20 Days Yunnan Tibet Cycling Tour from Lijiang to Lhasa

If you’re angling for astonishing scenic beauty, wild mountainous adventures, riveting displays of ethnic culture and the irresistible allure of the immense outdoors, this tour is right for you. Start from Lijiang, a fairyland blessed with fresh air, clear streams, breathtaking snow mountains and an undisturbed landscape inhabited by a friendly ethnic group of Naxi, this bike tour ends in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet and a holy city you could never miss. 


  • Cycle from Lijiang to Lhasa, passing by various beautiful scenery, mountains, rivers, and lakes.
  • Lose yourself in Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world.
  • Step on the earthly paradise, Lhasa.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Day 2: Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri-La
  • Day 3: Shangari-La-Benzilan
  • Day 4: Benzilan-Feilai Temple
  • Day 5: Felai Temple-yanjing
  • Day 6: Yanjing-Markham
  • Day 7: Markham-Dengba
  • Day 8: Dengba-Zuogong
  • Day 9: Zuogong-Bangda
  • Day 10: Bangda-Basu
  • Day 11: Basu-Ranwu
  • Day 12: Ranwu-Bomi
  • Day 13: Bomi-Tongmai
  • Day 14: Tongmai-Lulang
  • Day 15: Lulang-Bayi
  • Day 16: Bayi-Gongbo’gyamda
  • Day 17: Gongbo’gyamda-Songduo
  • Day 18: Songduo-Lhasa
  • Day 19: Lhasa
  • Day 20: Lhasa Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge

Sightseeing and Activities: Tiger Leaping Gorge, First Bend of the Yangtze River
Accommodation: Tiger Leaping Gorge
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Set off from the Lijiang ancient Town today and cycle to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, passing by the First Bend of the Yangtze River. In the remaining time, you could explore the 18-kilometer gorge on foot.

Day 2 Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangari-La

Sightseeing and Activities: White Water Terrace(Baishuitai), Napa Lake
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Cycle out of the gorge, visit the White Water Terrace and then continue the journey to Shangri-La over several mountains. On route, pay a visit to the Napa Lake. Fed by small streams from the snow mountains encircled, the lake shapes just like a trumpet shell. In the color of azure with snowy mountains and trees reflecting in it, the gorgeous lake is a wonderland to appreciate the beauty of nature. 

Day 3 Shangari-La-Benzilan

Sightseeing and Activities: Cycling, Benzilan
Accommodation: Bengzilan
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Take a 82-kilometer journey to a spot called Benzilan. Travel along the river but not cross the bridge, otherwise you will ride to Derong of Sichuan Province.

Day 4 Benzilan-Felai Temple

Sightseeing and Activities: Feilaisi Temple
Accommodation: Feilaisi
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Start from Benzilan to Deqin and then stop at the Feilai Temple by the Yunnan-Tibet Road, which is also known as the No.214 National Highway. The snowy scenic on the way is amazing.

Day 5 Felai Temple-Yanjing

Sightseeing and Activities: Lancang River, Catholic Church
Accommodation: Yangjing
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Set off early today, get to Yanjing of Tibet, which is located on the bank of the Lancang River. In the remaining time in Yanjing, you could visit the only Catholic Church in Tibet.

Day 6 Yanjing-Markham

Sightseeing and Activities: Cycling, Markham
Accommodation: Markham
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Head to Markham which is an important transportation hub to other parts of Tibet. The journey is about 110 kilometers, and this road always suffers collapse in rainy season, so you should be cautious.

Markham is at the junction of roads to Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet provinces. It is the first county where you can have a lodge in the hostel and appreciate a warm meal after you enter in Tibet. It is located 1 kilometer away from the National Highway 318, you can overnight in the local Weather Bureau rest house to take a bath and prepare for the Tibet part bicycle tour.

Day 7 Markham-Dengba

Sightseeing and Activities: Along the Langcang River
Accommodation: Dengba
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today’s journey is cycling along the Langcang River.

For the first 12 kilometers, you will get over the Lawu Mountain Pass, and the following 33 kilometers are the downhill path, the elevation will decline by 1700 meters. Then get over Jueba mountain for about 24.5 kilometers and follow the downhill path for 13 kilometers to Dengba. As the trail along the Lancang River is extremely steep, you need to proceed with particular caution and prudence, control your brake tightly. It is really a test for your strength and will, but the visit of the pass-by Lancang Valley will be worthwhile. 

Markham (3875 m) –Lawu Pass (4338 m) – Chuka Bridge (2640 m) – Jueba Pass (3930 m) – Dengba Village (3440 m).

Day 8 Dengba-Zuogong

Sightseeing and Activities: Zuogong, Rongxu, cycling
Accommodation: Zuogong
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today, continue the uphill path road for 13 kilometers to Rongxu. The elevation will rise by 1900 meters totally. Keep cycling to get over mountains and proceed for 56.5 kilometers to reach Zuogong.

Most of this path is still dirty and dusty road. Upgrade for 24.5 kilometers to cross Dongda Mountain, and downgrade for 32 kilometers to Zuogong. Dongda Mountain is the highest pass in the whole route, where the altitude has reached 5100 meters, and the uphill path will be quite strenuous. The downhill road is gentle and you can have complete relax. 

Dengba Village (3440 m) – Rongxu Military Depot (4046 m) – Dongda Pass (5008 m) – Zuogong County(3877 m)

Day 9 Zuogong-Bangda

Sightseeing and Activities: Bangda, Cycling
Accommodation: Bangda
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Proceed for 105 kilometers to Bangda.

As the initial 63 kilometers are bituminous macadam, arrival at 3654 meters on the National Highway 318. And the following 42 kilometers are dusty road in poor condition with lots of uphill path. The exciting thing is that there is fiber in Bangda and you can make a call there. And cycling along with Yuqu River is enjoyable, too.

Zuogong County (3877 m) – Tiantuo Town – Tiantuo Village – Asi Village – Bangda Town (4120 m)

Day 10 Bangda-Basu

Sightseeing and Activities: Basu, Cycling
Accommodation: Basu
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Firstly, cycle 75 kilometers from Bangda to Wadayue. Most of this part is still the dirty road. The former 13.5 kilometers is the up slope to get over Yela Mountain, also named as Nujiang Mountain, the trail is relatively in good condition. However the following 43 kilometers down slope path to Nujiang Bridge is indeed tough, with more than 50 sharp turnings of 180 degrees. This trail is often called “Nujiang 72 turnings” for its dangerous and zigzag path.

Then cover another 20 kilometers to Basu. This part of road seems good in the sunny day, but it will turn extremely terrible after rain.

Day 11 Basu-Ranwu

Sightseeing and Activities: Ranwu, Cycling
Accommodation: Ranwu
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Bike 60 kilometers to Zhongsha at first. It is still the dusty and dirty road and mainly composed of uphill path. Then cycle 30 kilometers dusty road extending to Ranwu town, a paradise place with mirror-like lake, jade-green pines and snow-capped mountains in the distance. 

Basu County (3280 m) – Anjiula Pass (4475 m) – Ranwu Town (3960 m)

Day 12 Ranwu-Bomi

Sightseeing and Activities: Bomi, Cycling
Accommodation: Bomi
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today, leave Ranwu and continue to ride for Zhongba, which is 53 kilometers away. Proceed along the tempered declivous path, and have a brief visit of Anmucuo and Palong Tsangpu River. As most of this path, you will go through the forestry area and linger in the mist and clouds between mountains. Continue to the relevantly big town Bomi for 76 kilometers. The dirt road stretches for 36 kilometers until Songzong and the following 40 kilometers is the bituminous macadam as gentle down slope. Plenty of Glaciers will catch your eyes on the way.

Ranwu Town (3960 m) – Midui Glacier – Zhongba Village (3330 m) – Bomi County (2725 m)

Day 13 Bomi-Tongmai

Sightseeing and Activities: Tongmai, Cycling
Accommodation: Tongmai
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today is an arduous cycling day to Tongmai, covering about 90 kilometers. 40 kilometers declivous path guides you to Guxiang bituminous macadam and the following 50 kilometers path will not cost you lots of strength and energy. However, it comes to be atrocious when you close to Tongmai.

Bomi County (2725 m) – Guxiang – 102 landslide area – Tongmai Town (2070 m)

Day 14 Tongmai-Lulang

Sightseeing and Activities: Lulang, Cycling
Accommodation: Lulang
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Go cross Dongjiu for the first 37 kilometers and continue to Lulang Town for 37 kilometers more.

When you reach Pailong, 17 kilometers from Tongmai, you will see the wreckage of Yigonghe River flood collapse, and the present path is new- repaired. The slope is still barrier and bold and you can see the trace after flood. The trail from Tongmai to Pailong is in well condition. Then continue for 37 kilometers after the forest ecological system orientation and the pass-by sight just looks like tropical rain forest. Try the delicious food of Lulang Chicken Soup cooked by stone pot.

Tongmai Town (2070 m) – Laohu Zui – Pailong – Layue Village (2372 m) – Dongjiu country (2560 m) – Lulang Town (3370 m)

Day 15 Lulang-Bayi

Sightseeing and Activities: Bayi, Cycling
Accommodation: Bayi
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

It will be a fatigued but rewarding day for 72.5 kilometers and arrive in Bayi.

You will get over Sejila Mountain for 23.5 kilometers. Sightseeing Terrace for the sea of Lulang forests is 19 km away from Lulang Town. The National Highway 110 gently upgrades and you need to push you bicycle to surmount Sejila Mountain. The latter 30 kilometers path to Nyingtri is steep and in poor condition. There are approximately 19 kilometers from Nyingtri to Bayi, and as it is the even bituminous macadam. The Niyangqu and poplars dotted in emerald green constitute picturesque scenery. The Huge Cypress Park is situated near Bayi roadside. You can find a hostel to have a rest and take a shower easily in Bayi Town.

Lulang Town (3370 m) – Sejila Pass (4559 m) – Nyingchi Town (3010m) – Bayi Town (2930 m)

Day 16 Bayi-Gongbo’gyamda

Sightseeing and Activities: Gongbo’gyamda, Cycling
Accommodation: Gongbo’gyamda
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

You will enjoy the ease to ride on the bituminous macadam. The verdant mountains and green waters will feast your eyes all along the way and you will cover 127 kilometers arrival in Gongbo’gyamda.

Bayi Town (2930 m) – Gengzhang Town – Baiba Town – Gongbo’gyamda County (3440 m)

Day 17 Gongbo’gyamda-Songduo

Sightseeing and Activities: Songduo, Cycling
Accommodation: Songduo
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Continue to ride on the bituminous macadam for 96 kilometers to Songduo and mainly composed of uphill path. Songduo is the only small town with room and board between Gongbu pass and Mila Pass.

Gongbo’gyamda County (3440 m) – Jinda Town – Jiaxing country – Songduo (4288 m)

Day 18 Songduo-Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Lhasa, Cycling
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Ride from Songduo to Mozhugongka for 110 kilometers. The first 20 kilometers is the tempered uphill bituminous macadam, but you need to push your bicycle to the second highest pass, Mila Pass (5030 m) along Sichuan – Tibet Highway. Then continue for 27 kilometers to Riduo on the bituminous macadam and head for Mozhugongka for another 56 kilometers. The head to your final destination – Lhasa.

The last period is approximately 68 kilometers bituminous macadam. You will see the lofty Potala Palace in distance, as you enter in the Lhasa Forestry checkpoint. The challenging tour ends here and you might feel as comfortable as home at that moment.

Songduo (4288 m) – Mila Pass (5013 m) – Riduo country (4370 m) –Mozhugongka County (3830 m) – Datse County (3440 m) – Lhasa (3650 m)

Day 19 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

After breakfast, we go to the Potala Palace, a golden feather upon the roof of the world, which Tibetans proudly claim to be the prime miracle since the creation of this world. With the golden roof shinning in the sun, it is visible from any distance. You can spend one hour wondering around the inside of this magnificent building and exploring the rooms previously used by the Dalai Lama and many Buddhist icons within.

In the afternoon, we go inside of the Jokhang Temple. Then stroll around the back alleys of the Barkhor area of Old Lhasa. 

Day 20 Departure from Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Departure from Lhasa
Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Free time at your disposal this morning, explore the bustling markets of the Barkhor to buy some souvenirs for your families and friends. After lunch, drive to Lhasa airport for departure flight.

Alternatively, if you want to stay on rather than return home right away, you could contact us and choose our other City Packages as an extension to your memorable adventure!

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostel
Tiger Leaping Gorge / / / Tina’s Guesthouse
Shangri-La Shangri-La Hotel E-outfitting Boutique Hotel Bodhi Boutique Hotel Guzang Xiangbala Wu Fu Diannan Boutique Inn
Feilaisi Guan Jing Tian Tang Hotel / Feilaisi Pearl Hotel /

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Sharing English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.