11 days / 10 nights Western China Motorbike Adventure
– Explore Sichuan on this 250cc motorbike tour;
– Gain an insight into local Tibetan families’ way of life, their customs and culture;
– Visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Huanglong and Jiuzhaigou Valley;
– Contribute to the survival of endangered Chinese animals with your visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
MOUNTAIN & GRASSLAND MOTORBIKE TOUR
This tour will lead you to rural parts of Sichuan province, its grasslands, marshes, mountains and lakes and is specially designed for people, who want to explore this remote and unspoiled region by motorbike to get away from the cities hustle and bustle.
– Best travel date: June, July, August (rainy season in July and August); other dates also possible upon request;
– Destinations: Chengdu, Songpan, Huanglong, Zoige, Langmu, Tangke, Jiuzhaigou Valley, Nanping, Wanglang, Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding;
– Duration: 11 days;
– Starting in: Chengdu;
– Ending in: Chengdu;
– Group size: minimum 2 people, maximum 15 people.
Sichuan: The province of Sichuan lies in central-western China and is one of the country’s major industrial bases. The territory of the province and its vicinity were the cradle of unique local civilizations, which can be dated to at least 15th century BC. The area lies in the Sichuan basin and is surrounded by the Himalaya to the west, Qinling range to the north, and mountainous areas of Yunnan to the south. The Yangtze River flows through the basin and thus is upstream to areas of eastern China.
The Minjiang River in central Sichuan is a tributary of the upper Yangtze River, which it joins at Yibin.
The majority of the population is Han Chinese, who are found scattered throughout the province. Significant minorities of Tibetans, Yi, Qiang and Naxi reside in the western portion, which is a part of historic Tibet’s Kham region.
DAY 1. CHENGDU (D)
Upon arrival, we will pick you up at the airport and take you to to the “Sichuan Hotel” (4*). In the hotel your guide will brief you on the program of the days ahead and we will make final preparations for the trip.
The capital of Sichuan – Chengdu – is located in southwest China. It is the fifth most populous city in China and also one of the country’s most important transportation and communication hubs. More than four thousand years ago, the prehistorical Bronze Age culture of Jinsha established itself in this region. The fertile Chengdu Plain, on which Chengdu is located, is called “Tianfu Zhi Guo” in Chinese, which means “the Heavenly Country”.
DAY 2. CHENGDU – SONGPAN (B/L/D)
After breakfast we transfer from Chengdu to the ancient town of Songpan by bus. En route we will traverse the cities of Dujiangyan and Wenchuan and stay overnight at the “Songpan Hotel”.
Songpan is located at an altitude of more than 3000m. It was originally built during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) and rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). Songpan used to be one of the important battle grounds and also an important hub for horse and tea trade.
DAY 3. SONGPAN – HUANGLONG: 69KM (B/L/D)
In the morning we check the motorbikes and then start our bike tour driving from Songpan to Huanglong Valley via Chuanzhusi.
The Huanglong Valley is situated in the north-west of Sichuan Province. It is made up of snow-capped peaks, waterfalls, hot springs, spectacular limestone formations, diverse forest ecosystems and the easternmost of all the Chinese glaciers. The area also boasts a population of endangered animals, including the Giant Panda and the Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey. Huanglong was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992.
You can go sightseeing or do some hiking in the valley. In the evening we drive back to Chuanzhusi and stay overnight at the “Huanglong Hotel”. Although the road conditions are good, we will meet some traffic.
DAY 4. HUANGLONG – ZOIGE: 141KM (B/L/D)
Today we drive through Ganhaizi Nature Reserve to Zoige County and stay overnight at “Zoige Hotel”. The town of Zoige (also called Roige or Ruoergai in Chinese) sits in the center of the Zoige Plateau, a high marshy plain that serves as breeding ground for many bird species. As we will be driving on unpaved roads, we will not encounter a lot of traffic.
DAY 5. ZOIGE – LANGMU: 112KM (B/L/D)
After breakfast we ride our bikes to the ancient town of Langmu via Axi Pasture, Wanmu Grassland and Mona Village. We will also explore the uninhabited Flower Lake region, where you can drive at top speed.
The small town of Langmu basically comprises a group of Tibetan monasteries around a valley. They are the Langmu Monastery. Langmu means fairy in Tibetan. The monastery has this name because inside the cave is a rock bearing the resemblance of a beautiful young lady, believed to be the transformation of a fairy.
Again, we will not encounter much traffic as we will mostly be driving on unpaved roads. We stay overnight at a basic but clean guesthouse in Langmu.
DAY 6. LANGMU – TANGKE: 136KM (B/L/D)
We drive from Langmu through Zoige Grassland to Tangke. The drive is at an altitude of 3400m to 3900m, in fact one of the world’s highest altitude peat lands. Tangke is on the banks of the Yellow River. On the way there you can visit a Tibetan herdsman’s family to taste fresh milk, cheese and butter tea. We will lodge in a small guesthouse in Tangke.
We will meet very little traffic today. If you want to drive at great speed, you will get the chance to leave the main road from time to time and explore the marshes. These marshes consist of approximately 10’000 km² of peat bogs, sedge marshes, lakes and wet grasslands, interspersed with low hills and drier grasslands. Tibetan people live in this area, they are almost exclusively pastoralists with vast herds of horses, sheep, yaks and goats.
DAY 7. TANGKE – HUANGLONG: 167KM (B/L/D)
From Tangke, we make our way back to Huanglong via Waqie, Sedi and Huangsheng and stay overnight at the “Huanglong Hotel”. Enjoy the beauty of nature around Jiuqu (Nine-Bend) Yellow River. We will encounter little traffic.
DAY 8. HUANGLONG – JIUZHAIGOU VALLEY – NANPING: 71KM (B/L/D)
Toady we drive to the Jiuzhaigou (lit. “Valley of Nine Villages”) Nature Reserve, where you get the opportunity to take a hike in this jagged valley stretching over 720 km². It reaches a height of more than 4,800m, thus comprising a series of diverse forest ecosystems and is particularly interesting for their narrow conic karst land forms and spectacular waterfalls.
Some 140 bird species inhabit the valley, and it boasts a number of endangered plant and animal species, including the Great Panda and the Sichuan takin. Afterwards we drive to Nanping County via White River and stay overnight at the “Nanping Hotel”.
DAY 9. NANPING – WANGLANG: 50KM (B/L/D)
From Nanping we drive to Wanglang Town. After check-in at the “Wanglang Hotel” we ride to “White Horse Tibetan Village”, where you can visit a Tibetan family, have lunch in their house and gain an insight into their customs and culture.
DAY 10. WANGLANG – CHENGDU – GIANT PANDA BREEDING STATION (B/L/D)
We leave for Chengdu by bus via Jiangyou and Mianyang. Hiddenchina.net works in close cooperation with the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding. With your visit you can contribute to the survival of this endangered species. We provide the opportunity to get to know the pandas under the guidance of an experienced keeper, feed the animals, and help perform a keeper’s daily tasks. Furthermore we provide access to the laboratories under the guidance of experienced scientists. During one day you will gain an insight into current research, for example, an understanding of breeding and artificial insemination (AI) and its problems and successes.
The Research Base was founded in 1987. It has recently become a high profile tourist attraction and endangered species research and conservation facility, attracting visitors and scientists from around the world. Leaders of the Central Government, Provincial Government, and Municipal Government, as well as foreign parties, have contributed to building the 370’000 m² facility, which includes research buildings, laboratories, veterinary facilities, a nursery, a welcome center, a giant panda museum, and naturalistic enclosures for giant pandas, red pandas and black-necked cranes.
With an active research program and plans to expand to 2 km², the Research Base represents China’s highest goals for environmental protection, conservation, and wildlife management. Its mission is the preservation of endangered indigenous Chinese wildlife through research, conservation, and education. The animals at the Research Base live in large naturalistic habitats, which help visitors understand how these animals live in the wild. Many types of bamboo, trees, and flowers thrive at the Research Base, creating a feeling of immersion into a natural landscape.
You will stay overnight at the “Sichuan Hotel” (4*).
DAY 11. CHENGDU (B)
According to your flight schedule, we will arrange a sightseeing program in Chengdu City. Transfer to the airport for your flight home. End of trip.
Contact us per mail for a tailor-made itinerary and cost details and options of Western China Motorbike Adventure.