Epic Tibet: Chengdu to Lhasa

0 Reviews
36 Day(s)
3000 Km
avg 107 Km

Tibet's iconic cultural & scenic treasures on 2 wheels, 3000km over 36 days


If ever there was a ride of epic proportions, this is it. This is a first ever for Extravagant Yak and represents something far removed from a polished package tour. This cycle adventure represents a custom request from a contingent of  Irish mountaineers and, with their permission, we are opening this up to others who fancy the solidarity found only by a month of suffering on the roof of the world with strangers. This is not for the faint of heart.

Beginning in the Sichuan basin and ascending to the breath-taking heights of the Tibetan plateau, your lungs are conscious of breaking out of the sub-tropical soupy air of the lowlands to the invigorating cool and thin air that is home to one of the highest cultures in the world. Everything changes. Faces for starters: round and flat Chinese faces are replaced by the long and sharp-featured ones typical of Tibetans. High cheek bones tinted red by wind and sun, along with gold teeth, are emblematic of this people group comprised of a majority of farmers and nomads. Replacing modernity, temples and traditional homes dot the land- Personalized Tours on the Roof of the World. scape and are often home to welcoming and friendly hosts. They are a proud people: eager to talk of their history, religion, customs, medicine, animals, crops, mountains, and family. They are a curious people: eager to hear stories about cultures far away, impressions received by travelers through their land, and happy to see pictures taken along the way. The Tour Route: 3000km.

The landscape has surprising variance. Tight narrow valleys with lush vegetation and steep ascents marked by countless switchbacks mark the first stage of the journey. Then, once atop the Tibet-Qinghai plateau, the second stage will take you through lively agricultural towns and villages for an introduction to the unique Tibetan farming culture. Finally, the last and most demanding stage takes you across the highest passes with 360 degree views of the vast grasslands that support grazing yaks and sheep that are essential to the fast disappearing nomadic livelihood.

To name a few of the common sights and experiences along the way: visits to ancient monasteries and temples, wandering through bustling markets in rural villages, tea in local homes (or nomad tents!), walks with shepherds to bring in their animals, greeting farmers working in their barley fields, and joining in with a community dance in some of the small towns enroute that gives such a fitting expression to this festive culture.

Upon arrival in Lhasa, a couple of days will be reserved to visit the historical sites of this mystical city. At the heart of the city you'll walk through the lively Barkhor Bazaar that surrounds the venerated Jokhang Temple. It is an exotic experience to mix with nomads and religious pilgrims who have converged from all over Tibet. The cultural highlight of any trip to Lhasa is a tour of the 17th century Potala Palace, the former chief residence of the Dalai Lama. With walls as thick as 5 meters and containing over 1000 rooms, 10,000 shrines, and 200,000 statues, any length of time in this historic engineering wonder is considered an abbreviated tour. You'll also enjoy a stroll through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Norbulingka, meaning "Treasure Park." The central feature of this 89 acre park and gardens is Norbulingka Palace - the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas. Another fascinating experience in Lhasa is found in the foothills north of the city: a visit to Sera Monastery includes the fascinating experience of seeing monks engage in their daily practice of religious debate.

After a month on the roof of the world, you'll return home with the fullest possible experience of Tibetan culture and hospitality, photographs that document some of the most remote places on earth, new friendships for life, greater fitness than you've had in a long time, and a few hardened saddle sores!


Tour Location

South West|Tibet
Lhasa (incl. return flight to Chengdu)

Tour Information

36 Days
On-road|Big climbs
Tour Language:
Cost From:
USD 7100

Tour Distance & Dates

3000 Km
Riding Days:

Additional Information


Double Occupancy / Twin Share

Single Supplement: $1,200

Booking Conditions:

Disclaimer: this is a true adventure. While we have ridden parts of this route before, we have never ridden this particular route in its entirety. Detailed terms and conditions are listed on the tour PDF and registration/contract form (both available upon request).


- all transport, including airport pick-up and transfers
- Tibet Travel Permit (TTP)
- private vehicle and driver, plus an excellent English speaking local guide
- Lhasa to Chengdu airfare (per the itinerary)
- all meals, snacks, and bottled water enroute
- all activities and entrance fees enroute (per the itinerary)
- high quality tents (for nights when there is no better alternative)
- bicycle repair stand and basic repair tools


- international airfare
- medical, travel, and trip interruption insurance
- passport and visa fees
- activities not included on the trip itinerary
- alcoholic beverages
- souvenirs, laundry, items of a personal nature
- bicycle
- spare tires and/or parts for your bike (recommended gear list available
at your request)
- sleeping bag (for nights when there is no better alternative)
- energy bars & gels, electrolyte mixes, and other commercial sources of high energy


Pre-trip or post-trip add-ons available to this tour:
* Travel to Everest Base Camp at the conclusion of your tour in Lhasa.
* Visit the Giant Panda Research and Breeding Centre in Chengdu.

Report an Error


Write a Review

Overall Rating
  • 0 Reviews

Write a Review