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Cycling China in December - January - seeking insight and advice

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Cycling China in December - January - seeking insight and advice

Hello everyone:

My brother and I are planning on cycling China in December leaving from Shanghai heading west towards Nanchang and Yichang and then south towards Yangshuo. Some parts we will be jumping ahead via train or bus. From there I would like to go to Sichuan via train, but depending on the weather it is possible I might also head towards Vietnam or another part of China. Obviously, the winter isn't the best time to be touring, but it is the only time off I have. I have been reading some blogs about cycling China and am getting excited about my trip!

Could anyone advise on:
A good bike shop in Shanghai where it would be possible to purchase a bike?
What are proper manners for a cyclist in China?
Is camping acceptable in China?

If you have cycled through China, what parts would you recommend cycling? I would be happy to hear about your experiences!



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Hi Christina, We cycled from

Hi Christina,

We cycled from Xining to the Laotian border via Serxu, Ganze, Kangding and Kunming (Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces). I can highly recommend cycling in Sichuan, especially the hills where it is wonderfully quiet and remote.

With regards camping, from experience, unless you are in remote mountains, camping is nigh on impossible. Every bit of land is cultivated or lived on and whilst some people will allow you to camp on their land, the majority will worry about police interference. Up on the Tibetan plateau, we camped all the time. Once into more tropical areas, we couldn't camp once!

You can get a basic double room for around 50-60 Yuan, again, depending on the level of police activity in a given town. At worst, you may find yourself having to pay about 100Yuan for an approved hotel. Didn't happen that often. Always haggle with the room price.

I don't think that there are any manners you must adhere to apart from general courtesy. If offered food, always leave some as to finish it all would be an insult to your host (that they have not been able to provide you with sufficient). Be ready to be deafened by horns blasting in your ears all the time too:)

You'll have an awesome time and I'm rather jealous!!!!


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I was cycling from chengdu

I was cycling from chengdu towards Lhasa until litang in early November. I have chosen the road 318. There should be more cyclists during summer, autumn and spring. I met none until I was in yunnan. It was getting pretty cold during some nights in the mountains so be prepared with enough warm clothes and a good sleeping bag if you want to camp. It might be possible to ask people if you don't want to camp and keen to ask other for their help. I found them pretty friendly and inviting. I have a picture with the passes along the 318. It includes the altitude and distance. Quality is not so good. I got it from a guy in a hostel. I marked some pois if you use GPS and interested. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a camp Spot. It depends how populated the area is and what for the area is used.

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