6 Days Bicycle Tour from Lijiang to Shangri-La

Route: Lijiang  Tiger Leaping Gorge  Shangri-La  Dukezong Ancient Town  Songzanlin Monastery  Potatso National Park  Lijiang
Day 1 Lijiang Old Town to Tiger Leaping Gorge
Cycling Distance: 102 km (63 mi)
Time: 9 to 10 hours

This is a challenging day, so you’d better get up early in the morning and start to ride before 7:00. Make sure your phone has a full battery and a good internet connection. Check your mobile map navigation function, and then follow the guided route to start. First, cycle about 4.5 hours from Lijiang Old Town to the First Bend of the Yangtze River, which is 50 km (31 mi) west. On the sightseeing platform, you can see the roaring torrents in a big V-shape bend.

Opening Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: 0.5 to 1 hour
Ticket Price: Free

After lunch, continue to ride your bike for another 4.5 hours to the final destination of today, the Tiger Leaping Gorge. You are recommended to stay overnight near the Upper Gorge.

Day 2 Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tour
A hike along the Tiger Leaping Gorge is highly recommended, which is the most popular destination among Lijiang's outdoor sports lovers.

Total Length of Tiger Leaping Gorge: 23 km (14.3 mi)
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: 1 to 2 days
Ticket Price: CNY 45 for entry from Shangri-La; CNY 65 for entry from Lijiang

One day is not enough for you to hike the whole gorge. You can visit the Upper Gorge in the morning, and try a simple hike in the Middle Gorge. Please refer to the detailed route and plan in our Lijiang Day Trip to Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Day 3 Tiger Leaping Gorge to Shangri-La
Cycling Distance: 105 km (65 mi)
Time: 9 to 10 hours

You need to set off early this morning. On the long journey to Shangri-La, you can find a proper place to have lunch, and then arrive in the Xiaozhongdian Flower Sea in the afternoon. It is 80 km (50 mi) from the Tiger Leaping Gorge, and needs a 7-hour bike ride. This is a lush alpine meadow, free of charge. From late May to mid-June, it flourishes with colorful azaleas, Stellera chamaejasmes, and galsang flowers in full bloom; while in September and October, it turns into a sea of flaming Stellera chamaejasmes.

Have a rest here, and then continue to ride about 2.5 hours to reach today’s destination, Shangri-La. You are recommended to stay overnight in the Dukezong Ancient Town of Shangri-La.

Day 4 Shangri-La Cycling Tour
Cycling Distance: 10 km (6 mi)
Time: 1 hour

This a relaxed sightseeing day. Take a morning walk to tour the Dukezong Ancient Town.
Opening Hours: All day long
Recommended Time for a Visit: 2 to 3 hours
Ticket Price: Free

Once the hub of the Ancient Tea-horse Road, it retains the largest and best preserved Tibetan residential complex in China. Walk to the Moonlight Square in the center of the town to see the huge golden prayer wheel. To the east of the square is the Guishan Park, where you can visit the Big Buddhist Temple and several museums. Climbing up the hill in the park, you can overlook the panoramic view of Shangri-La City, and the continuous snow mountains in the distance.

In the afternoon, ride your bike north for about 25 minutes to the Songzanlin Monastery.
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: 2 to 3 hours
Ticket Price: CNY 90

As the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Yunnan Province and the center of Shamanism in Sichuan-Yunnan region, Songzanlin Monastery plays an important role in the whole Tibetan area and is honored as the ‘Little Potala Palace’. With exquisite architecture like an ancient castle, and many religious artifacts and precious cultural relics inside, the monastery is known as the ‘Museum of Tibetan Art’.

Cycle back to Shangri-La. You can still spend the night in the Dukezong Ancient Town or anywhere you like in Shangri-La.

Day 5 Cycling to Potatso National Park
Cycling Distance: 50 km (31 mi)
Time: 5 hours

The destination of today is the Potatso National Park which is 25 km (16 mi) east of downtown Shangri-La. Cycle 2 to 2.5 hours to get there and enjoy the picturesque scenery.
Opening Hours: 8:30 – 16:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: 3 to 5 hours
Ticket Price: CNY 80

Composed of the Bita Lake, Shudu Lake, and Militangya Alpine Pasture, Potatso National Park is a paradise for photography lovers, with well-preserved ecological environment. Once there, you can enjoy the alpine landscape, including the lakes, wetlands, river valleys, forests, meadows, and rare plants and animals. You can finish the tour at 15:30 or 16:00, and then cycle back to downtown Shangri-La.

Day 6 Get Back to Lijiang
On the last day, you are recommended to take a bus back to Lijiang and check your bike with it.

Bus Hours: 8:00-18:00
Frequency: every 30 to 120 minutes
Distance: 176 km (109 mi)
Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours
Fare: CNY 75

If you have enough time and energy and want to ride back, it will take 2 to 3 days.
Recommended Cycling Route: Shangri-La  Potatso National Park  White Water Terraces  Haba Snow Mountains  Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge  Jade Dragon Snow Mountain  Lijiang Old Town

It is suggested to cycle from Shangri-La to Potatso and then the White Water Terraces to rest for a night. This section of 98 km (61 mi) will take 9 to 10 hours by bike. The rest of the journey, from the White Water Terraces to Lijiang, is 140 km (87 mi), requiring at least 13 hours. You'd better cut this journey into two sections. Stay in Daju Village near the Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge for a night, and ride back to Lijiang on the last day.