The Silk Road
China Motorcycle Tour
Xining Airport departure
The Silk Road – ride your motorcycle and travel hundreds of miles along this unique historic route.
Kashgar – the pearl of the Silk Route, an amazing city where Central Asia merges with China, where Uighurs, Uzbeks, Han, Mongolian and Kyrgyz come together to create a unique atmosphere.
The Taklamakan Desert – riding on the old off-road tracks, over the huge sand dunes of Asia’s wildest desert
The Great Wall of China – an icon for the Chinese nation and culture
Gobi Desert – the fifth largest desert in the world.
Day by day itinerary
DAY 1, Xining
Welcome to Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province. You will be transferred to the Hotel. Briefing and accommodation in Qinghai Huitong Hotel, 4*.
DAY 2, Xining
Formalities to obtain the Chinese driver’s license. Take some time to explore the city of Xining. You can admire The North Mountain Temple, a Taoist facility and the Dongguan Mosque. Its beautiful towers, walls and halls make Dongguan Monastery one of the most famousmosques in the northwest region of China.
DAY 3, Xining – Zhangye
A great ride today! The road runs through the town and a stretch of 23 km highway before
starting with the first mountain pass of 3340 m altitude. At 153 km distance from Xining and
traveling across a dense forest, we will stop to enjoy a picnic lunch. Continue your journey
riding on a road with a surface in not a very good condition, due to the road construction in the
area. Reach the top of the mountain – 3767 m. Da Ban Mountain Sightseeing Point will
reward you with incredible views. The largest rapeseed blossom all over the world can be
enjoyed in China from the end of June till the beginning of August. Spend the night in
Zhangye, an important section of the Silk Road. In The Travels of Marco Polo, Marco Polo
described how he spent a year in a city called Campichu, which was identified as Zhangye.
Breakfast: 8:00/ Departure Time: 9:00/ Lunch: 12:30 (Picnic)/ Arrive Time: 18:30
DAY 4, Zhangye - Jiayuguan (252 km)
The day’s journey runs through the Gobi Desert – the fifth largest desert in the world. The first part of the ride will reveal a great oasis, partly artificial, relying on groundwaters. Follow the road and enter in a complete desert area up to your final destination – the highlight of the day – The Great Wall of China in Jiayuguan. Running through much of the territory of the Han Empire – about 6700 kilometers in length, the Great Wall of China was built to protect the northern tribes. Sprinkled with several forts to house the troops, Jiayuguan is in perfect condition. Considered as one of the eight wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China represents an icon for the Chinese nation and culture.
Breakfast: 8:00/ Departure Time: 9:00/ Lunch: Restaurant/ Arrive Time: 12:30
DAY 5, Jiayuguan - Dunhuang (450 km)
Prepare for a long ride today to Dunghuang, the city of sands – a major stop on the ancient Silk Road.The actual distance between Jiangyuguan and Dunhuang is 383 km. 200 Km are for a poor road, trail off road easy. and 183 by perfect paved road.Depending on each group, we can choose to take another adventure road. An interesting andchallenging ride – a spectacular off road section will reward you with the feeling of freedomand beautiful sceneries such as a wild canyon crossed by a river and, if we are lucky – herds of camels.
Breakfast: 7:30/ Departure Time: 8:30/ Lunch: Picnic
Arrive Time: 19:00
DAY 6, Dunhuang (rest day)
In the morning visit the dunes of Dunghuang and enjoy special activities such as camel riding,
quad biking, 4x4 rides and even ultra light aircrafts. After lunch you can adventure in the mountain of San Wei or visit the Mogao Caves. Also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, The Mogao Caves contain some of the finest examples of Buddhist art in the world. Every since the monks opened the first cave in Mogao, San Wei Mountain has become an important religious centre. The Silk-road Dunhuang Hotel is the place we always choose for accommodation during our stay in Dunhuang.
DAY 7, Dunhuang - Hami (436 km)
Ride to Hami, the place housing the Tomb of the Hami King. Generally speaking, the road condition for today is quite good. Once we enter Xinjiang Province the road will be sprinkled with small salt lakes.
Breakfast: 8:00/ Departure Time: 9:00/ Lunch: 12:30（Picnic）/ Arrive Time: 19:00
DAY 8, Hami - Turfan (404 km)
We’ll ride today trough rocky mountains and great canyons. Turfan has been the centre of a fertile oasis and an important trade centre. It was historically located along the northern route of the Silk Road. Turfan Depression is the second lowest exposed point on the Earth's surface, after the Dead Sea, lying at 154.50m under the sea level. The plain area is one of the windiest
areas in China – a normal drive in heavy wind condition; sometimes the wind will reach class 9 or even 10.
Breakfast: 8:00/ Departure Time: 9:00/ Lunch: 13:00 (Restaurant)/ Arrive Time: 16:00
DAY 9, Turfan (rest day)
The Flaming Mountains region is the hottest place all over China and you can see it on the right side on the way to Turfan. Jiaohe Ruins are located near the city of Turfan and they belong to an ancient city that used to be the economic, political, military and cultural centre of the area. How do the local Uigurs get their precious water? KAREZ – the total 5400 km long Karez in Xinjiang area is one of the biggest underground irrigation works all over the world. A survey of the Imin Minaret, a memory of the friendship between the Uigurs and The Han, has been built in 1771. Blocked with a strong Uygur style brick tower, it’s has the unique architectural style know as the “domestic only”.
DAY 10, Turfan - Korla (430 km)
Continue your journey with Korla. Known for its fragrant pears, Korla is a charming city situated at the gates of the Taklamakan Desert. In Korla, the adventurers used to stop for supplies before crossing into the terrible desert of Taklamakan. The name of the desert means – if you enter you shall never return. The city had an important role – it dominated the northern part of the Silk Road and provided significant protection to the merchants. The northern tribes used to attack the caravans in order tosteal the precious products such as salt, timber, spices
and silk. Breakfast: 8:00/ Departure Time: 9:00/
Lunch: 13:00 (Restaurant)/ Arrive Time: 19:00
DAY 11, Korla - Ruoqiang (444 km)
Today you will cross the desert of if you enter you shall never return – The Taklamakan; so ride safe. We will cross the western part of the desert using the G218 desert road. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the middle of the desert and ride to Ruoqiang. Ruoqiang Town was used by notable explorers as alaunching point to the Lop Nor archaeological sites, located 200 km the northeast. Accommodation in Ruoqiang. Breakfast: 8:00/ Departure Time: 9:00/ Lunch: 13:00（Picnic)/ Arrive Time: 18:30
DAY 12, Ruoqiang - Huatugou (350km)
Today will be another exciting day! We will leave Xinjiang province to Qinghai Province by crossing A-erh-chin Mountains. A-erh-chin Mountains, with average of 3000m – 4000m altitude are separating the eastern Tarim Basin from the Tibetan Plateau, offering incredible rides and breathtaking sceneries. The Asbestos Mine, the biggest asbestos mine all over China, locates the boundary between Xinjiang and Qinghai Province. Once we cross the A-esh-chin Mountains, the wide land of Salt Lakes opens its self to us. Breakfast: 8:00/ Departure Time: 9:00/ Lunch: 13:00（Picnic)/ Arrive Time: 18:30
DAY 13, Huatugou - Golmud (487 km)
Situated near a small salty lake the town of Huatugou is mostly a small oil drilling town. Leave Huatugou behind and continue your journey with Golmud. Besides the Gobi view, on the road to Golmud we will cross the west Chai Da Mu Basin, reach in natural resources.
Breakfast: 8:00/ Departure Time: 9:00/ Lunch: 13:00（Picnic)/ Arrive Time: 17:00
DAY 14, Golmud - Dulan (290 km)
A very relaxing day – riding on good paved roads. Still you will need to pay attention on the speed because there are always police controls on the road. Reach Dulan, where more than 1,000 Tubo tombs have been found, proving that the area served as an important relay point on the Qinghai route. Researchers have discovered leather shoes, Tibetan wooden manuscripts, painted or wooden-carved animals.
Breakfast: 8:30/ Departure Time: 9:30/ Lunch: 13:00（Picnic)/ Arrive Time: 15:00
Day 15, Dulan - Xining (428km)
Ride challenging mountain routs on the way to Xining – the capital of Quinghai province. The place is inhabited by many ethnic groups – the Han, Hui, Tu, and of course Tibetans. We will stop on the way to Xining to visit Qinghai Lake, the most famous lake of Qinghai province and the largest inland and salt water lake in China. Accommodation in Xining.
Breakfast: 8:00/ Departure Time: 9:00/ Lunch: 12:00 (Picnic)/ Arrive Time: 19:00
Day 16, Xining
With a lot of memories say good bye to the Silk Road. Transfer to Xining Airport for the return flight.
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Prices & Departure
Departure date: On request
Single room supplement
Price is based on two people sharing a double room.
*price in £ and $ for guidance only, all payments will be taken in €.
** Minimum group for departure – 6 motorbikes
Services of an English speaking guide and Chinese assistance, Health and repatriation insurance, Chinese driver’s license, permits
Accommodation: 1 night in a 5* Hotel, 9 nights in 4* hotels and 4 nights in 3* hotels.
Transportation: transfers from/to Airport, motorcycle rental, gasoline
Meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners.
Not included: flights, airport taxes, visa fees, alcoholic drinks, personal equipment.
The tourist attractions are mentioned as recommendations only and are not included in the price.
Special notes and info
Uighurs, Uzbeks, Mongols, Kirgis, Han, Chinese….. The ethnic groups in Western China are friendly towards all those crossing these lands. Dunes, rocks, mountains, ancient cities, mosques, pagodas and monasteries.... endless roads and tracks – this is the Silk Road.
The rides will take between 6 and 10 hours/day on bikes.
This route can be completed on a motorcycle with passenger.
Support car available as alternative travel option for the pillion for off-road stretches.
Please bring your own protective gear: helmet, riding boots, jacket, gloves, etc.
A cash deposit of € 1500 will be required for bike damage security or loss of accessories. The amount will be refunded at the end of the programme should the bike be returned on time, undamaged and with a full fuel tank.
Please note that the insurance does not cover damages made on the equipment (suitcases, top case and navigation).
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We accept MasterCard and Visa on our on-line secure internet payment form, MasterCard, Visa, JCB, Diners Club and American Express via fax and phone.
We also accept payments via PayPal (by credit card, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or PayPal account), by Moneybookers, bank transfer and Western Union.
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… and to all thinking about this trip. GO, it was brilliant last year. The organizers made a real effort to make us welcome and provide a good tour and they didn't disappoint.
Mark Preston, UK
Suari Bartrès, group leader
A motorcycles lover, an off road riding monitor on BMW’s motorcycles and a passionate traveler in all of Europe and Africa. He will travel from Barcelona (Spain) to Xinning, the capital of the Qinghai province in order to ride his bike, in any corner of China, guiding motorcycle tours.
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Explanation: Items marked in the tours as Tips represent our suggestion for a special activity or event particular for an area, that you shouldn’t miss, arranged with individual accounts. Items marked in the tours as Optional are available at a small extra cost but not included because it will not appeal to everyone. Items marked in the tours as Module are available only if the entire group chooses them, arranged with individual accounts.