|Bicycle tour on the banks of Qinghai Lake|
|Gain an insight into local Tibetan families' way of life, their customs and culture|
|Explore the Tibetan Plateau and its small villages, temples and monasteries|
|Visit Bird Island: an excellent spot for bird-watching|
West China Mountain Bike Tour
This tour will lead you from the capital of Sichuan province - Chengdu - to one of the world's highest altitude peat lands and to Qinghai Lake; an important sanctuary for thousands of migrant birds and is specially designed for people, who want to explore this beautiful region by bicycle.Please click here for a detailed travel itinerary (pdf format)
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Ruoergai (Roige) Grassland:
The Ruoergai Marshes are located in the provinces of Sichuan and Gansu in the upper "Huanghe" Yellow River basin on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. At an altitude of 3400m to 3900m, they are one of the world's highest altitude peat lands and consist of approximately 10'000 km² of peat bogs, sedge marshes, lakes and wet grasslands, interspersed with low hills and drier grasslands, which are inhabited by Tibetan people, who are almost exclusively pastoralists with vast herds of horses, sheep, yaks and goats.
Qinghai Lake, the largest saltwater lake in China, is located in the west of Xining city in Qinghai in a depression of the Tibetan Plateau. It is famous for its fauna, especially its abundance of birds and fish. The lake is located at the crossroads of several bird migration routes across Asia. Many species use Qinghai as an intermediate stop during migration. At its northeast end are the "Bird Islands" (Cormorant Island and Egg Island), which have been bird sanctuaries of the Qinghai Lake Natural Protection Zone since 1997. The lake often remains frozen for three months continuously in winter. Qinghai Lake is 5,694 km², or 2,278 square miles large, and 360 km (220 miles) in circumference. Twenty-three rivers and streams empty into it.
Tour of Qinghai Lake International Road Cycling Race (TDQL) is held in July every year. More than 100 riders in 20 teams from five continents participate in this event over a distance of approx. 1344 km. You will be cycling along this route amidst impressive scenery.
The province of Sichuan lies in central-western China and is one of the country's major industrial bases. The territory of the province and its vicinity were the cradle of unique local civilizations, which can be dated to at least 15th century BC. The area lies in the Sichuan basin and is surrounded by the Himalaya to the west, Qinling range to the north, and mountainous areas of Yunnan to the south. Because of its location and fertile plains, Sichuan is called "Tianfu Zhi Guo" in Chinese, which means "the Heavenly Country". The Yangtze River flows through the basin and thus is upstream to areas of eastern China. The Minjiang River in central Sichuan is a tributary of the upper Yangtze River, which it joins at Yibin.
The majority of the population is Han Chinese, who are found scattered throughout the province. Significant minorities of Tibetans, Yi, Qiang and Naxi reside in the western portion, which is a part of historic Tibet's Kham region.
Gansu is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China. It lies between Qinghai, Inner Mongolia, and the Huangtu Plateaus, and borders Mongolia to the north. The Huang He River passes the southern part of the province. It has a population of approximately 25 million and a large concentration of Hui Chinese. The capital of the province is Lanzhou, located in the southeast part of Gansu. Gansu province has an area of 454,000 km², and the majority of its land is above 1 km over sea level. The Huang He (Yellow) River passes through the southern part of the province. The Yellow River gets most of its water from Gansu province. The Yellow River also flows straight through Lanzhou. Part of the Gobi Desert is located in Gansu.
The landscape in Gansu is very mountainous in the south and flat in the north. The mountains in the south are part of the Qilian mountain range. At 5,547 meters high, Qilian Shan Mountain is Gansu's highest elevation. Gansu province is home to 26,033,400 people. Most of the population, 73%, is still rural. Gansu is 92% Han and also has Hui, Tibetan, Dingxiang, Tu, Manchu, Uyghur, Yugur, Bonan, Mongolian, Salar, and Kazakh minorities.
The province of Qinghai is named after the enormous Qinghai Lake. It is located on the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau.It borders Gansu in the northeast, the Xinjiang Autonomous Region in the northwest, Sichuan in the southeast, and Tibet Autonomous Region in the southwest. Most of Qinghai is part of the traditional provinces of Kham and Amdo of Tibet. It is the birthplace and home to many influential Tibetan figures in history, including Tsongkapa (the greatest commentator in the history of Buddhism) and many of the Dalai Lamas. The Yellow River (Huang He) originates in the middle of the province, while the Yangtze and Mekong have their sources in the southern part.
The province of Qinghai boasts a population of 5.2 million, among which the Han accounts for 54.5%. Other groups include the Tibetans 20.87%, Tu, Hui, Salar and Mongols. Qinghai's culture is heavily influenced by Tibet, given the close proximity as well as a shared history.