Kham Tibet Nomadic Adventure

DestinationsChina
Tour MeetsChengdu, China
Tour EndsChengdu, China
Fly in toChengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU)
Fly out ofChengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU)
Group Size4-16 riders
Minimum Age18 (on scheduled departures)
673kmTotal cycling distance
67kmAvg distance / day
765mAvg climbing / day

Trip Profile

We ride more than 670 kms in 10 cycling days. More impressive is the daily climbing, which averages to 765 metres a day and that most of this riding is almost all at serious altitude – 3000 m+. We will cycle primarily on roads. This tour is best suited for a frequent biker who considers themselves fit and is looking for a challenge and an old world experience. It is the combination of conditions – altitude, weather, topography and overall environment – that makes this tour a challenging course and a test of sustained riding.

We will spend four nights at close to 4,000 metres. Those who are aware of altitude sickness problems, or have health issues, should consult a doctor before joining. We will do all we can to assist you with adjustment to the altitude and are spending the first three days acclimatizing before we even begin cycling. We will also be carrying oxygen canisters with us. Please look for our extensive pre-departure advice on handling altitudes.

To make this tour more comfortable we are staying at hotels for each overnight to ensure you can rest as well as possible. We have found 3-4* quality hotels with hot water, clean rooms and western style bathrooms, a rarity in this remote area of the world.

Remember, all our tours are vehicle supported which allows cyclist the option to get into the van as required.

Biking Conditions: We will cycle on primarily paved roads, though in high altitude conditions of extreme weather, there will be patches where the road has disintegrated and will be potholed or even gravel. There are a few sections of dirt roads. The challenge will be cycling at extreme high altitude and the lack of oxygen at those elevations. This trip is fully supported and weary cyclists can take breaks in the support vehicles if required.

Suitability: This trip is suitable for those with a good level of fitness. The lack of oxygen at the high altitudes we’ll be cycling at as well as the climbs we’ll be doing means that this is a tough trip and you'll enjoy it much more if you have a good level of stamina and fitness. We spend three days acclimatizing before we start cycling and slowly increase our level of activities during those days to prepare you for the passes ahead. We recommend preparing by doing some endurance fitness.

What's Included

  • SpiceRoads jersey
  • Water bottle
  • Support vehicle
  • Guide(s)
  • Meals (as indicated)
  • Accommodation
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Entrance fees

What's Excluded

  • International flights
  • Domestic flights
  • Airport pick up
  • Airport drop off
  • Visa fees
  • Alcohol
  • Tips

Nuts & Bolts

Bikes

Because some people can't imagine going on a trip without their own beloved bicycle, we do not provide them as part of this tour. However, you are able to hire bikes locally for the price listed. The bikes are Giant 2019 ATX 700s and Giant 2019 ATX 600 with 27. 5 wheels, lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27-speed gearing, disc brakes and Shimano components and front suspension. If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is a mountain bike, preferably with front suspension, and that it is in good mechanical order.

Bike Repairs

Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.

Safety

Wearing a helmet is required on all our biking adventures and is non negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.

Guides

You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and if the group is 9 people or more we will add another guide to the tour. All our guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.

The Nitty Gritty

Passports and Visas

China

Passports and Visas

All nationalities are required to possess a valid passport. An entry visa is required to enter the PRC. Most travelers will seek a type L visa, stemming from the Chinese word: luxing (travel). This letter is stamped directly onto the visa. Visas are easily obtainable from most Chinese embassies or consulates abroad and issued within 3 to 5 days from application. Express visas are available for an additional fee. If you are applying for a visa by mail, it can take 3 to 4 weeks for approval. Most nationalities qualify for a 30 day visa which is activated on your first day in China, and must be used within 3 months of its issuance. There are also 60 and 90 day visas available. The 90 day visas where once difficult to get but are now more easily obtainable. A Chinese visa covers virtually the entire country with the exception of some restricted areas and Tibet.

Health

Recommended vaccinations include: Adult diphtheria and tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, Measles, mumps and rubella, Typhoid, Varicella, Influenza, Japanese B encephalitis, Pneumonia, Rabies, and Tuberculosis. If you are arriving from a country infected with Yellow Fever, a certificate is required within six days. Please speak to your doctor for the most up to date information.

Weather

China is a big country with a massive land and the climates is extremely diverse that varies from region to region. The climate of China at the north is mostly subtropical during summer and very cold in winter. Only a few months have an intense raining and often cause flooding at the central and southern part of China. The overall temperature can range from 6°C to 31°C which in some parts of China is freezing as low as -4°C and some region with high temperature that can rise up to 35°C. Therefore it is hard to summarize the climate in general but it is possible to divide into different regions where we tour.

Chengdu, Sichuan This area has a subtropical monsoon climate. It is fairly warm in the winter, dry in the spring, hot in the summer, and rainy in the autumn. The average temperature in January is 5-8 degrees Celsius (41-46 degree Fahrenheit). The average temperature in July is 25-29 degrees Celsius (77-84 degrees Fahrenheit). There are 250 to 300 cloudy and rainy days a year in the plain. The rainy season extends from May through September, and the dry season extends from October through April.

Kham Tibet

The Western Sichuan plateau areas are quite cool and have an average annual temperature of less than 8 degrees Celsius. The climate can be summarized as a late spring, a short summer, a short autumn and a cold winter. The average temperature is 5 degrees below zero in January, 5 to 10 degrees in April, 10 to 15 degrees in June and 5 degrees in October. Spring is from May to June when normally the snow will melt up on the mountain tops. July and August are the rainy season, with the average temperature range from 20 °C (65 °F) and 28 °C (83 °F) during daytime. Autumn comes in early September and winter can come by November.

Yunnan

Weather in Yunnan is considered the warmest part of China compared to other regions where we cycle from Kunming to Shangri-La in this region. An average daily high temperature is only 24°C. The climate is almost moderate but there is still some months with high humidity. Hot season temperature's range is only 22°C to 25°C from March to September, making May and June the hottest. Cold season occurs for the whole year with temperature ranging from only 3°C to highest at only 17°C making January and December the freezing month. Rainy season starts in May and ends in October with an intense raining for June, July and August.

Food

Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Most meals are some variety of traditional Chinese dishes. The staple of any meal in China is either rice or noodles, and most meals will include these. Chinese cuisine is world famous and we make sure our meals allow you to sample as much variety as possible including local specilaties. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.

Drink

Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit and soft drinks are included in the tour price. Beer is freely available everywhere in China, but is NOT included in the price.

Solo Travelers

SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.

Extra Expenses

We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$10, for incidentals.

Money

Renminbi can be exchanged for foreign currency or travelers checks at border crossings, international airports, branches of the Bank of China, tourist hotels and some large department stores. The official rate is given almost everywhere and the exchange charge is standardized, so there is little need to shop around for the best deal. ATMs are common in all sizable towns and cities and you can use Visa, Master Card, Cirrus, Maestro, Plus and American Express (AmEx) to withdraw cash but there is a maximum daily withdrawal amount.

General booking info

Booking

If this is the tour for you here's what you need to do to confirm your place: Read our Booking Conditions

From the tour page click the 'Book Now' link. All departures for this tour will appear, just select the date you'd like to travel. There is a minimum number of participants (usually 2) required to enable the trip to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to Depart'. Once a trip is guaranteed to depart you are free to book your flights and make other travel arrangements. If you are unsure about the trip status, please email us or call our office. For the next steps you'll need to know the names of the people traveling and have either a Visa or a MasterCard. If you wish you can also provide extra details such as passport numbers, height, or you can add that later by logging into Manage My Trip (we'll set up an account for you automatically if you don't already have one). However, if you wish to get a children's discount, please do fill out the date of birth of the riders. If you are having any problems, please send us an email, or give us a call (+66 2 381 7490) and one of our travel specialists will assist you with your booking.

Deposit

For Long Tours (7 days or more) to guarantee your place we require a 30% or 500 USD deposit, whichever is the greater. For Short Tours (6 days or less) we require full payment to guarantee your place. We also require that you take out travel insurance when you book your holiday. Besides covering you during your holiday it will also enable you to claim for any money that you have paid to us, including your deposit, should you have to cancel your trip.

Balance

Full payment must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights. Our confirmation will include personal details you provided us (including your flight information), visa application advice, a packing suggestion list and a detailed tour itinerary. It will also include a checklist to ensure you get everything ready for your holiday.

Cancellation Policy

On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions. If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to when you cancel. For full details, please read our cancellation policy.

Loyalty Riders Club

For those who have been on several long tours with us we reward customer loyalty by offering repeat customers a special discount off the tour price (excludes single supplement and bike rental). If this is your fourth scheduled tour or more you will receive a 5% discount. If this is your eighth scheduled tour or more we will extend a 10% discount. The discount will be reflected in your online booking, but please contact us if any questions. Loyalty discounts can not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Note: Only tours of 7 days or more will be applicable for loyalty discount.

International Flights

International flights, to and from the start and finish points are not included in the tour price. Once your tour is Guaranteed to Depart you can book your flight. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times. We would only cancel a trip for an extreme circumstance, but in that case, where we cancel your trip, we cannot be liable for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made. Please claim any losses from your travel insurance that you acquired when you booked your holiday.

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