Serk Cycling Beijing
Tibet is one of the world’s great travel experiences. Serk offers you the chance to surround yourself in the ancient cultures of Tibet and ride through its stunning landscapes all the way to the iconic Everest Base Camp.
We've taken the time to carefully craft an experience which will regularly stop you in your tracks and leave you feeling privileged to have explored this unique region—before it falls completely into the clutches of modernisation.
We combine a challenging and spectacular cycling route with a selection of the most rewarding cultural and natural sites. We know the best hotels and have hand-picked the greatest places to sample local food—we've been running trips here since 2014. Best of all, Serk provides you a window to explore the 'real' Tibet from the seat of your own bicycle, and this is where the true rewards lie.
Push yourself to ride up some of the highest sealed roads in the world, then grin from ear-to-ear as you fly down the other side of a 5000m pass. Plus, to help you grasp the depth of Tibet's ancient culture we’ll take you to some of the plateau's most revered spiritual locations, while juxtaposing this with visits to the places popular with today's generation of young, urban Tibetans.
You'll leave with not only an amazing 9-days of high-altitude cycling in your legs, but a new understanding of one of the most incredible cultures on earth.
Up early for flight to Linzhi—our first foray into Tibet. Linzhi is the eastern-most city of Tibet and one of its lowest at just over 3000m altitude. As part of our acclimatisation we take it super easy today. Unpack and check the bikes followed by an early dinner in town. Slow walk back to hotel and a few snaps with the locals, who are mostly wondering what we are going to do with our sleek road bikes. In bed as early as possible to maximise rest.
Milin – Langxian
We leave Milin early morning and ride along the spectacular Yarlong River all the way to Langxian.
The Yarlong river is the upper stream of the Brahmaptura River (the fifth strongest in the world in terms of flow rate, supplying 30% of India’s total water resources). Today we follow the raging river as it carves its way across the plateau, enjoying the breathtaking sights and perfect cycling road it leaves in its wake. There is hardly a vehicle or village in sight, so it's just you, the road and the river.
LANGXIAN - SHANNAN
One final day beside the mighty Yarlong river. You'll notice the vegetation gradually change from lush pine forests to dry rocky cliff faces, and even some sand dunes. After lunch we ride on a brand new road probably up there with the best you've ever ridden on. Its twists and turns urge you to get out of the saddle and accelerate and the snowy peaks in the distance remind you you're riding in one of the highest places on earth.
Shannan - Lhasa
Today we take a chill day to help with acclimatisation. We ride to Samye Monastery - the first monastery in Tibet, where you get to ride along a scenic road along the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) River - soak it in as much as you can!
We arrive in Lhasa late afternoon at our 5 star hotel. We take advantage of the free time in the afternoon to visit the old town Lhasa. The sights and sounds are guaranteed to inspire, and don't forget to say a silent prayer for good legs and favorable winds as you spin the prayer wheels!
Lhasa - Gyantze
Rise early and drive to Lake Yamdrok-tso lake where you'll be greeted by dramatic views of the turquoise blue waters, before enjoying a flowing descent down to the shores of the lake.
It will be 60km along the shores of the lake to Nagartse where we take a short break and enjoy some lunch.
The second half of the ride will take you on a climb along the road to Gyantse. We have one high pass to conquer—the Kalurong Pass (4950m). You'll really notice the change in the scenery. It'll be hard to imagine it was just a few days ago you were riding in lush green surroundings.
The road travels by the Karola Glacier before dipping down into a majestic valley. It's one of the most scenic days of riding on the trip. After the 30km descent down to the valley, we will pack up and drive to Gyantze.
Our destination hotel in Gyantze is oozing with so much old world charm you won't want to leave.
Gyantse – Shigatse
Rise early and visit the authentic old quarters. Then it's 98km along the mostly flat road to Shigatse. We will pass through rolling farmlands and villages and stop mid-way for some snacks and a visit to the local barley mill. The last climb over the bridge into town is a hotly contested KOM. We are riding at 4000m today–the air is thin which means fast speeds on the flat.
We should arrive at Shigatse for a late lunch by about 2-3pm. Rest & relax in your hotel or visit the peaceful Tashilungpo monastery, seat of the Panchen lama (optional).
Shigatse – Tingri
We drive out of Shigatze to our lunch stop at Lhatse. From here we start riding. Today is one of the hardest days of the trip—we ride to the highest pass on the trip at 5181m. After a brief stop at the top to catch our breath and grab some supplies its downhill all the way to Tingri. We ride beside a picturesque river most of the way to our destination and if the sky is clear you'll get your first glimpse of Everest.
Everest Base camp
After passing through a strict military checkpoint outside of Tingri we will start riding the huge pass that takes us into Everest Base Camp in the dark. The road is new and affords magnificent views of Everest at the top. After another long descent and climb you’ll reach Everest Base Camp for lunch.
The whole day we ride above 4200m and twice climb up above 5000m. Only a total of 1640m of climbing but at this altitude it really takes a toll. Expect to be exhausted and exhilarated by the time you reach Everest Base Camp
You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent views on the world’s highest mountain. After lunch we drive back down the road to Lhatse.
Lhatse – Lhasa
A transit day travelling back to Lhasa via the alternate route. We stop by a delicious dumpling restaurant for breakfast and arrive in Lhasa with enough time for shopping and another stroll around the Barkhor Pilgrim circuit at sunset with what seems like half of Lhasa. After dinner its time to hit the Tibetan clubs and sink a few hard earned beers with the local Tibetan cowboys and cowgirls.
After a sleep in and lazy breakfast its time for some shopping and relaxing in the old town. Celebration dinner – you deserve it !
Lhasa - Chengdu
Time to say goodbye ...