All, Outdoor Trails, Wild Trails

Small Group:Yunnan discovery Cycling Tour

  • Destination

    Yunnan & Guizhou & Guangxi

  • Trip duration

    11 days, 10 nights

  • Price

    From 18990 cny

  • Availability period

    1 Mar. 2020 - 31 Oct. 2020

  • Min/Max travelers

    Min. 6

  • Transport

    Van, bike

  • Accommodation

    Hotel

    • *The total distance covered during this trip is 477 km over 11 days of travel. This trip begins in Shangri-La, which is over 3,300 meters above sea level, and we will spend over a week above 2,500 meters. Therefore, the first few days of the tour are spent acclimating to the altitude and environment. Overall the journey is a real adventure with a mix of varying climbs (short day cycles with hill climbs, while other days are longer but flat and fast) packed with jaw-dropping scenery.
  • *There won’t be any dull moments to experience on this high-altitude journey through a surprising diversity of landscapes and cultures. Most days are filled with cultural experiences and scenic delights. The friendly locals, lack of tourists, stunning geography, and mouth-watering food will make it hard to say goodbye! We suggest that you bring your camera, as you are sure to want to record your adventures.
    • *Suitability:Yunnan is a high-altitude mountainous region, so you can expect a physically challenging experience on this cycling tour. There are many climbs, but their routes are all planned on paved roads, so a smooth, steady rise is possible. Being physically fit will, of course, be a tremendous asset, but as the tour is fully supported, a van can provide transfers if a cyclist desires it.

 

  • *Biking Conditions: This bike tour is mostly mapped on smooth, paved roads, but it also includes individual small off-road sections and wondrous tough climbs in high altitudes with fast descents, but nothing technical. Due to the nature of the tour, it is worthy to note that it gets fairly cold up amidst the clouds, so make sure you bring warm cycling clothes. It is also suggested that riders should have a moderate level of cycling experience and physical strength.

YUNNAN, CHINA

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Day 1

ARRIVE SHANGRI-LA

We meet in Shangri-La, the capital of Dechen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. You will be met at the airport by a local tour guide who will arrange a group transfer and transport you to the hotel for check-in. In the afternoon, we begin exploring China's mystical region with a visit to the spectacular Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, built on the instruction of the fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century. At present, there are over 800 monks still living and practicing here. This picturesque site located on the top of a cliff is very much similar in style to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Later on in the evening, we enjoy a traditional Tibetan-style welcome dinner.

Today, Shangri-La is principally a Tibetan township but has a Han Chinese population as well as a smattering of Bai, Hui, and Naxi minorities. Historically, the town was a trading center between Tibet, Burma, and India, where mule caravans once made journeys to conduct business among the regions.

Food

-/-/D

Accommodation

Boutique hotel

Day 2

SHANGRI-LA LOOP

As Shangri-La is at 3,300 m, we take it easy so you can acclimate to the altitude. During the morning we prepare with a bike fitting and a warm-up ride around Napa Lake, a wetland that attracts many migrant birds to spend the winter. This flat ride around the lake will help you acclimatize to the altitude and thin air and is a beautiful start to kicking-off your bike tour! We return to the hotel for lunch, and the rest of the afternoon is free for exploring this Tibetan town at your leisure.

Food

B/L/-

Accommodation

Boutique hotel

Day 3

SHANGRI-LA - BAI SHUI TAI

We bid farewell to Shangri-La and transfer a short distance out of town to start cycling. We start off with flat ride, passing through Tibetan villages and white pagodas before we start the day's first big climb. This is a tough day as we will be riding high, but the panoramic scenery will make the hard work worth it. There are some challenging climbs and extraordinarily long descents, but they will give you a satisfying adrenaline rush. We wind our way up and down through valleys and across mountainsides wholly covered with wild camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas, and osmanthus trees. In the late afternoon, we will arrive in Bai Shui Tai. If, after checking in, you still feel up for exploring, we will take a walk up to the spiritual origin of the Naxi people: the Karst Terraces Bai Shui Tai sits above the town. It is about 45 minutes round trip.

Food

B/L/D

Accommodation

Boutique hotel

Day 4

BAI SHUI TAI - TIGER LEAPING GORGE

After breakfast, we start the day with a few short climbs and rolling sections before a more significant pushup over a small pass where we view Haba Mountain (5,396 m) towering above a beautiful valley. It's a 6 km descent winding down towards the Naxi village of Haba where we have lunch in a local guesthouse. After lunch, we get back on our bikes for a 7 km climb to a pass at 3,250 m, followed by another downhill climb for 25 km to the Yangtse River Valley. When we reach Yonke village, we turn to Tiger Leaping Gorge and cycle through one of the deepest and most dramatic gorges in the world, rising nearly 4,000 m from the river to snow-capped peaks.

Food

B/L/D

Accommodation

Boutique hotel

Day 5

TIGER LEAPING GORGE REST DAY

Enjoy the magnificent scenery of the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge of the Yangtze River. You are free to use the bikes for a 30 km round trip cycle through the gorge of the Yangtze River. Or you might want to hike down to the riverside and watch the gigantic raging rapids running over the infamous tiger leaping rock. You also have the choice to go on a hike on the upper trails of the gorge to witness the indescribable beauty of the snowcapped peaks above the third deepest gorge in the world.

Food

B/-/-

Accommodation

Boutique hotel

Day 6

TIGER LEAPING GORGE - LIJIANG

We have an easy 12 km cycle back through the gorge again towards the Yangtze ferry. Here we will cross the river and then start a 30 km steady climb to conquer the Dragon Snow Mountain pass at 3,100 meters, having ascended close to 1,500 meters! We then enjoy some undulating hills with some long downhills cyclying all the way to the Lijiang area. Pedaling through the Dragon Snow Mountain Park which is known as a natural glacier museum. We will make a stop at Blue Moon Valley, which is actually an incredibly blue river winding through the lush valley of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, before being transferred for the last 30 km to Lijiang, an ancient Naxi town, in the late afternoon. The Naxi people are a small but fascinating ethnic minority known for their matriarchal society, their pictographic language, and their distinctive music.

Food

B/L/D

Accommodation

Boutique hotel

Day 7

LIJIANG - SHAXI

We transfer out of the city and start another memorable day that takes us into the heart of rural Yunnan. We ride over a pass, descending into a valley, and ride along the 'Old Tibet 214 highway' past tranquil scenes of mud-brick villages, bamboo groves, rivers, and paddy fields. Right before Shaxi, we ride along two short but steeper climbs. A downhill through rural scenery that brings us to Shaxi. Upon entering the town, you will really sense a feeling of timelessness, as the way of life here has remained unchanged for centuries. During our stay in Shaxi, we will stay at a beautifully decorated local courtyard hotel.

Food

B/L/D

Accommodation

Boutique hotel

Day 8

SHAXI VILLAGE REST DAY

The small town of Shaxi was established during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) as a trading point of tea and horses. During the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368 – 1912), the town's prosperity was at its height. The city is probably one of the most intact horse caravan towns on the ancient tea route from Yunnan to Burma and Tibet. In 2001, The Sideng market square of Shaxi was added to the World Monuments Watch List of Most Endangered Sites. Today is a rest day in this fascinating little town, nestled in a valley, so it is a perfect place to explore the surrounding villages and countryside on your own vacation.

Food

B/-/-

Accommodation

boutique hotel

Day 9

SHAXI - XIA SHAN KOU

We start with another beautiful day of riding on the once-bustling tea horse caravan route. This road was used by horse caravans transporting tea and salt between villages, and they went as far as to Tibet and India. We follow a path along the Heihui River and pass through some attractive villages. It's flat, easy-riding for 47 km to Liantie Town, where we take a short rest and fuel up for lunch. After lunch, we transfer to the mountain pass at 3,022 m. here we are met with an exhilarating 22 km downhill on the other side. We ride for 10 km and end the day in Xia Shan Kou, where we can soothe our sore muscles in the famous hot springs.

Food

B/L/D

Accommodation

Boutique hotel

Day 10

XIA SHAN KOU - DALI

This morning is our last riding day as we head to the historic town of Dali (1,900 m). Cycling along a flat paved road between the towering Cangshan Mountain range and Er Hai Lake, we should arrive in Old Dali in time for a late lunch. This fascinating town is home to the Bai people, one of the nation’s largest minorities and who were once the center of the powerful 8th-century Nanzhao Kingdom. Dali is an extraordinary town to explore with its gated city walls, bustling old streets, and lakeside setting. In the 16th century, Dali was an essential gateway for cultural exchange and trading with Southeast Asian countries. Today, it is a melting pot of different ethnic groups, reflected aptly in its quaint architecture, cobbled streets, and vivid markets.

Food

B/L/D

Accommodation

Boutique hotel

Day 11

DEPART DALI

The day is free until your departure.

Food

B/-/-

Yunnan literally means 'South of the Clouds', illustrating the charm the province has for the Chinese people.

Yunnan literally means 'South of the Clouds', illustrating the charm the province has for the Chinese people.

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