Simply China

Potala Palaca Lhasa (Medium) The opportunity for independent motorcycle overlanders to join the London to Beijing Expedition for Xinjiang, Tibet and China section only.  Meet the team in Naryn, Kygyzstan and enter China via the Torugart Pass to Kashgar.

The Tibetan Plateau and the route to Everest are just some of the extraordinary roads to ride on what is an extremely challenging and unpredictable journey, testing your abilities both on and off the bike.  Reach Lhasa, with time off to explore the Potala Palace, before you venture onto the notorious Tibet Sichuan Highway.

Once in Eastern China, the Giant Pandas, Terracotta Army and Great Wall await!  For riders wanting to continue their journey into Mongolia or Laos, options are available.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  We must submit all individual and vehicle details / documents to Chinese authorities by 31 January 2017.  Therefore no bookings can be taken for this tour at short notice.  We also hold a pre-expedition meeting in September 2016.  Therefore please plan to book this expedition no later than 31 July 2016.

At a glance


Duration (days)

5 0 0 0

Miles Covered


Riding difficulty


Unpaved Roads


Culture Shock

At a glance

Duration (days): 36
Miles Covered: 5000
Riding difficulty: Extreme
Unpaved Roads: 15%
Culture Shock: Large
    • The Torugart Pass to Kashgar, where the Sunday livestock market, reputedly the largest in Central Asia, is not to be missed
    • Over the Khitai Davan Pass at 5,300m. Enter Tibet, the ‘Roof of the World’. High altitude riding continues past the sacred Mount Kailash.
    • The holy Lake Manasarovar and explore the tiny Buddhist monastery.
    • The Himalayas and take the spectacular road to Mount Everest Base Camp & Rongbuk Monastery and spin the golden prayer wheels.
    • Lhasa! Visit the Potala Palace and the Buddhist temples of Jokhang and Barkhor.
    • Often called one of the most dangerous roads in the world! The Tibet-Sichaun Highway and another three 5,000 metre passes.
    • Mount Emie is littered with Buddhist temples, and you can explore the lush green mountains, feed the monkeys and burn incense.
    • Xi’an to view the warrior figurines of the Terracotta Army, take a walk around the ancient city walls and to the Bell & Drum Tower.
    • Chengdu, where you can visit the Giant Panda Research Base. Feast on a dumpling banquet, whilst you gasp at the Chinese acrobatics.
    • Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City. There’s time to walk the Great Wall of China, before we have a final celebration meal of roast Peking Duck.
  • Week 1:  Kyrgyzstan & Xinjiang Province
    Naryn. Torugart Pass to Xinjiang Province. The ancient city of Kashgar. Enter Tibet, the ‘Roof of the World’. Remote settlements.

    Week 2:  Tibet
    Mount Kailash & the holy Lake Manasarovar.  Mount Everest Base Camp & Rongbuk Monastery.

    Week 3:  Tibet
    Shigatze.  Lhasa.  Potala Palace and the Buddhist temples of Jokhang and Barkhor.

    Week 4: Sichuan Province
    Tibet is not over yet! The Tibet-Sichuan Highway and the small villages of Linzhi, Bomi, Zuogong to Kangding. Sichuan Province.  Holy Mount Emie, Chengdu and the Giant Pandas.

    Week 5: Xi’an & Beijing
    Foping. Xi’an.  The Old Bell Tower and Terracotta Army.  Beijing. Tianjin. The Great Wall, Ti’anamen Square & Forbidden City.

  • We use a good standard 4* hotel in Kashgar.  After this, there are a number of days across Xinjiang Province and Western Tibet, where we are very remote and accommodation is extremely basic, with no bathrooms, hot water or electricity.  You do not need camping equipment, but you must bring a sleeping bag for the home stay accommodation.

    You need to be prepared to use communal outside toilets and there will be no showers for a few days in this area.  These places are the “best” in the area.

    Good hotels are then available to use close to Lhasa and our hotel in Lhasa is good 4* standard. On the Tibet Sichuan Highway, the hotels remain simple, but with en suite bathrooms.  Once in Eastern China, hotels standards are 4* and we finish at The Raffles Hotel, Beijing to celebrate an incredible journey.

  • Before you go

    • Two day pre-departure meeting (but not travel / hotel costs for the meeting) and GlobeBusters Expedition Guidance Handbook with all pre-trip information.
    • Letters of Invitation supplied for any necessary visas (but not visa costs)

    En Route

    • All accommodation on shared basis (or a single room, if booked)
    • All breakfasts
    • One group dinner per week, with water and one alcoholic drink.
    • Chinese Driving Licence & Chinese Licence Plate for your motorcycle, required for travel in China
    • All permissions for your entry and that of your motorcycle into China and Tibet.
    • Detailed daily route book with GPS co-ordinates for routing and hotels. Loan SD Card with GPS mapping
    • Expedition Tour Polo-Shirt

    Motorcycle Freight

    • Sea freight of your motorcycle from Tianjin (China) to UK *
    • In transit insurance (excess of £500) for your motorcycle when being freighted

    Support Crew

    • Expedition Leader on bike to accompany the group.
    • Motorcycle Support Rider, where the group is more than 12 riders
    • Support Vehicle, equipped with satellite phone, spare fuel, water, tools, selected spare parts and emergency first aid kit.
    • Support Driver, with motorcycle mechanical experience and first aid qualifications
    • Second local Support Vehicle in Xinjiang and Tibet, with two National Chinese Guides, acting as fixers / translators

    Please note that international passenger flights are not included in your price.  We advise you of the inward and outward dates and potential flight options for your Tour.

    *For riders wanting to continue their journey into Mongolia or Laos, options are available.  We can quote you for various options and credit you back with the sea freight from Tianjin to UK.

  • What type of bike do I need?SR6
    We recommend that you use a medium to large capacity dual purpose / adventure style bike.  We support any make and model.  Our Support Crew ride the Triumph Tiger 800XCx or Triumph Explorer XC.  We also have lots of experience with the BMW GS range.  What is important is that you have a reliable and robust bike that you are comfortable riding and has been fully serviced prior to the start and has new tyres.

    What riding experience do I need?
    This trip is not suitable for novice riders.  It is our toughest expedition and is only suitable for those with advanced road riding skills, experienced in riding up to 400 road miles in one day and be confident at tackling up to 250 miles on challenging, unpaved roads. Three weeks of riding is at high altitudes over 4,000 metres, where it is often cold. Ideally you should also have other travel experience in developing countries, either on or off the bike.

    How does motorcycle freight work?
    At the end of the trip, all bikes are sea freighted back to the UK from Tianjin.  If you are not from the UK, your motorcycle can then be freighted from the UK back to your own country – again at your own cost.  If we get at least 3 riders from another country, we can do a separate sea freight arrangement direct to that country.

    What about servicing & tyres?
    There are no authorised motorcycle dealers for Triumph, BMW, KTM on the China route until we reach Beijing.  All motorcycles must arrive at the start fully serviced and with new tyres.  The GlobeBusters Support Vehicle will carry new tyres for you to the meet point in Naryn.

    Is it difficult to get fuel?
    We have never had any issue with finding fuel.  In certain regions, once en route, we will warn you in advance of any possible fuel shortages or if there is a route with a key fuel stop, where everyone must fill up with fuel to get to the next destination.  It is not necessary to fit any after-market large fuel tank or carry fuel bottles, although some riders chose to do so.  Our support vehicle also carries spare fuel for emergencies.

    What is the average group size?
    Our groups are normally between 10 – 12 riders (some have passengers).  Our groups are often very international and whilst the majority of riders come from the UK, we also get riders from USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and so on.  Groups are predominantly solo male riders.

    Is this ride suitable for a passenger?
    We have had other riders successfully complete this ride with a pillion passenger.  Your passenger needs to also be an experienced tourer.  It is a tough ride and there are places where as a couple you will not get privacy and bathroom facilities can be off putting for women.

    Is there a support vehicle?
    All our expeditions have a dedicated GlobeBusters Support Vehicle, driven by a GlobeBusters Support Driver.  It is capable of carrying two motorcycle and two passengers.  Our support vehicles carry a satellite phone, mobile phone, medical bag and spinal board, spare fuel, water, tools, some spare parts, some spare tyres.  Our support vehicle provides temporary assistance to you if you have a mechanical problem or an accident and are injured.  On this ride, we also have a second local support vehicle in China to Chengdu.  These vehicles are not a luggage vehicle – you must carry your own luggage on your motorcycle.  For more information, please see our Support Vehicle section.

    Do I have to ride in a group?
    No!  We do not make you ride in convoy.  We offer you the freedom to decide how you would like to ride.  We give you a road book, GPS co-ordinates and hotel information.  You can use this to self-navigate.  If you prefer to ride with our Expedition Leader, then you can do this.  However, there are some politically sensitive places where we must ride together.  In Tibet, whilst we don’t have to ride in convoy, we need to make sure that we are travelling closely together.  We will also ask you to ride in a group when we are crossing a border or if there is a security issue.

    What documents do I need?
    You will need your original documents as follows:  Passport, Motorcycle Registration Document or Title, Driving Licence, International Driving Permit.  Scan copies of your documents must be supplied to us no later than 31 January 2017.  These are submitted the the Chinese Authorities and once logged cannot be changed.  In addition, you must have travel/medical insurance.  3rd party motorcycle insurance for China is included in your permit fees.   Chinese visas which MUST be obtained in your own country of residence.  We will supply Letters of Invitation and hotel confirmations to you.

    Special note about logistics for entry and exit of China
    Your price includes entry and exit of China, as part of the group arrangement.  Our entry point is the Torugart Pass.  Our exit point is Beijing / Tianjin.  This is agreed as part of the permissions given for our group to ride overland across China, and is done well in advance of travel.  You are not able to change your exit point after 31 January 2017.  Should you wish to have a different exit point to the main group, you must inform us on booking and additional charges will apply, depending on the exit arrangement that you want.