We will begin our biking journey as we cycle from Golmud to our first high pass, the Kunlun Mountain Pass (elevation 4767 meters). This 160-kilometer part of your tour will take around 3 to 5 days, as the road conditions are tough with many uphill slopes.
This part of our biking tour covers around 109 kilometers and 1 to 2 days should be enough as the road conditions are much better in this area. You won’t wan to miss the roadside hot springs when riding through the Nachitai Area. The pure, unspoiled water of the hot springs there is really well worth trying. There are comfortable hotels In Wudaoliang, providing us with a good chance to rest and relax here on the 5th night of our journey.
With an average altitude of around 5000 meters, this part of our biking journey will also be an arduous one. A rough highland climate dominates this area with bitter cold at night and often-strong winds during the daytime due to the topography of the area.
Arise early this morning to nourish your aching body with the breath-taking sunrise, which will inspire you to continue on through the spectacular scenery as we head towards today’s destination, Yanshiping, where we will spend the night.
Today’s journey takes us once again through beautiful mountain scenery as we head from Yanshiping through the Tangula Mountain Pass and stay overnight in Toudaoban.
This section of our biking trip is mainly off-road, but the good news is that the scenery just gets progressively more beautiful as we continue on.
Continue your journey on to Nagqu, an important town that serves as a hub of Northern Tibet. On this two-day section of your trip, you will cross the Qiangtang prairie, where you will enjoy a magnificent pastoral view with herds of sheep and Tibetan yaks grazing against the backdrop of seemingly endless green grassland.
Scenery along this section is fantastic with snow-capped mountains, vast green grasslands, and flocks of sheep. You can either cycle into Namtso Lake, which will take 2 days, or you take the jeep if you just want to make a day trip. Either way, we will need to travel through the Lichen Pass at an elevation of 5190 meters, which will give us a breathtaking view over Namtso Lake. Namtso Lake is one of the three holy lakes of Tibet, and it is also the world’s highest altitude salt lake. We can spend the night along the lakeshore to completely immerse ourselves in our beautiful surroundings.
While enjoying the beautifully clear morning at the lakeshore, you can trek along the shoreline to Tashi Dor Island to explore the meditation caves. After a morning of exploration, we’ll begin the journey back to Lhasa with a bike ride over the Lagangla Pass to Yangpachen. Along the way we’ll have a view of the Nyenchen Thanglha mountain range, reaching Yangpachen around 4 or 5 p.m. Yangpachen is famous for its geothermal power station and the nearby hot spring, where we can relax in the natural hot spring before retiring for the night.
This is the final leg of your cycling trip as we roll through beautiful scenery towards the holy city of Lhasa on the roof of the world. The route from Yangpachen to Lhasa is mostly downhill and it has been recently repaired, so we’ll have a smooth and easy ride today. Still we will need to make sure that the bike’s brakes are working properly and that we control our speed, as there are many twists and turns on this route. As we enter Lhasa, we will encounter a sign reading “Welcome to Lhasa!” It’s a fitting end to a rewarding cycling journey that very few people will ever accomplish.
Today we will start off with the fantastic Potala Palace, which historically served as the winter home of the Dalai Lama. It was first used in the 7th century by the 33rd king of Tibet. The most valuable collections in the Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of the former Dalai Lamas and the meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. After lunch, we will move on to the Jokhang Temple, which was also founded in 647 A.D. by the 33rd great king of Tibet to promote the Buddhist religion. Inside you can see the statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni as he was at the age of twelve – this is perhaps the most venerated object in Tibetan Buddhism. Around the temple is Barkhor Street where you can perform the “Kora” (a religious circuit around a sacred building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals. The Barkhor market is also a great place to pick up locally made handicrafts and souvenirs.
This morning we will visit the Drepung Monastery – one of the great three Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge, on Tosngkhapa’s main disciples, the Drepung Monastery is home of Ganden Palace, which formerly served as the Dalai Lama’s palace before later moving on to the Potala Palace. In the afternoon we will move on to see another of the great three of the Gelug monasteries in Tibet – the Sera Monastery. Founded in 1419 by another main disciple of Tsongkhapa, Jamchen Chojey, the main attraction of this monastery is the lively scene of the monks debating Buddhist scriptures in the courtyard behind the monastery in the afternoon. You will finish today's activity after we visit Norbulingka Park, which served as the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and later became a governmental administration center. Here you will have the opportunity to see how the Dalai Lama studied Buddhist scriptures and touched the lives of the local Tibetan people.
Your tour guide will pick you up from your hotel to escort you back to Lhasa Gonggar Airport for your departing flight or to the Lhasa train station for your departing train as you finish your Tibetan adventure.