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Un-guided cycling in Tibet?!?!

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Unregistered ユーザー anon_user の写真
Un-guided cycling in Tibet?!?!

Hello fellow riders!

Has anyone got ANY information on riding in Tibet?! Strongly preferred without a guide and support vehicle but if I have to, what is the cheapest way? Anyone been there and got information on presence and 'attitude' of the authorities? I will ride from Kunming (S-E China) to Kathmandu in January 2013. Wish me luck...

Thanks guys, safe travels!

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
not that a good idea

hi, there are hundred of chines cycling to Lhasa. Met them while cycling through Sichuan... Maybe if you look like a chinese... but they have no tent, very little luggage... I met a English who could cycle from Urumqi to almost Lhasa recetly - I think in Winter 2011 or 2010, after the Olympics... They just catched him close to Lhasa, arrested him and he had to leave with a public bus towards Sichuan or Yunnan... Generally they are really strict but in the Winter it might be possible - and damm cold!

Guided tours supports the government a lot and takes you freedom - otherwise it won't change a lot as China is already very rich... consider cycling in Sichuan-Yunan or in Summer in Northindia if you don't want the guides. There's a lot of Military in Tibet - too much.

For us Sichuan was ok but in Urumqi ill the Takashiken border (Mongolia) we got stopped almost daily by the police who didn't knew how to deal with us and just let us wait for hours all the time. They are really afraid to do something against their stupid holly law and couldn't read our passport... Otherwise the police didn't seem to be very corrupt so don't count on "buying" yourself out with a few dollars...

Let us know what you decide and write about you experience.

Thanks and good luck!

Unregistered ユーザー anon_user の写真
Thanks for reply

Hi Mauro, that it is difficult and therefor not recommended I know. I am still tempted though and hope, like you say, that it being winter might help. You read my mind about the 'financial solution'. I know of a few people who did it in 2007 but things have changed... None of the alternatives is tempting to me so it is like choosing the least of the evils. Or to pay someone to make tracks in the snow ahead of me of course.
I'll see what I do, thanks for your help. If I do this, I'll post about it.
Happy riding! Lukas

Unregistered ユーザー anon_user の写真


I know that sites, maybe You can find here : (english part)

Good look.

Regards Sebastian

Unregistered ユーザー anon_user の写真
i would like to recommend a

i would like to recommend a moive ((转山)to you ,moive was derived from a true story , the boy rode to Tibet from kunming , it may be give you some ideas, the way to tibet have some small and cheap hotel ,you don't need rent beacuse Tibet very cold in winter.andif you have any questions feel free to contact me

Unregistered ユーザー anon_user の写真
Might go alternative...

Thanks Michael and Hou shu,

The movie is 'Kora' right? Looks interesting.
Since I can only get a 30 day visa for China and won't pass big cities to even try to extend it and because the situation in Tibet is currently a bit tense and security has gotten so tight, I may have to look for an alternative route through India. Apparently the landscape of north-west India is a lot like Tibet so that helps a bit.
I am still stuck with the 'Myanmar-issue' though. But I'll get there.
Thanks again

Unregistered ユーザー anon_user の写真
It's a pity you could't

It's a pity you could't travel to Tibet ,when you come to china ,you can understand the real chinaman and the chinese civilisation , my English is poor ,i have many suggestions to you,but i can't express well in English ,and if you have any questions for riding in china,or something else ,you can contact me,and i m glad to help you out.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
There's a couple from Quebec

There's a couple from Quebec City who traveled there in 2007 I think. They made a movie:

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
before Olympics / after Olympics

Before the Olympics (2008) it was possible with 1 permit and a bit of luck (sneak trough the control posts). A friend of me did it and it was ok. Since the Olympics it seems to be much harder. Maybe not totally impossible but quite insane... Too much controls, too much military and the possibility that they catch cyclist is very high... Otherwise it's quite possible that they just arrest you for some days and send you with a bus to Yunnan - not the worst option. I wouldn't mess up too much with Chinese authorities as they stick to the law extremely! They are not flexible and the police is often friendly but very afraid to do anything wrong - according to the law, even if it doesn't make any sense... I could help enormely if you speak Chinese but to learn it takes years...

Unregistered ユーザー anon_user の写真
I may divert...

Thanks to all,

I totally believe that round the olympics things were a bit easier, China showing it's best side and such. This is four years ago though and things will have gone back to normal. Also with current uproar in the TAR, authorities will be less forgiving. Of course speaking manderin would be an enormous help, and cool generally. But I don't. Yet.
I think the French-Canadian couple is the same couple that appears in Rob Lilwall's book 'riding home from Siberia'. Cool stuff. The three of them skip through the checkpoint in the middle of the night and in winter. This was in 2007 though, things have changed since then.
So for now I am letting it go and we can close this one I think. I am working on a more southern route. I'll post again if I make it :-)
Take care to all. Happy riding.

Unregistered ユーザー anon_user の写真
Unguided in Tibet? Are you crazy?

In 2011 I cycled from Lhasa to Kathmandu with a diversion up to Everest Base Camp (Tibet side). I did it with one of the many tour groups. Even though we had 3 Tibetan Guides (in addition to our 3 Nepalese Guides), we had to show our passport at least 20 times in the 18 day journey. Doing it alone, without knowing the politics and language would be unfathomable. The Chinese in Tibet are NOT friendly towards Westerners, and if you step outside their MANY rules, you can end up being detained for an unspecified amount of time. Plus there are precious few places to purchase supplies, so relying on stores is not possible. Our guides had to often purchase food from the backs of trucks, and our water came from the river. So doing this alone would require water treatment and LOTS of room for food on your bike.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Hi Lukas, I am one of the

Hi Lukas,
I am one of the many here that are interested in cycling un-guided through Tibet (TAR) in summer 2015. I would also be very interested in reading your blog. Did you keep one? Do you have any news on cycling through Tibet unaccompanied?

Thanks!!!! :-)


WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
I have no recent info on

I have no recent info on un-guided cycling, but our blog dates back to late 2010. Some of the main checkpoints shouldn't have moved.
Hope it helps.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Hi Anne. Thanks for the tip

Hi Anne. Thanks for the tip And great blog. You have been to some amazing places by bike..

I don't think I am as adventurous as you regarding sneaking past check posts and the like. If it really isn't allowed, and you could get kicked out, I think I will avoid Tibet. Still, the guided tour you had along the Friendship highway sounds ok (although it would have been better without the guide, of course).

Thanks for your help!
Greetings from Eindhoven in the Netherlands!


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