The Highlighted Attractions from Chengdu to Lhasa via 318 National Highway (Cycling)

November,20 2019 BY Lobsang Tsering 0 COMMENTS

Cycling from Chengdu to Lhasa by the National Highway G318, the complete distance is about 2154km. And there are two hills over 5000 metres and ten hills with the level of over 4000 metres to go over by road. The cycling on this route will take over 18-20 days to complete, and need to go up one hill by road in every a few times. Challenging as it is, the road is abundant with outstanding natural scenery from plain to plateau, from woodlands to snow-capped hill, and narrow valley, etc. The flaming bit-torrent from Qinghai-Tibet level will go along with you all the way.

map of chengdu lhasa southern route(Simple click to enlarge the map)
Sichuan-Tibet Southern Route Map

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Our first location is Ya'an, 120 kilometres (75 miles) south-west of Chengdu. This route needs to move through Qionglai Town and Mingshan County. The road between Chengdu and Mingshan is relatively flat but rises to a mountain. Stay overnight in Ya’an.

Biking in TibetBiking in Tibet


Today's trip is cycling along the gorgeous Qingyi River. The riders will go on following the Qingyi River. The historical tea horse road theme park is near the city. There are several cities on the way can offer enough materials. But the road becomes extreme from here. Upon arrival in Luding County, visit Luding Bridge and the art gallery. Stay overnight in Luding.

Historical tea horse road theme parkHistorical tea horse road theme park


Bicycle along the road following the true right of the Dadu River for around 24 km North before switching West for 27 km to Kangding. But traversing the popular revocation bridge (Luding Bridge), tourists will see the scene of a perhaps apocryphal tale about the Revolutionaries swinging across hand over hand after the Kuomintang had torn up the planks. You might be very impressed that the way led up a hellish switchback as you see zig-zagging up and over the hill reverse.



Today, we will challenge the 4300 gauge high Zheduo Mountain first of all. It is about 36 km to hill pass, but all way up the road; you may need to force your bicycle most of the time. Once you go through the hill pass, your interest will instantly be interested in the new view of wide Tibetan plateau. Endless waving the tops of hills, yaks, river, welcome to Tibetan plateau! There are great views of Gongga Mount and other hills.

Zheduo MountainZheduo Mountain


Today is a complicated day again, but with pleasant views. 5km west of Xinduqiao is a 4 way stop with a road going north (surfaced) to Danba and Daofu. The road west increases to 4412m and then passes across a gloomy, windswept grassy level for about 5.5km with a highest possible level of 4475m. It then descends significantly.


The road then descends into Yajiang, just below 3000m, there are a few truck stops from 12km beforehand which are much less expensive than the only foreigner registered resorts in the town. The way to Yajiang was the entire road but sometimes quite rough, visitors were light. Yajiang has stores promoting all requirements, a covered market and internet access.


We will get over several passes over 4000m to get to modern last location - Litang. Litang obtained trustworthiness of the utmost city in all over the entire globe for its sea level of 4200meter and is known for its international horse racing festival of every Aug 1st. The area is flat with an extensive valley around it.

International horse racing festivalInternational horse racing festival


Depart from Litang we will get into the Haizi Mountains. It was known as Haizi Mountain and the road condition from east to the west is good. And you will be very impressed how quick and simple the summit can be reached before you know.

Haizi MountainsHaizi Mountains

And then we will go down to the Batang which is located on the bank of Jinshajiang River. Batang is the well-known provider of excellent fruits in eastern Tibet. It was said that the apple had been planted by a foreign preacher initially. And the Christian churches here are still well sheltered now.


It is said landscapes here looks like the Alps for the flourishing Lilac and highland barley area. But road this area is extreme and has plenty of turnings.



Road situation nowadays is excellent and riders can see groundhog. Bangda County is the 4 way stop of Sichuan-Tibet North route and Southern route. In 1995, the new designed Bangda International airport is the utmost airport in the entire globe and has the lengthiest driveway. It's the only airport in east Tibet.



In Yela Mountain Pass riders will see the popular "the 72 turnings on Nujiang Mountain". Riders must control the rate and have a rest if feel exhausted. When getting the foot, the mountain riders arrives the bank of Nujiang River. After 20 km driving riders can notice message house for riders. Riders always look for charcoal ash for writing their name in the message house.



Asphalt road all day. After 37 km driving riders will go through the gorgeous Jida County.


Bome( Nyingchi,215km)—

Today riders will pass the origin of YarlungZangbu River. From here riders will go into the plateau forest. The bicycle lumps down the rock road. Riders can see Midui Glacier entry on the way. About 100 kilometers east of the county seat of Bome, Midui Glacier is located in Yupu Township. Its altitude is from 2,400 meters to 6,800 meters. You can up to Midui village, going from Ranwuzhen towards Bome County for fifty kilometers, and from the village to Migui Glacier there is just 2 hours on foot., Midui Village is a small Tibetan village at the foot of Midui Glacier with fertile farmland and dense forests around.



Because here is near Lhasa riders will come across many other riders. The mountains are covered with fir. Mount NamchaBarwa is less than 100 km near the Segyi La hill Pass. Nyingchi is to Tibet what the south bank of Yangzi River is to China. The scenery here seems amazing and people stay here are happy.



The scenery here seems a little single. After 79 km driving riders will get Bahe Town. This city is 1 km away from G318. About 49 km driving riders can get to GongbuJiangda.



Riders today will convert the hill pass with a level of 5000m which is the last hill pass they need convert before getting to Lhasa. After the 60 km downhill path, riders can have a stop. The Ongkor Festival in Mozugongka each year is very colorful.

Ongkor FestivalOngkor Festival

According to Tibetan calendar in each August the Ongkor Festival in farming areas of Tibet held when all crops are waiting for harvest. People wearing traditional dresses and play different roles - warriors, riders, drummers and prayers or monks.


Riders will get Lhasa today. When riders get the bicycle relay station and organise the accommodation, they can move to the square before the Potala Palace. After that, you will visit the Sera Monastery which is known for its monk debate in the afternoon. For exquisite Tibetan souvenir, and restaurants, just head to the famous Barkhor Street.

Finally arrived at Potala PalaceFinally arrived at Potala Palace

You will complete today's activity after the Norbulingka Park, which is summer palace of Dalai Lama and later provided as the government administration center. Discover how the Lama studies the Buddhism scriptures and you may also touch the real life of local Tibetan people.

Lobsang Tsering

About the Author - Lobsang Tsering

I am a tour guide in Tibet an was Born in Kham Tibet, I am the father of 2 little girls, bachelor's degree. I have more than 7-years experience of being a tour guide in Tibet. I am a warm, friendly, knowledgeable and attractive guy.

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