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I plan to do this September to November this year.
Any advice and tips?
I've got Your post. Maybe You can talk about experiences:
Have a good time and take care.
Think so you shouldn`t miss the Zoige Highland. Little bit like Tibet. Then you can ride to Litang, Zhongdian to Lijang and Dali.
Maybe the road is paved now.
Have a lot of fun.
does this take me over some serious mountains? was hoping to avoid this.
I was planning on slick road tires. suitable?
Sure you can avoid mountains. But you`ll ride a much longer distance.
If you stay on paved roads slicks are ok. If you want to ride to Zoige and Litang MTB tires are recommendable.
I have just arrived in Beijing, having ridden from Bangkok, via Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
The south west of China is the best. The mountains around Kangding, Litang and especially from Litang to Shagrila is the best. But you will need provisions for Litang to Shangrila. It took me five days and there is only one town of any size along the way. The roads are great insome places and no more than mud in others. Slicks will get you most of the way but will be hard to ride on in others. There are some long climbs but I did it in low gears without the need of first, but it will depend onhow much weight you are carrying etc. But don't let that put you off. The scenery is amazing, the people friendly and welcoming, the riding is superb.
I used Schwalbe marathon tyres and have had no problems. Just two punctures caused by small pieces of metal in 13,500 miles.
Hope this helps
Thanks a lot Andy. sounds like a great trip which i hope to emulate. i am beginning to look at your blog but wonder if your could give me a few more details.
I travel light with just a change of clothes and few tools etc with only rear paniers. I would like to stay in accommodation as not and do not really want the hassle of carrying camping equipment and need of front paniers etc.etc. I just bought Schwalbe marathon plus tires your exp is reassuring.
Is there any route you would suggest that does not involve camping? When you say 'need provisions' do you mean camping gear etc?
I only have a basic English map and plan to go via Xian, Chengdu and Kumming. This is as far as i have got so far
I traveled light too. Mostly I stayed in accommodation but if you head into the mountains you need to take food, water and a tent with you. There are only a few towns of any size once you leave Kangding and head to Litang and Shangrila. But if you are not heading into the mountains then you will not need to bother about this. There will always be somewhere to get hot food and drink as well as cold drinks etc. Accommodation is also easy enough to find. As for a route - once you have got to Kunmng I would keep going to Dali and maybe Lijiang, before heading down to Laos.
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