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Qinghai Lake Cycling Tour

Qinghai Lake Cycling Tour

Free 10-year Chinese visa available

Flexible – choose 5 Days Package or 10 Days Pacakge, extension to Tibet available

Qinghai Lake – the most popular cycling destination in China rarely visited by westerners

Experience the mysterious Tibetan and Mongolian Culture

Departure everyday during May to October

Cycling for 360km/225mi in 4 days, difficulty level  medium

Followed by professional supporting team

Road bikes and equipment included

Book Now


Qinghai Lake

Qinghai Lake is the largest lake in China located in Qinghai province, at 3,205 m (10,515 feet) above sea level in a depression of the Tibetan plateau. It is classified as a saline and alkaline lake. Qinghai Lake has a surface area of 4,317 square km, about 9 times bigger than Lake Tahoe. Both the current Chinese name “Qinghai” and the older Mongolian name Kokonor translate to “Blue Lake” or “Teal Sea”. Qinghai Lake is located about 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of the provincial capital of Xining. In Tibetan and Mongolian belief, walking a whole circle around the lake (360km/225mi) will bring happiness and harmony to the whole family, so while we are cycling around the lake, we may see some local pilgrims doing the same thing on foot.

The Tour of Qinghai Lake International Cycling Race

The Tour of Qinghai Lake International Cycling Race is an annual professional road bicycle racing stage race held in Qinghai Province since 2002, named after Qinghai Lake. The race is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) as a 2.HC (hors category) race as part of the UCI Asia Tour. The 2014 Tour of Qinghai Lake covers 13 stages in 14 days, with a total distance of 3591 kilometers, of which 2201 kilometers is the riding distance. The Tour of Qinghai Lake passes through 11 cities and counties in 3 provinces – Qinghai, Gansu and Ningxia. In 2014 There are 22 teams from five continents competing on the stages. The total amount of prize money is one million US dollars, making it the most rewarding cycling race in Asia.

This Qinghai Lake Cycling Tour represents the essence of the Tour of Qinghai Lake International Cycling Race. In 5 days of cycling, we are riding a whole circle around the lake for 360km/225mi.

Package choices

5 Days Package: Start in Xining on Day 4, end in Xining on Day 8 in Xining;

10 Days Package without flight: Start in Beijing on Day 2, end in Beijing on Day 10, Beijijng-Xining flight not included;

10 Days Package with China domestic flight:  Start in Beijing on Day 2, end in Beijing on Day 10; Beijing-Xining return flight with tax included.

Extension tours to Tibet is available. Please contact us for the prices and customized services.

No international flight is included for this program. We provide reservation service for your international flight. If you book international flight by yourself, check out whether China domestic flight can be included at a discounted rate.

High altitude

The difficulty level of this cycling program is medium, which is suitable for everybody with good health condition, although the average altitude is 3,205 m (10,515 feet) above sea level. We recommend to bring Vitamin C and it is important to keep yourself hydrated during the tour. For more information please read this article Preparing for Safe Travel to High Altitude. People with blood pressure problems, heart disease, heart and lung dysfunction or other diseases not suitable for high altitude activities should not make reservation for this program.


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Air Travel 7 Take your flight to Beijing today.

 Meals on board.[/toggle]

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Beijing Forbidden CityThe flight will land at Beijing in the afternoon. English-speaking guide will meet you on arrival at the airport. You will be assisted with baggage handling and transferred to your hotel. Welcome dinner at Peking Roasted Duck Restaurant.

 Peking Roasted Duck Dinner

5-star Beijing Marriott City Wall Hotel [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 3 Beijing – Xining” state=”opened”]

embossed embroidery

Buffet breakfast at the hotel. After lunch Transfer to airport and fly to Xining (2h40m). Our tour guide will meet you in the airport and transfer to the hotel. Explore Kumbum Monastery in the afternoon.

Xining: Elevation 2,275 m (7,464 ft), Population (2010 Census) 2,208,708. Xining is the largest City on the Tibetan Plateau. Xining has a history of over 2,100 years and was a chief commercial hub on the Hexi Corridor caravan route to Tibet, handling especially timber, wool and salt in ancient times. The trade along the Hexi Corridor was part of a larger trade corridor along the Northern Silk Road, whose use was intensified in the 1st century BC after efforts by the Han dynasty to control this route.

Kumbum Monastery: Ta’er Monastery in Chinese, it is a well-known holy land for Buddhist pilgrims. Built in 1379, it is one of the six famous monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and the birthplace of Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The three artistic wonders that the monastery boasts are exquisite frescos, lifelike yak butter sculptures and amazingly beautiful embossed embroidery.

Beijing – Xining

B, L, D

4-star Sanwant Hotel [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 4 Xining – Xihai/Jinyintan Grassland” state=”opened”]

ThangkaIn the morning visit Qinghai Tibetan Culture Museum with exhibition of Tibetan Traditional Medicine and the largest Thangka collection, which is a Guinness World Record.

After lunch the cycling journey begins!

1:45pm – Assembly

2pm       – Departure for Bike Camp

4:20pm – Arrived in Dayu Cycling Base and check in your room

4:40pm – Orientation by team leader

5:20pm – Distribution of bikes and equipment, bike tune-up with assistance

6pm       – Warm up by exploring the nearby Jinyintan Grassland.

Thangka: a complicated, composite three-dimensional object consisting of: a picture panel which is painted or embroidered, a textile mounting; and one or more of the following: a silk cover, leather corners, wooden dowels at the top and bottom and metal or wooden decorative knobs on the bottom dowel. It usually depicts a Buddhist deity, scene, or mandala.

 Jinyintan Grassland: It is a peaceful grassland where the famous love song “in that place wholly faraway” was written by the renowned Chinese songwriter Mr. Wang Luobin in 1939 while shooting a film here.

Dayu Cycling Hostel[/toggle]

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Qinghai Lake Cycling Tour7:50am   – Warming up, and orientation by Team Leader

8:10am   – Ride along the Lake East Road through the grasslands

10:30am – Arrive at Lake East Desert, the view of yellow desert, teal lake, blue sky and white cloud compose a heavenly picture

12:30pm – Arrive at Lake East Sheep Breeding Farm, enjoy Tibetan style lunch and rest

2pm         – Continue cycling through the grassland along the Lake East Road

4pm         – Ride along the Qinghai-Tibet Road

6pm         – Pass by Erlangjian Scenic Area then arrive at the Cycling Hostel

Erlangjian Cycling Hostel [/toggle]

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Chaka Salt Lake7:50am – Orientation by leader and warm-up (Note: If you plan to visit Chaka Salt Lake, suggested departure time at 7am)

8am      – Departure and cycling along the Qinghai-Tibet Road

1pm      – Arrive at Black Horse River, lunch

2:30pm – Departure Black Horse River and cycling along the Lake West Road for Shinaihai. Shinaihai is nearest point to Qinghai Lake where you can enjoy the view of this heavenly lake.

2:40pm – Excursion to Chaka Salt Lake. People who would not like to go will enjoy free time near the lake or hostel.

7pm      – BBQ!

8:30pm –  Party! We will make bonfire and danced hand in hand the Guozhuang Dance. In the Tibetan language, “Guozhuang dance” means “singing and dancing in a circle”. Telescope is provided for you to watch the stars and the moon. (The party depends on weather conditions)

Black Horse River: It is a small town to the west of Qinghai Lake on the Lake West Road. Here is the best place to watch sunrise over the vast Qinghai Lake; no wonder the locals call the lake the “sea”.

Chaka Salt Lake: Chaka Salt Lake is known as the “Salar de Uyuni” of China. The “Sky Mirror” is crystal clear and you can take wonderful pictures on sunny days.

Shinaihai Yurt Cycling Hostel [/toggle]

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Shinaihai Sunrise6am        – Get up early today if you want to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Qinghai Lake. It is a unforgettable experience on this holly place

7:50am   – Orientation by the leader and warming up

8am        – Departure from Shinaihai and cycle along the Lake West Road with vast grassland on your left, and the tranquil Qinghai Lake on your right side

12:30pm – Arrive at the Bird Island and have lunch

2pm      – Ride along the north bank of the lake. The brilliant blue of the water alongside the grassland, complimented by snow-capped mountains in the distance, compose a captivating scenery for us.

6:30pm – Arrive at Gangcha. In this small town of 40,000 people, 70% are Tibetans. You can join the locals for the Tibetan Guozhuang Dance.

 Bird Island: as the kingdom of birds, the Bird Island refers to 2 islands, namely Haixishan and Haixibo, near the north bank of Qinghai Lake. There are about 100 thousand birds here and in the spring time the Haixishan turns into “Egg Island”.

Gangcha Cycling Hostel[/toggle]

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Qinghai Lake Cycling Tour7:50am   – Orientation by the leader and warming up

8pm        – Visit the square built in memory of Tshangs dbyangs Rgya mtsho, the Sixth Dalai Lama and also the most legendary Dalai Lama

12:30 am – Challenge the longest uphill of this trip before enjoy lunch at Hargai

2pm       – After the lunch break continue cycling along Qinghai Lake and enjoy downhill for a long distance

4pm     – Pass by the Atomic City and Jinyintan Grassland

4:30pm – arrive at Dayu Cycling base and return the bikes and equipment then take a rest

7:20pm – Get the Qinghai Lake Cycling Certificate and take a group photo before driving to Xining airport

7:40pm – Arrive at Xining, take night flight to Beijing and our guide will meet you in the airport and take you to the hotel

Atomic City: Once the China Nuclear Weapon Development Base, this place on Jingyintan Grassland was where China’s first atomic bomb and first hydrogen bomb were researched and manufactured in 1950s and 1960s.

5-star Beijing Marriott City Wall Hotel [/toggle]

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Great-Wall-41-300x168After breakfast visit the world’s biggest square – Tiananmen Square and the world’s biggest imperial palace – the Forbidden City. Visit the Great Wall in the afternoon. Explore the Night Market in the evening before the farewell dinner.

5-star Beijing Marriott City Wall Hotel[/toggle]

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SFO China flightAfter breakfast in hotel transfer to the airport for the flight back to USA. After the transpacific flight arrive home on the same day.[/toggle]

Extension tours to Tibet

Prices for the Extension tours to Tibet is available upon request.

[toggle title=”Day 8 Cycling 90km/56mi: Gangcha County – Hargai – Atomic City – Xihai – Xining – Lhasa” state=”opened”]

Qinghai Lake Cycling TourThe same schedule but fly to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet in the evening. The English-speaking Tibetan tour guide will meet you in the airport and take you to the hotel.

Boutique hotel Shambhala Palace[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 9 Lhasa” state=”opened”]Tibet-06-600x399Enjoy buffet breakfast in hotel. Visit the great Potala Palace, the landmark in Lhasa and the Winter Palace of Dalai Lama. In the afternoon visit Jokhang Temple,  the economic, political and cultural center of Tibet in the history. Then have a stroll in the Barkhor Street. Special dinner in Snowland Restaurant.

Boutique hotel Shambhala Palace[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 10 Lhasa” state=”opened”]Tibet-16-600x449After breakfast visit the Drepung Monastery. Visit Norbulingka, the Summer Palace of Dalai Lama in the history. Then Sera Monastery, and watch Lama Debate in the afternoon. Lunch and dinner are included.

Boutique hotel Shambhala Palace[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 11 Lhasa – Beijing” state=”opened”]Tibet-03-600x399American buffet breakfast at the hotel. Check out of your hotel and you will be escorted to the airport and fly to Beijing[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 12 Beijing” state=”opened”]

Great-Wall-41-300x168After breakfast visit the world’s biggest square – Tiananmen Square and the world’s biggest imperial palace – the Forbidden City. Visit the Great Wall in the afternoon. Explore the Night Market in the evening before the farewell dinner.

5-star Beijing Marriott City Wall Hotel[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Day 13 Beijing – USA” state=”opened”]

SFO China flightAfter breakfast in hotel transfer to the airport for the flight back to USA. After the transpacific flight arrive home on the same day.[/toggle]



Beijing Marriott Hotel City Wall

7 Jian Guo Men South Avenue, Dongcheng District Beijing,  China. 100005


This superior 5-star hotel is the largest Marriott outside USA. It is located in the center of the city with wonderful rooms and splendid breakfasts. Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor.


Xining Sanwant Hotel

No. 79, Changjiang Road, Xi’ning City, Qinghai Province, China


Sanwant International Hotel is a 5star business hotel located right in the city center of Xining. It is also pretty close to the Xining Caojiabao Airport. Around it are the City Central Square, lots of blooming shopping malls and public service buildings like banks, post office. There are 252guest rooms including no-smoking rooms designed and furnished perfectly. The local call, high speed wired internet in rooms and free WIFI in public area, newspaper as well as gym are all free for guests to use.  Reviews on TripAdvisor.


Dayu Cycling Hostel

Erlangjian Cycling Hostel

Shinaihai Yurt Cycling Hostel

Gangcha Cycling Hostel

These hostels are built to meet the needs of cyclists around Qinghai Lake and ideally located around the lake. It is clean and comfortable. We will arrange twin beds rooms for the group and single occupancy is available upon request. Private bath is available in all the hostels except the Shinaihai Yurt Cycling hostel. Shinaihai Yurt Cycling hostel is designed to be Tibetan style yurt which gives you a unique experience of spending a night in a yurt on the grassland.

Lhasa Shangri-La Hotel

19 Norbulingka Road, Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. 850000


Situated in the city center, this luxury hotel is close to Norbulingka, and Potala Palace, a breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site and traditional residence of the Dalai Lamas. The elegant and spacious rooms, the hotel’s unique oxygen lounge and the outstanding service will make your stay in one of the world’s highest cities comfortable and memorable. Reviews on TripAdvisor.




[toggle title=”What is included” state=”opened”]

Hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis;

Land transportation with English-speaking guides;

Sightseeing with entrance fees;

All meals;

Giant Road bikes, helmet, gloves, raincoat, belt, lock, and reflective safety vest;

Services vehicle and support team during the cycling tour;[/toggle]

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International airfare

Warm clothes (especially before July and after September)

Sun cream, sun glasses, lip balm, Vitamin C (for high altitude), personal medicine, hair dryer (for ladies), etc.

Travel Insurance[/toggle]

Book Now


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