Bike Tour to Holy Mountain
Bike Tour to Holy Mountain

Bike to Amnye Machen Mountain Tour

12 days

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Escape into high mountain roads in Qinghai Province on this 12-day bike tour

Deep in central China, you will find unexpectedly stunning topography of red rock mountains, snowy peaks, and undulating highways. This 12-day mountain bike tour will take you across about 500 km of impressive terrain for a journey you’ll never forget.

As you cycle across Qinghai Province, you’ll notice a blend of cultures and inhabitants, most of whom practice Tibetan Buddhism. It’s a very spiritual area, and on the crux of this tour, you will camp for two nights at the base of the holy Amnye Machen Mountain.

Each day of this tour includes high mountain passes and unprecedented views of these remote and wild places. If you’re interested in this tour, make sure you are physically prepared to ride your bike for up to 90 km per day on challenging roads. The rewards will be worth the effort, but you want to enjoy the effort without risking injury.

Take the roads less traveled in this unique part of China. A tour like this will leave you nothing short of spellbound—the region is so spectacular and its people so welcoming and hospitable. Ride on!

Highlights of the Bike to Amnye Machen Mountain Tour

Traverse several high mountains passes by bike with unbelievable views of 6000-metre peaks.
Visit remote monasteries devoted to different sects of Tibetan Buddhism.
Explore Qinghai Lake, the largest saltwater lake in China.
Venture into the depths of red mountain canyons, snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and other wild landscapes.

Prices

From $950USD
12 days
Difficulty
Guided
Hotels, Camping, Guesthouses
  • No Booking or Credit Card Fees
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Bike Tour to Holy Mountain

Bike to Amnye Machen Mountain Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Xining

Welcome to Qinghai Province, China! Your guide will meet you at the airport or railway station and accompany you to the hotel. Explore Xining at your leisure before settling into the hotel to sleep.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Xining
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 2 Visit Kumbum Monastery

After breakfast, the group will venture out to visit an ancient Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Huangzhong county. The multistory gompa will astound you with its intricate architecture and spiritual atmosphere. Fun fact: the 14th Dalai Lama was born in this monastery. Many monks continue to worship here to this day. Spend the night in Xining and prepare to bike tomorrow with a good night’s sleep.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Xining
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Bike Over Lajishan Pass + Yellow River

Time to get on the bikes! Make sure you fuel up on breakfast because you start the day with a climb over Lajishan Pass at 3,820 m / 12,533 ft. This biking route takes you through otherworldly landscapes of red rock mountains and snowy peaks. Once you’re over the pass, the road descends toward the Yellow River, which you’ll follow until reaching Heyin Town for the night.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Heyin Town
Distance: 90 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Cycle to Wangjia Village

Today’s ride will provide a challenge for your legs! After breakfast, you’ll begin climbing about 1,200 m / 3,937 ft of elevation to reach an open plateau with epic views of the red rock mountains in the area. Continue riding on a rolling route until you reach Wangjia Village, a charming remote place nestled in unreal landscapes. You’ll set up camp tonight or sleep in a local guesthouse.
Overnight Location: Guesthouse or Camping
Distance: 80 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Bike to Hebei Village

Start your day by waking up in the mountains and hop on your bike to continue the exploration. You’ll climb some elevation today and come through a mountain pass at 4,000 m / 13,123 ft with sublime views. Finish your ride for the day once you reach Hebei Village to either set up camp or check in to a guesthouse. In this ancient village, you’ll see locals dressed in traditional garb walking on the old stone roads.
Overnight Location: Guesthouse or Camping
Distance: 80 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Ride & Visit Ragya Monastery

Today presents a good challenge! You’ll cycle up high mountain roads that will require a lot of strength, so make sure you eat a hearty breakfast before hitting the road. First, you will ascend to Kemuda Pass at 4,234 m / 13,891 ft, then ride down towards the Ragya Monastery for a visit. The monastics at this site are of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. After a visit and viewing the nearly 500 inhabitants of this monastery, continue cycling through the mountain roads until Lajia Town for the night in a guesthouse or camping.
Overnight Location: Guesthouse or Camping
Distance: 43 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 Bike Heitushan Pass to Maqin

Enjoy breakfast with your group, then prepare for another day riding along gorgeous mountain roads. Today you’ll traverse Heitushan Pass that sits at 4,320 m / 14,173 ft. You’re riding through some very remote locations a week into your bike journey—enjoy the tranquility while it’s available to you! Continue cycling to Maqin where you’ll get a good night’s sleep in a hotel.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Maqin
Distance: 70 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 Ride to Amnye Machen Base Camp

Here’s the day you’ve been working towards: today, you will reach the base of Amnye Machen Mountain. Leaving Maqin behind, you’ll ride over various terrain of gravel, sand, and dirt, and cross over three mountain passes. You’ve already been immersed in such a spiritual place, and the ubiquitous prayer flags around here will maintain that vibe. After a challenging morning of riding, the route suddenly opens up to a jaw-dropping view of Amnye Machen Mountain. This impressive peak is nothing short of holy as it’s a common destination for a pilgrimage. Take a well-earned break in Xueshan Village for a cup of tea, then hop back on the bike to complete the ascent to base camp at 4,440 m / 14,567 ft. Settle into your campsite surrounded by impending snow-capped peaks.
Overnight Location: Camping
Distance: 90 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 Rest Day or Optional Short Ride

After a week of being on your mountain bike, you have earned a rest day. Explore the area near the base camp on foot, find a spot to meditate, chat with your group, or nap in the afternoon. The day is yours! If anyone is keen to keep riding, there’s an optional ascent to a higher mountain pass near the base camp where you’d earn some spectacular panoramic views of the mountain range’s huge peaks. Spend another night under the stars at base camp.
Overnight Location: Camping
Distance: Optional ride: 600 m of ascent, 600 m of descent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 Guozhihejianli Pass

With one rest day in the books, you should feel ready to mount your bike again. This is your last day riding, so enjoy every moment. After breakfast, you will ascend the north side of Amnye Machen Mountain and traverse Guozhihejianli Pass at 4,650 m / 15,256 ft. Once you cross over this pass, start descending, passing by a stunning glacier and ending in Xiadawu. Say goodbye to your trusty mountain bike and rest well knowing that you’ve just ridden over 500 km across Qinghai Province. That’s something to brag about!
Overnight Location: Guesthouse or Camping
Distance: 70 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Dinner

Day 11 Walking Tour of Qinghai Lake

Your last full day of the tour includes a visit to an absolutely stunning lake, Qinghai Lake, the biggest saltwater lake in China. If you haven’t taken enough photos already, this is a superb opportunity. Hills and peaks surround the massive bright blue lake in the distance. You can get some pretty cool perspective shots and reflections here, so take some time to explore before heading to the hotel for the night.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Qinghai Lake
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 Farewell

Have one final breakfast with your group before you pack up and begin your journey home. Once you’re packed, you’ll get a ride to Xining to the airport or railway station to check-in for your flight or train.
Overnight Location: None
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

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Bike to Amnye Machen Mountain Tour Price and Dates

This guided tour in China is always run as a custom tour for your group only and the price always depends on the number of people in your group.

The best time to travel to Qinghai Province for a tour is from June to October.

Prices of Private Guided Bike to Amnye Machen Mountain Tour

Have your own private tour with just your group! Prices below are per person:
Departures from April to June and September to October:

  • Guided Groups of 2: $2,875 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 3: $2,150 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 4: $1,750 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 5: $1,495 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 6: $1,350 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 7: $1,195 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 8: $1,095 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 9: $1,095 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 10+: $950 USD per person

Departures in July & August:

  • Guided Groups of 2: $3,195 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 3: $2,395 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 4: $1,955 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 5: $1,625 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 6: $1,450 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 7: $1,295 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 8: $1,195 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 9: $1,125 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 10+: $1,025 USD per person
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Accommodation on the Bike to Amnye Machen Mountain Tour

This tour is based 3- and 4-star hotels with modern amenities for a comfortable stay. Rooms are double occupancy, and single travelers will pay a supplement. You will spend some of the tour camping in two-person tents with mattresses provided. And you may spend a few nights in modest guesthouses with basic amenities.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement of $325 USD-$350 USD to have a private room in a hotel while traveling with your group. Contact us and we can try and match single travelers up, where possible.

Hotels on Standard Tour

Night 1

Rezen Jinding Hotel in Xining

Rezen Jingding Hotel is a great accommodation option in Xining. It offers convenient location and all the modern amenities.

Night 2

Shang-pa Pureland Hotel in Xining

Cozy, yet elegant and comfortable, this hotel has many amenities, including free Wi-Fi.

Yinlong International Hotel in Heyin Town

This big, modern hotel is a great place to stay while in Heyin Town. Great views, friendly staff, comfortable rooms – all you need to make your stay great.

Night 4-6

Camping Sichuan

Spend the night in a high-quality two-person tent with comfy camping mats. Go to sleep and wake up amid pristine nature.

Jinfeng International Hotel in Maqin

Jinfeng International is a lovely big hotel with great amenities. This hotel has beautiful rooms, tasty food, and attentive staff.

Night 8-10

Camping Sichuan

Spend the night in a high-quality two-person tent with comfy camping mats. Go to sleep and wake up amid pristine nature.

Night 11

Qinghai Lake Hotel in Qinghai Lake

Comfortable rooms, lovely views over the Qinghai Lake, authentic décor – this hotel is a wonderful choice to stay at Qinghai Lake.

What’s included in the Bike to Amnye Machen Tour?

Meals

11 breakfasts, 9 lunches, and 9 dinners are included.

Accommodations

Accommodation for 11 nights is included in the tour.

Transportation during the Tour

Transport for your luggage is included throughout the tour. Airport or railway station transfers are also included.

Also Included

  • Entrance and sightseeing fees
  • Local English-speaking guides
  • Escort vehicle on biking days
  • Two-person tent for camping nights
  • Camping mattress, cook, cooking equipment

Not included

  • Bike
  • Sleeping bag
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in itinerary
  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Visa for China
  • Anything not mentioned as “Included”
  • Tips + personal expenses

Optional Extras

  • Extra nights in Xining

Frequently Asked Questions about Bike to Amnye Machen Mountain Tour

Based in Chengdu (Sichuan province, China), with an affiliated agency in Lhasa (the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region), Greatway Tour organizes China tours since 1994. They specialize in adventure and trekking tours in Western China, covering Tibet and the eastern Tibetan area Kham - Amdo in provinces Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai, and Gansu. Since 1995, Greatway Tour began to organize self-driving tours across China for individuals and agencies abroad, whether they drive their own vehicles/motorcycles/bikes brought from their own country, or if they need help with renting the kind of vehicles they wish to start their China self-driving journey.

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Bike to Amnye Machen Mountain Tour Map

Click map for a larger version

Is this tour for me?

We rate this tour as a 5 / 5. You should be comfortable riding for up to 90 km a day at altitude on high mountain roads.

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