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  #1  
Old 16 Jun 2011
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China / Tibet crossing September 2012

Hello all. As part of a London to KL trip next year on my motorbike, I am looking to cross through China and Tibet. I will be entering China at either the Torugart or Irkestam Pass. Then via Kashgar to route 219 into Tibet (past Mt. Kailash) and on to Lhasa. From there dropping down to Zhongdian, Kunming, Jinghong to the Lao border at Mohan. Looking at about 35 days for the crossing (a bit longer or shorter, depending how things develop. If you are intetrested, I can post a more detailed route breakdown). Unfortunately, this means the official guide option and its associated costs. I am in contact with many companies looking to get a good deal. So I am posting here to gauge interest and find other people looking to do this route aound September (ish) time 2012. Bikes or 4X4s, but I am going to keep this as small as financiallly practicable. Cheers.
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Old 16 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuming View Post
I am looking to cross through China and Tibet... I am going to keep this as small as financiallly practicable.
That's a contradiction in terms as you will probably already know if you have received quotes back from tour companies that the cost will not be cheap expecially if you want to try and take Route 219 that is extremely remote and requires special army and military permits.

To ensure we are on the same page, this is a topic that is discussed regularly at length and to save repeating what has already been said many times try this:

Let me google that for you

Currently Tibet has been closed (again for the nth time) so it is quite unpredictable getting into Tibet and even harder when with your own vehicle.

To give you a little back ground we tried to cross China on our BMW back in 2009 and we were faced with more than just the Himalayas in terms of cost and paperwork by the Chinese. A long story cut short we didn't get in as we weren't prepared to folk out US$20,000 for 25 days crossing the country!!

China is doable but it needs lots of time and money. Tibet and route 219 however is another kettle of fish, unfortunately
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Old 16 Jun 2011
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Thanks TurboCharger. Yes I am aware of previous discussions on this subject (I have even participated in some of them!). The route involves a lot of red tape and money, but is doable. Tiffany (for Globebusters?) is taking a group along the 219 as I type. I am still in the process of receiving quotes and if the numbers vs cost is acceptable (a relative term for different people, I know) then why not? I very much want to ride through Tibet and at the moment if you want to go to Tibet you have to have a guide no matter how you travel. So I am willing to spend money I could otherwise spend on a fancier bike or a new kitchen or whatever on realising this ambition.

So if the costs are "acceptable", anybody interested?

Note: I know Tibet is currently closed to, ahem, "celebrate the anniversary of peaceful liberation".
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Old 17 Jun 2011
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Old 17 Jun 2011
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Attached is the route outline I have proposed to the travel agencies. It still needs some fine tuning, but you get the idea. I have only been able to do it as an attachment, don't know how to post it directly. The replies I have had so far from the travel agencies are encouraging. Will keep anybody interested in joining updated via this thread.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf China_Motorcycle_Sketch[Option_1_1].pdf (29.0 KB, 262 views)
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Old 20 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuming View Post
Attached is the route outline I have proposed to the travel agencies. It still needs some fine tuning, but you get the idea. I have only been able to do it as an attachment, don't know how to post it directly. The replies I have had so far from the travel agencies are encouraging. Will keep anybody interested in joining updated via this thread.
Looks like you've done your research, which is the biggest job IMO. I like your sketch of the route, it's especially helpful in terms of the number of Kms for each leg.

I personally have always wanted to go to Tibet, so if/when you get a quote back from the tour agencies I would be interested in the details.

Also do you know what Globtrotters say about the availability of fuel along Route 219?
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Old 20 Jun 2011
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Slight hitch is that a section of the 219 is semi-closed for repairs until Oct. 2013. The stretch is from Mazha (Mazar) to Bangongtso Lake (Wujang?); or from Yecheng to Shiquanhe, depending on who you ask! During the reconstruction, this stretch of road is open for 3 days 3 times a month. Some of the agencies seem to think this is OK, but others see it as an insurmountable problem and that I should go to Tibet via Golmud instead (not necessarily a bad option). I am currently clarifying the situation.

As for fuel availability along route 219; shouldn't be a problem, I am told there is fuel available along most of the route. I am not in communication with Globebusters directly, but I am in contact with the agency they used in China. I will get back to you with a solid figue once I get the route gremlins sorted and can contrast prices for the same confirmed route.

Just out of curiosity; what is the average price people are paying to get themselves and their bike freighted from Nepal to Bangkok? Just want to a perspective on how much more it will cost to be guided through China than to pay for freight. Cheers all.
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Old 23 Jun 2011
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Update

OK. The quotes I am getting back break down as around £1000 (ish) each based on 7 or 8 bikes for 35 days. This isn't too much more than shipping a bike and yourself from Nepal to Thailand (apparently!?), and I'd rather ride all the way! This cost is bumped up considerably if a 4WD has to be rented in China for the "guide" to ride in. So, if any 4WD drivers want to come along, I think that your share of the cost could be reduced as you would be carrying the guide.
As regards the route: the stretch of the G219 under repair and open for 3 days, 3 times a month is apparently "800 km + 150 km zig-zag hilly road" from the checkpoint to the end of the construction. It is gravel and at an altitude of 4000 to 5000 metres. As it HAS to be crossed in 3 days; the fitness of whoever joins will have to be pretty good. As an alternative (depending on who wants to come), another route would be the same as far as Yecheng, then the southern Taklamakan route (315) via Hotan, Qiemo, Ruoqiang, Da Qaidam, Golmud, Lhasa and then back to the original route into Yunnan province. The eventual choice of route will be down to who is interested in coming along.
So, thoughts? Questions? Interest?
Cheers all.
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Old 6 Jul 2011
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Bump...
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Old 29 Aug 2011
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Bump........again.
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  #11  
Old 29 Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuming View Post
Just out of curiosity; what is the average price people are paying to get themselves and their bike freighted from Nepal to Bangkok? Just want to a perspective on how much more it will cost to be guided through China than to pay for freight. Cheers all.
Sorry no info about Kathmandu... but I sent from Chennai to Bangkok by air in Jan-2008. It cost roughly 600 euros for the bike (DL650), and about 200 per head for our flight tickets for the same route.

I´ve got a friend who´s now trying to get together a group to ride from Finland to Singapore, via China, in Aug-2013. I probably will not be able to join them (because I just became a father less than 2 weeks ago!)... but I´ve actually promised to help him out with the research about the China-part, if I can. He´s targeting to get a group of total 4-6 bikes. I think as of now, he plans to enter from Kazakhstan, and go all the way to Laos (will be expensive for sure - but that plan is not fixed at all yet!)
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Old 30 Aug 2011
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Trip to KL

HI WUMING, are you still planning your trip to KL via China?, if you are, I would be very interested in the China portion of the trip. If you are interested leave me a message at digger1. Many thanks
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Old 31 Aug 2011
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digger1: you have a PM.
Cheers.
Just started a blog:
http://wuminglondontokl.blogspot.com/

Last edited by wuming; 5 Sep 2011 at 16:00.
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  #14  
Old 15 Oct 2011
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Hi wuming
I am also interested in possibly joining you for China if you`re still trying to raise numbers? Me + wife on RTW from the UK leaving Kent early April. I`ve sent you an e-mail but thought I ought to reply here too.
Look forward to your response,
telemarker...
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  #15  
Old 25 Oct 2011
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Hello again all. There is more interest now in this trip; but room for more if anyone else is interested. It seems likely now that if you join there will be a choice of exit points. Still plan on entering China from one of the `Stans into Xinjiang; however the group will ride together as far as Lhasa at which point some are carrying on into Yunnan province and then on to Laos, while others will go from Lhasa to Nepal. This will be September time 2012, though no firm dates have been decided yet. Also the final route is still open to suggestions from those who want to join. So, any takers?Bikes or 4x4s welcome!
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