| Biszkek – Song Kul 310 km
We’ll leave Bishkek in the morning and, by the afternoon, we’ll find ourselves at Lake Song Kul. The road is very good with asphalt; the last 50 km is a good gravel road. We’ll stay in yurts at an altitude of 3000 meters. This is one of the best places in Kyrgyzstan – life here flows in the rhythm of nature, which can take many turns in a single day.
| Song Kul
The road after Kashgar quickly rises; we need to spend a few days at higher altitudes in Kyrgyzstan to acclimatize to the high altitude – Song Kul and Tash Rabat are ideal for this. Above 3000 meters, we will already be acclimatized and not suffering. Moreover, in such natural surroundings…
| Road to Tash Rabat about 140 km
There are many passes in Kyrgyzstan; today we will see two that we consider the most beautiful: Moldo Ashuu and MELS. All this on a short stretch from Song Kul to Tash Rabat. This resting place was once a caravan stop on the Silk Road. A beautiful gorge will lead us to a truly charming place.
| To Kashgar 300 km
We will leave in the morning towards the Torugart Pass – the border with China is located there. On the other side, a local guide will be waiting for us, with whom we will spend the next 2 weeks. In the second part of the day, we will descend to China and spend the night in a hotel in Kashgar.
A day without motorcycles. Chinese bureaucracy has its own rules, motorcycle technical inspection… On this day, we will also see what remains of the old Kashgar – after all, this city has been standing here for thousands of years. It was an important place on the Silk Road.
Bureaucracy continues, so today is the Chinese driving test – we promise you will pass. In the afternoon, we’ll continue exploring Kashgar.
| Kashgar—Yecheng—Sanxili 650 km
Off we go: this will be the toughest day of the entire expedition. We will set off before sunrise, facing 650 km through the mountains. We are in China, and there are slightly different rules here – foreigners cannot sleep wherever they want; Sanxili is the first city after Kashgar where foreigners can stay in hotels. Don’t ask us how the cyclists do it. Along the way, we will encounter many police checkpoints – we will need a lot of patience that day. Additionally, we will go higher and higher; this day we have our first 4,000-meter pass and several smaller 3,000-meter ones.
| Sanshili- Duomaxiang 450 km
Another pass, this time close to 5,000 meters, right after breakfast. Then we will pass through Aksai Chin, a wide plateau that China occupied from India in the 1960s. The Indians still cannot come to terms with this and have no border crossings with China. Finally, we will reach Duomaxiang, a small settlement in the middle of nowhere.
| Duomaxiang - Ali 230 km
We will drive along the Bangong Co Lake, known on the Indian side as Pangong Tso. We will drive along the Chinese shore for several kilometers. In the evening, we will arrive to Ali, the capital of Western Tibet.
| Ali - Mt Kailash 280 km
Today, a relatively short route to Kailash, the sacred mountain of Tibetans. With a bit of luck, we will meet pilgrims on this day heading towards this mountain from the most remote parts of Tibet, Nepal, and India. Some have traveled thousands of kilometers to get there. The mountain is 6714 meters high; at its foot are the sources of the Indus and Brahmaputra. It is a sacred mountain for Buddhists and Hindus who believe that the god Shiva lives there. On this day, we will reach Tacheng, the place from which pilgrims depart. From there, we will go to visit the Tarpoche Pagoda and the sacred Lake Manasarovar.
| Mt. Kailash do Saga 490 km
The road to Saga will introduce us to what the Tibetan plateau is like. We will be driving at a very high altitude, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. We will still be on Route 219, but this time along the Nepalese border. Accommodation in Saga will be challenging; we will try to get some rest at an altitude of 4640 meters above sea level.
| Saga - Xigatse 450 km
On the way to Xigatse, we will visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery, founded 600 years ago by the first Dalai Lama. There used to be 4000 monks living here, but today it’s “a bit” less. It is the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, the person responsible for finding the next reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. Xigatse is a large city with several tens of thousands of inhabitants. It’s the final station of the Tibetan railway. We will rest a bit – at an altitude of 3845 meters.
| Xigatse - Lhasa 270 km
Lhasa is one of our main goals. From Xigatse, we will take the 319 road towards it. The entire road is 5476 km long and leads to Shanghai. Lhasa has almost half a million people and remains the main center of Buddhism in Tibet.
A day off, but only from motorcycles. The Potala Palace and the most important Buddhist temples are waiting for us. We’ll stroll around old Lhasa and visit the famous Bharkor market. It’s the best place to buy souvenirs from Tibet.
| Lhasa - Gyangze 280 km
We’ll head towards the highest mountain in the world. We’ll cross the central Tibetan plateau and visit the oldest Tibetan stupa along the way. The road will lead us along the turquoise Yamdrok lake and, finally, after crossing the Karo la pass (5010 m), we’ll reach the valley of the river, along which the road will take us to Gyangze.
| Gyzngze - Dingri - Mt. Everest base camp 440 km
On this day, we will reach the vicinity of the border with Nepal, to Lake Paiku. We expect strong Himalayan winds at the 4500 pass. There will be many bends and views of 8000-meter mountains. We will reach the Rongbuk Monastery by motorcycles, passing through several five-thousand-meter passes on the way. Unfortunately, 20 kilometers before Everest, we will have to switch to an electric bus, which will take us to the Base Camp. Accommodation will be very basic.
| Everest - Gyirong 430 km
In the morning, we hope to delight our eyes with the view of Mt. Everest, and later we should also see Cho Oyu and Shishapangma. In the evening, we will be on the edge of Tibet.
| Entry into Nepal - overnight in Dhunche
We are only 80 km from the border, but the formalities will take half a day. In a moment, another shock, because in Nepal we start driving on the left side of the road. And the road will also be a shock. It’s only 120 kilometers to Kathmandu from the border, but in 2023, we arrived after nightfall. Therefore, we will draw conclusions and stay overnight earlier.
| Road do Katmandu
After so many days at high altitudes, both we and our motorcycles will breathe a little. Nepal is most often associated with mountains, but it is also a real jungle. And for dessert, we have a real urban jungle – Kathmandu, with its traffic, will make an impression on you.
A day of rest. There are seven sites on the UNESCO list here, and hundreds of bars. We promise not to visit all the UNESCO sites or all the bars.
End of the trip. Last souvenirs will be bought in Thamel and in the evening we will fly back to Europe.