Code: BC-LH01

World Roof Qinghai-Tibet

Tour itinerary: 9 days of Golmod - Thanglha Mountain - Toudaoban - Amdo - Dangxiong - Namtso Lake - Yangpachen - Lhasa
Overview: The Qinghai - Tibet highway stretches about 1160 km, with an average altitude of 4500m, boasting as the highest high way of the 5 main roads into Tibet. It is always regarded as "the Suez Canal on the World Roof". Cycling will be through major mountain passes of the Kunlun Mountain, Thanglha Mountain (which divides the Qinghai-Tibet border), Nyenchen Thanglha Mountain, the salt-rich Qaidam Basin (one of the largest inland basin in China), the vast steppes of KeKeXiLi nature reserve, and the prairie of Wutang Grassland. Other highlights include the source of the Yangtze River, sunset at ChuMaEr River and Namtso Lake. The Qinghai -Tibet route is relatively safe and technically easier, compared to the other routes. As such, it is ideal for novice cyclists. Accomodation is both a combination of hotels, guesthousees & outdoor camping. Tents will be provided for outdoor camping. For the first part from Golmod to Thanglha Mountain, you can refer to the Qinghai Bicycle itinerary.
On the first day, it will be a transition day, from Qinghai to Tibet. You might cycle from Totohe town to Yanshiping for 90 kilometers on the last day and take a good rest, as today is really a strenuous day to surmount Thanglha Mountain Pass (which divides the Qinghai - Tibet border).
There are approximately 122 kilometers from Yanshiping to Toudaoban, and you will come across numerous up slopes after leaving Yanshiping, then go though the old hot spring and arrive in the new hot spring, which is also the Thanglha military depot (the 3296 KM of Qinghai – Tibet Highway). There is still 47 kilometers from the Pass, also as the starting point of the uphill path. As you reach the Thanglha Mountain (5231m), you have come to the nearest place to feel heaven on this route. When you surmount the Thanglha Mountain, you come to the prairie of Wutang Grassland in Tibet.
After 10 kilometers downgrading path from Thanglha Mountain, you will get to today's camp place – Toudaoban. If is renowned as the first Highway Keeper's House, because it stands on the altitude of 5100 meters, which is the highest in the world. You can ask for a lodge in the first Highway Keeper's House.
On the second day, starting from Toudaoban, a 20 kilometers uphill path will follow a short downhill trail and you will reach Tuojiugaila Pass, also named as small Thanglha Pass. A spiral downgrading path twists in the huge valley and the slopes are all precipitous, which are rare in the Qinghai - Tibet route, thus you need to be particularly prudent and cautious with your cycling speed. When you come to the bottom of the valley, you will proceed towards the road along the river. More and more Tibet villages are dotted on the way; an even and complanate road leads you to Amdo County. You can have a complete relax in the local hostel to refresh yourself after several arduous cycling days.
On the third day, it is another tough day, as you will get over the last barrier towards Lhasa and also the most dangerous one – Shengeligong Mountain (4880m), in the south of the county. Launching from the Amdo County, go across a part of fluviomarine area and some grassland, you will get to the foot of Shengeligong Mountain. Although the uphill path is only 7 kilometers due to the tough gradient, you need to push your bicycle step by step rather than cycle on this mountain. Reaching the summit of this mountain does not mean the initial point of the downgrading path, plenty of up and down hills still block on the way to test your will and energy for about 50 kilometers. Another 70 kilometers will lead you to Nakchu, which the altitude has reached 4500 meters. For the room and board, you can stay in the local hostel and taste some good food in the restaurant. Nakchu Restaurant is a good choice for its economical price and goluptious food.
Tip: As continuous cycling will make your muscular fatigue, and the third day's route might be too lengthy and laborious. If your time is sufficient, you can also divide the above route into two days, and stay overnight in the Erdaohe military depot, which is 65 kilometers away from Amdo County, otherwise, you can lodge in the local inhabitant's house.

On the fourth and fifth day, be well-prepared for another two formidable days to cover 164 kilometers and head for Dangxiong. The up and down road will torture your body and spirit. The rewarding thing is the surrounding special scenery such as the cerulean sky, a carpet of green grass, scattered beautiful ornamental design tents, all the unique North Tibet sights will drive your fatigue out and make you relaxed and joyful.
You can stay in the highway keeper's house on the fourth night and lodge in the Dangxiong County on the fifth night. You can also divided the above two days' route to three days and appreciate the paradise at ease.
On the sixth and seventh day, you are suggested to relax yourself and visit the Holy Namtso Lake (4718m). Namtso Lake is located between Dangxiong County and Bange County, renowned as one of the three Holy Lakes in Tibetan Buddhism.
As the path towards Namtso is bumpy and jolty, you had better rent a jeep there rather than ride your precious bicycle. If you insist in, you must well- prepared in case your bicycle falls apart.

On the eighth day, head for Yangpachen by 75 kilometers' cycling. The trail is dotted with green grass and swift current, and the main summit of Nyenchen Thanglha Mountain stands is at the far distance, which looks towering and saintly. You might reach Yangpachen at around 4:00 pm or 5:00 pm. As Yangpachen is famous for its geothermic hot spring, you might have a bath there. The Yangpachen military depot or Dere Rest House can be good place for accommodation.
On the ninth day, you will see a sign with "Welcome you to Lhasa!" which means the terminal of this strenuous Qinghai - Tibet cycling tour. The route from Yangpachen to Lhasa is mainly composed of down slope, as it is new-repaired recently, most of that is even and plain. But you need to check the brake of your bicycle and control the speed as there are still many twists on the way. Go though the sign with “Welcome you to Lhasa!” in the west suburban, you will reach Lhasa finally.