cycle touring - China
Arriving in China's Gobi desert by night train from Mongolia, we quickly got our teeth into Chinese cuisine in the border town of Erenhot before reloading the bicycles and heading South. We started our cycle tour of China passing by a huge collection of dinosaur statues and the 15,000 kilometre mark while still in the underpopulated Gobi.
Heading south we were soon cycle touring through towns of more than one million several times a day, and being mobbed by curious locals whenever we stopped. Busy, smog filled roads were the main sights we saw, but after a five day break in tourist-friendly Pingyao we fast-tracked by night train to Xi'an for a quick look at the Terracotta Warriors and some big city life.
Cycling through panda territory in Foping National Park we passed the 16,000 kilometre milestone and came across a group of Chinese campers. Food got a lot spicier when we cycled into the Sichuan province and the panda-monium continued with an early morning visit to Chengdu's Panda Breeding Base.
From Chengdu we pointed our bicycles in the direction of the mountains, going due west to the Tibetan dominanted towns of Kangding and Litang. The 17,000 kilometre mark flew by as we cycled on busy roads but peace was quickly gained as we climbed above 4,000 metres. However roadworks between Kangding and Litang stopped our wheels spinning and slowed us to a crawl. A few days off the bikes in Litang recharged our batteries before we chased the last of the warm weather south to Yunnan province.
We came back to earth in Shangrila before hitting 18,000 kilometres as we cycled on the road to Tiger Leaping Gorge. Every day was a day of food in China but we managed to document a typical day of our rice, noodles and baozi diet while we cycled between Dali and Kunming. In Kunming we arranged for Vietnamese visas and chilled out before our final week's cycling to the Vietnamese border. Our last 1000 kilometre milestone in China completed our epic journey across this big country.
This map shows the route we cycled through China. To see full details of where we have cycled, take a look at our full route map.