass, Kekexili nature reserve, Tanggula Mountains, Qiangtang prairie in northern Tibet, Namtso lake, Yangpachen hot spring, and Lhasa. You can see snow-capped mountains, vast grassland, holy lakes, herds of cattle and sheep, passing Qinghai-Tibet train, wild ass, wild yaks, Tibetan antelopes and other wild animals.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1-3: Golmud - Kunlun Mountains Pass (160km)

Cycle from Golmud to your first high pass, Kunlun Mountain Pass (4767m). This section (about 160 kilometers) takes you approximate 3-4 days. Road in this part is tough with many slopes.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 4-5: Kunlun Mountains Pass to WudaoLiang (109km)

This section covers about 109 kilometers, one-two days are enough. Road is much better. Don’t miss the roadside hot springs when riding through the Nachitai Area. The pure, unspoiled water is really well worth trying.

There are hotels in Wudaoliang which can provide comfortable lodgings.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 6: Wudaoliang-Tuoduo River (150 km)

With an average altitude of around 5000 kilometers, this tour is also an arduous one. Rough highland climate dominates this area with frozenly cold at nighttime and strong wind at daytime.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 7: Tuotuo River-Yanshiping (91 km)

Get up early in the morning and nourish your aching body with the breath-taking sunrise, which dances over the horizon in Tuotuo River.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 8: Yanshiping-Tanggula Mountain Pass (100 km)

Cycle from Yanshiping to Tangula Mountain Pass and stay overnight in Toudaoban.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 9: Toudaoban-Amdo (70 km)

This section is mainly off-road. Scenery is getting progressively more beautiful.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 10-11: Amdo - Nagqu (138 km)

Continue your journey to Nagqu, an important town in Northern Tibet. You will cross the Qiangtang prairie, where you could enjoy a magnificent pastoral view, like groups of sheep and yaks grazing on the endless green grassland.

Stay overnight in Nagqu.

Day 12-13: Nagqu- Namtso Lake (146 km)

Scenery along this section is fantastic with snow-capped mountains, vast green grassland, and flocks of sheep. You can either cycle into Namtso Lake or take the jeep if you just want to make a day trip. There is a high-pass- LaChenLa 5190m. Namtso Lake is the Heavenly lake, which is one of the three holy lakes of Tibet and also the highest salt lake.

It is fantastic to spend a night at lake shore.

Camping or Guesthouse.

Day 14: Namtso - Yangpachen (90km)

Enjoy the clear morning at the lake shore. You can trek along the lake shore to Tashi Dor Island to explore the meditation caves. Then head for Yangpachen.
The trail is dotted with green grass and swift current, and the main summit of Nyenchen Thanglha Mountain stands at the far distance, which looks towering and saintly. You might reach Yangpachen at around 4:00 pm or 5:00 pm. As Yangpachen is famous for its geothermic hot spring, you can enjoy a bath at the hot spring.

Stay overnight in Yangpachen.

Day 15: Yangpachen to Lhasa (75km)

This is the final leg of your cycling trip. Enjoy the beauty as you approaching the holy city at the roof of the world. The route from Yangpachen to Lhasa is mainly composed of down slope, as it is new-repaired recently, most of that is even and plain. But you need to check the brake of your bicycle and control the speed as there are still many twists on the way.

You will see a sign writes "Welcome to Lhasa!" Congratulations! You have finished your cycling adventure!

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 16: Lhasa sightseeing - Potola Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor

In the morning, go to visit the famous Potala palace and explore the grandest of this myriad chapel. You will appreciate its audience halls, the jeweled and Golden burial chortens (stupa Tombs) of past Dalai Lamas, and tremendous number of Buddhist frescoes, thangkas, combinations of mandala, etc.

In the afternoon, pay a visit to the holist temple in Tibet, the Johkang Temple, built during Songtsen Gonpo's reign by princess Wencheng of Tang Dynasty, 647 A.D, and its famous Barkor Kora.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 17: Lhasa sightseeing - Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Norbulingka Park

We will begin our tour at Drepung Monastery, which used to be the most large monastery in Tibet where lodged more than 10000 monks at its summit in the morning.

After that, you will visit the Sera Monastery which is famous for its Buddhism scriptures Debating in the afternoon.

You will finish today's activity after the Norbulingka Park, which is the summer palace of Dalai Lama and later served as the governmental administration center. Explore how the Lama studies the Buddhism scriptures and also touch the real life of local Tibetan people.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 18: Departure from Lhasa

After two days of sightseeing in Lhasa city, you will take a train or flight out of Lhasa and end your whole trip.

Service Guide

Service Included:

  • Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
  • Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
  • Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
  • Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
  • First aid kit;

Service Excluded:

  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
  • Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
  • Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

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