Tibet - Mountain Biking to Tibet



One of the most strenuous bike trips in the world with six 5000 meter plus passes.

Spectacular scenery, challenging riding and encounters with one of the world's most fascinating cultures make this a truly incredible experience.

Itinerary:

Days 1-2 : Flying into Kathmandu is an unforgettable experience with the Himalaya spread out before you. You will be met at the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel. In the morning of day 2 a half-day city tour will introduce you to some of the highlights of Kathmandu.

Days 4-6 : With a relaxed pace to allow for the effects of altitude, explore this fantastic city on the roof of the world. The spiritual heart of Tibet is the Jokhang Temple and every morning is full of life as pilgrims bring offerings of butter and barley flour. The Potala Palace rises above the city and, more than any other sight, symbolizes the history and culture of Tibet. Nearby are the huge monastic universities of Drepung and Sera – still active institutions.

Days 7-10 : Long, tough yet scenic days lead across the Khamba La and Kora La (passes), along the shores of Lake Yamdrok Tso to Gyantse. Once an important trading town, Gyantse retains a feel of ‘old' Tibet.

Days 11-12 : In the morning visit Gyantse's monastery – Pelkor Choede – and the justifiably famous Kumbum, within the same complex. There may also be time to visit the dzong (fort) that towers above the town. In the afternoon we ride along the valley to Shigatse. Tashilhunpo is the seat of the Panchen Lama, second only in importance to the Dalai Lama. Its numerous halls contain a 21.6-meter wooden statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha and elaborate, jewel encrusted reliquary chorten. The afternoon is free to explore the old market, or perhaps visit the carpet factory where hand-woven carpets are made to traditional designs.

Day 13-14 : Two days take you across the Yulung La (4950m) and the highest pass of the trip, the 5220-meter Gyatso-La to Xegar.

Day 15-17 : Turn off the Friendship Highway for a stunning ride through Qomolangma Nature Preserve to the top of the 5200m Pang-La (pass) for a superb panoramic view from Manaklu to Shishapangma. Then its a downhill stretch to Tashidzom. As we climb barley fields give way to barren valleys of glacial debris. Finally reach the tiny Rhongphu Gompa at 5000m. The view from here is utterly spectacular! It is then 7 kilometers to Base Camp at 5200m.

Days 18-19 : Heading back to the Friendship Highway and on to Lao Tingri for a last glimpse of the great mountain.

Days 20-21 : Another two high passes give a last, spectacular view of the Himalaya before we leave the Tibetan Plateau, descending to Zhangmu – on the China-Nepal border.

Day 23 : Completing border formalities the ride back to Kathmandu continues down the Bote Koshi valley.

Day 24 : Departure
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