Tajikistan cycling tour The Roof of The World, Pamir and Wakhan trip is an epic, high altitude cycle ride through spectacular remote mountains in two of the least visited countries in the world. At the cutting edge of adventure cycling, this journey offers a fascinating insight into ex-Soviet Central Asia.
Autumn (Sep-Nov) and Spring (Mar-May)
Highest access of the Trek
-10 to 15 Celsius
Chettries, mahara, bohara Jhkari, Lohar
Mode of the trek
Most attraction of the Trek
Off touristy route and authentic Nepalese life style
After a hearty breakfast, drive to the airport for an hour flight to Lhasa It's an approximately 2 hours (95km) drive to reach our hotel in Lhasa (3658m) and we will go on a short walk to Barkhor Square to stretch our legs and following the crowds into the square gives us the sensation of slipping into a medieval carnival. This is one part of Lhasa that has resisted any invasion of the modern world where ancient way of trading is still practiced. O/N Hotel.
Acclimatization day (rest day in Lhasa) or full day sight seeing in Lhasa. We will visit few places such as Sera Monastery, which is one of Lhasa's great monasteries that survived the Cultural Revolution better than most. We can get up close and personal to a 'Debate' where the monks will try and outwit their colleagues with questions on religion. After Lunch, we will visit the famous Potala Palace. This is the cardinal landmark and a structure that deserves a place as one of the wonders of eastern architecture and it looks best from a distance. It Takes about 3hrs sight seeing the Potala so we would advise on wearing comfortable attire and comfortable walking shoes. O/N Hotel.
After a good breakfast, we will start biking for Drepung Monastery cycling right infront and passing the Potala. The monastery is situated 25km to the west of Lhasa; this is to further accalimatize and adjust to the climate and altitude. Drepung Monastery the largest of the monasteries out of the great Gelugpa monasteries was home to around 10,000 monks during the Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1951. Once we reach the entrance to the monastery where we will have to leave our bikes at the car park and climb up the stairs to the monastery. O/N Hotel.
Cycling through the busy roads for about 45 minutes. we leave Lhasa behind please remember to always keep on the left hand side as there will be vehicles plying on this road as well and as we cycle along the Bhramhaputra river heading toward the bottom of Khamba-la, Approx. 6-7 hour's ride. O/N Camp. Distance: 85km, Altitude: 3550m.
Biking over the Khamba-la pass (4794 m), approx. 24km climb passing the old road between Gyantse and Lhasa the dazzling Yamdrok-tso (also known as Scorpion Lake) can be seen from the summit of the Kambha-la pass. The lake lies several hundred metres below the road, and in clear weather is a fabulous shade of deep turquoise. We will have lunch at the beautiful Yamdrok lake. After lunch, we cycle down to our campsite on the other side of Yamdrok Lake before Nagarze town Approx.: 6-7 hours ride. O/N Camp
After breakfast we pack up and cycle on a straight path toward the Karo-la (5045) pass, cycling on the out skirt of the town Nagarze, with a panoramic view sweeping from the left hand side up to the front thus having great views of the Himalayas & glaciers upon reaching the summit of karo-la pass one can awe at the sight of the glacier which is approximately 50 metres below the pass. If one wish to tread in the bicycle for a Yak at the glacier for the price of 10 - 20 Yuan where riding a Yak will bring a welcoming change for a few minutes and take some pictures for remembrance on a Yak. From here we ride down the path which has been slowly erroded by water that has made it resemble some what to a water slide at an amusement park and taking us almost to the camp site before Ralung Monastery intersection. Approx. 6 hours ride. O/N Camp.
Biking over the Simi-la pass (4,330m), we are on a pleasant and gradual ride to Gyantse town. The road is a gentle climb with a pleasent view of a man made lake for the purpose of generating electricity from a dam. We enjoy a nice lunch at the summit of Simi-la. Upon reaching Gyantse (3950), in the Nyang Chu valley 254km south-west of Lhasa, is one of the least Chinese-influenced towns in Tibet and is worth a visit for this reason alone. The town's principal attractions are the Gyantse Kumbum, a magnificent tiered structure that has only one ruined and remote contemporary (Jonang, 60km north-east of Lhatse) in the Buddihist world. Till the 14th century, there are no conclusive records of its existence but the town emerged as the centre of a fiefdom with powerful connections with the Sakyapa. Approx.: 4-5 hours. The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to visit the monasteries and Stupas contained within this historical town. O/N Hotel. Distance: 87km, Altitude: 3950m
Leaving Gyantse, we also leave behind our 2 days of off road aches and pain as we find ourselves on a newly paved road which is a long day ride that will take us across vast stretches of flat agricultured land to Shigatse, Tibet's 2nd biggest town in the traditional capital of Tsang. The Tsang kings excercised their power from the towering heights of Shigatse turning this town in to a important trading town as well as an administrative centre. Approx. 6-7 hours. O/N Hotel. Distance: 90km, Altitude: 3900m
Today will be a long day ride, with an occasional paved road making the rest of the road a dusty one and we will stop for lunch break besides the Ra Chu River, then we cycle on to our camp below the Tso-la pass (4500). Approx. 6-7 hours O/N Camp. Distance: 112km or 83KM if tired, Altitude: 4000m
After we leave Tso-La pass (4500m), we go down a long 9km descent & pass through Larze, which is a small truck stop and is a dusty place but has some shops with well stocked shelves and few guesthouses. Camp below the Gyatso-la near a river. O/N Camp. Approx. 6-7 hours. Distance: 58km, Altitude: 4150m
In the morning after breakfast we cycle up to a 25km climbing toward the highest pass Gyatso-La (5220m). The ride to Gyatso-la is an interesting one as we will be in the middle of a gorge during the start of this particular ride accompanied by a river on the right hand side. Approximately 7km before reaching the summit we suddenly come to an opening where we can once again see the great mountains but it will be very windy at this point (we advise for you to have wind proof attire ready as our support vehicle will be at a distance just in case) until we cross the pass and descent down to Shegar. O/N Hotel. Distance: 70km, Altitude: 4350m
Today we start our ride on a paved road upto the police check post. Here we would have to produce our passport to the authorities and after the check post we will turn off the Friendship Highway around 6km west of the Shegar checkpoint where our guide will sort out the permits for the Everest region. From here the path will be the toughest of bumpy roads. The road is very winding both up hill and down hill with sharp turns. On this particular road we would like to advise everyone to stay on the edge of the road at a safe pace because of heavy vehicle also using this road.which takes us to the Pangla pass (5200m), a rocky uphill. From here a superb panoramic view of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu can be seen on a clear day. We will bike downhill towards the river where after crossing it we will face the windiest place of our tour. We will cycle through Tashi Zong village toward our camp at Pasoom. O/N Camp. Approx. 5-6 hours. Distance: 62km, Altitude: 4350m
Today we will be on a bumpy road but a gentle climb upto Rongpbu monastery from our campsite. Rongphu Monastery is the main Buddhist centre in the valley and once coordinated the activities of around one dozen smaller religious institutions.Approx. 4-5 hours. O/N Camp.
After breakfast, we ride for Everest Base Camp which is 8km one way from the Romphu monastery. The road up to the Base Camp is a rocky one. There is also a pony ride available for 60 - 80 Yuan for visitors because the government has recently banned all motor vehicles from going up to the Everest Base Camp and because of this we will not have our suppport vehicle with us. There is little to see at the Base Camp but just imagine you are actually standing on the world's highest mountain. At the Base Camp you can take photos next to a marker that reads 'Mt. Qomolangma Base Camp' which means 'Mother God' and indicates on a marker reading 5200m. Back to Pasoom campsite. Approx. 6-7 hours/ O/N Camp. Distance: 49km, Altitude: 4350m
Drive and bike towards Tingri, our campsite from Pasoom where we will be once again on a repeat trail to Pangla pass and back on the Friendship Highway where we will be on a smooth jeep road. When we reach Tingri it is another pictureques view with a huddle of Tibetans homes overlooking a sweeping plain bordered by the towering Himalaya Range. It is also called Tingri Dzong overlooked by ruins that was once a fort that was not blown up by the Chinese Red Guards but infact destroyed by the invasion of Nepalese in the late 18th century.Nearby our campsite there is place called Tsamda where we can find a Hot Spring. Approx. 7-8 hours. O/N Camp. Distance: 112km, Altitude: 4340m
On this day we will cycle on the Friendship Highway to and camp at Lhavlung Dovang (Dovang means a place road construction workers live) between Thong-la (5050) and Zarakpa (5000m). After we leave the highway we paddle onto a road which is dusty during the dry season and muddy when it is wet. Approx. 5-6 hours. O/N Camp. Wet. Approx. 5-6 hours. O/N Camp.
Today the biking takes us over the pass of Lalung-la, which offers spectacular view of Gaurishankar, Dorje Lhakpa, Shishapangma and Langtang. Please make sure that you check your brakes properly because we will be riding mostly downhill from here which another 6 hours is biking that bring us to Nyalam which literary means 'The Gateway to Hell' in Tibetan. This is because the road drops from Nylam like a stone off the Tibetan plateau into a mossy gorge of waterfalls and cascades which during the monsoon creates a sea of clouds that submerges the road and thus giving the effect of an errie scene out of a horror movie. Before reaching Nylam just 10km off there is a place with the closest cultural sight which is Nyalam Pelgye Ling, a small temple that is associated with the Cave of Milarepa, the famous Buddhist mystic and composer of songs who lived during the late 11th to the early 12th century. We camp after Nyalam. Approx. 5-6 hours. O/N Camp. Distance: 65km, Altitude: 3650m
Our last day in Tibet, we descent (2850m to Barabise) on the longest downhill of our tour on a bad road which is muddy, rocky and slippery with a big drop on the right hand side into the river Bhote Kosi. Heading towards the border Zhangmu which also is known as Khasa in Nepali and Dram in Tibetan and entering Nepal through the border a place called Kodari. Approx. 3-4 hours of biking, we will have lunch at Barabise 870m a small town with shops and basic hotels. From here after lunch we will be transfered to a Hotel in Dhulikhel in our support van before Kathmandu. Approx. 2 hours. O/N Lodge. The last day party will be held in the hotel. Distance: 127km, Altitude: 1600m