Tibet Motorcycle Tour: Freedom on the Road

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Tibet landscape. The country is a jaw-dropping place to explore by motorcycle!
Tibet landscape. The country is a jaw-dropping place to explore by motorcycle!

Tibet offers exhilarating Motorcycle tours throughout its beautiful landscape

By Matt Martella

Mount Everest in Tibet. Göran Höglund photo.
Mount Everest in Tibet. Göran Höglund photo.

Tibet Easy Rider doesn’t provide participants with the typical guided tour.

Instead of being crammed on a giant bus, tourists will get to explore the enchanted region of Tibet in a more adventurous style: on a motorcycle.

Tibet is an autonomous region of China located on a plateau on the north side of the Himalayas. It also shares Mount Everest with Nepal. It has been given the name “Roof of the World” for its many towering peaks.

If you are worried about possible travel restrictions to Tibet due to the COVID-19 outbreak, don’t be. Isolation has ended in Tibet, and motorcycle tours in the area will start up again this April (2020).

Motorcycle tours through Tibet is a service exclusive to Tibet Easy Rider. These tours are planned out specifically so that tourists will be able to see all the iconic sights of Tibet, including Yamdrok Namtso, Mount Everest, and the Jokhang Temple Sera Monastery. The Tibet Easy Rider company offers several types of routes, meaning you have some control over what you get to see and when you get to see it.

Motorcycle riders approaching Mount Everest. Tibet Easy Rider photo.
Motorcycle riders approaching Mount Everest. Tibet Easy Rider photo.

Everest Top-High tour

This is a nine-day tour that starts and ends in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Out of the nine days, six of them will involve being on the road. The first two days will involve arriving in Lhasa and applying for a local motorcycle driver’s license, and then the third day will be the beginning of the road trip.

This tour features many stops during the six-day road trip, some of the most eye-catching being Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Tashilhunpo Monastery, Gyawu-La pass, Rongbuk Monastery, and Namtso Lake. The tour also goes to Tingri, a small town with an even smaller population that is located at the base of Mount Everest.

Tibet Motorcycle Tour: Freedom on the Road 1
Yamdrok Lake, Tibet. Esther Lee photo.

Yamdrok Lake is one of the three largest lakes in Tibet. The turquoise-colored lake I roughly 45 miles long and is surrounded by several snow-capped mountains, creating an exquisite landscape.

The Jokhang Temple is one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. Located in the heart of Lhasa, the Jokhang Temple is over 13,000 years old and was built with the architectural style of the Tang Dynasty. This includes many old and sacred statues, including a golden Buddha and statue of Sakyamuni.

Tibet Easy Rider photo.
Tibet Easy Rider photo.

The tour is 1068 miles (1720 KM) long and riders will likely be traveling about 178 miles (268 KM) a day. The Tibet Easy Rider website describes the route as being on good asphalt away from the highways.

Remarkable Encounter Kailash

This tour visits many of the same stops as the Everest Top-High tour but will require participants to be on the road for a few days longer. In total, the Remarkable Encounter Kailash tour is 13 days long with 10 days of being on the road, making it the longest of the three tours. Also, like the previous tour, the asphalt roads are smooth and far away from the highways.

The highlights of the Remarkable Encounter Kailash tour are as follows: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor

Kokhang Temple. Bernt Rostad photo.
Jokhang Temple. Bernt Rostad photo.

Street, Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Lake Manasarovar, Zada Tholing, Guge Kingdom, Lake Rakshestha, Pelku Tso Lake, Gyawu-La pass, Rongbuk Monastery, Tashilhunpo Monastery, and Namtso Lake.

Zada Tholing is a small military in western Tibet. It is the home of the Tholing Monastery, which, having been built in 997 AD, is the oldest monastery in the area. The word “Tholing” means “hovering in the sky forever,” which is a fitting name for a monastery that is at an elevation of 12,400 feet.

Participants will also get to explore the remnants of the Guge Empire, which was an ancient kingdom that ruled the Western Tibet region during the 10th century.

NyingChi Spring tour

This tour is the second-longest of the three at 11 days total and eight days of riding. The total distance of this route is 2370 miles (3815 KM). The daily distance traveled will be about 237 miles (381 KM).

Stops on this tour include Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Sera Monastery, Basomtso Lake, Serchen La pass, Lulang Forest Sea, Mitu Glacier, Samye Monastery, Yamdrok Lake.

Potala Palace. Dennis Jarvis photo.
Potala Palace. Dennis Jarvis photo.

The Potala Palace is a dzong fortress in the city of Lhasa. It was once the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas from 1649 to 1959, but now it is used as a museum and has been a World Heritage Site since 1994.

The Lulang forest is a showcase of a variety of plant life in Asia. The name “Lulang” translates to “a place that will make you forget your home.” When considering the mesmerizing natural landscape of the forest, the name clearly is not an exaggeration.

This plateau mountain-meadow is 9.3 miles long, and it is described as “a fairyland where gods live in with scenic beauties, it has special breathtaking scenery in every season.”

Inclusions and Exclusions

Airport pick-up and drop-off, accommodations for eight nights in either hotels or hostels, breakfast, a motorcycle with repair tools, one English speaking local guide, a leading rider, entrance tickets, and a souvenir are all provided with every tour.

If you are worried about your own health while on the road, these tours also include personal insurance, a support vehicle with a trailer, medical kits, protections from the cold, and bottled water.

Tibet Easy Riders DO NOT include flights to and from Tibet, additional expenses like laundry or telephone calls,

Lulang forest. Richard Mortel photo.
Lulang Forest. Richard Mortel photo.

additional meals or beverages, and additional activities that are not listed as being part of the tour.

Restrictions

Before booking your motorcycle tour with Tibet Easy Rider, here are some restrictions that could prevent you from taking the tour. First. Everyone who does the tour must be 18 or older. Also, you will need a Tibet Entry Permit to get into the region.

Also, you will be traveling at very high altitudes (up to 3,000 meters in elevation), so people with heart disease, arrhythmia, stage I1 hypertension, blood disease, cerebrovascular disease, or any respiratory disease should not take part in this tour.

To find out more about pricing and how to book a motorcycle tour, click here.