Challenging uphill rides await
Step into this city filled with beautiful landscapes and a fascinating history
Gain first hand knowledge about China from the locals themselves
Burn rubber alongside people who share the same cycling passion
Enjoy China's natural side

Yunnan Discovery

12 days
Site savings
$2,522 USD

There is seldom a dull moment on this trip as it goes through a good diversity of scenic environments from snow capped mountains to green forests and a variety of ethnic villages. The riding is a real mixture as some days are short but have hill climbs, and others are longer, flat and fast, but they are all filled with jaw-dropping scenery. Add in a great deal of ethnic diversity and you have the recipe for a wonderful tour for enthusiastic cyclists.

  • Category
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    12 days
  • Culture Level
  • Skill Level
    3 - Intermediate
  • Activity Level
    4 - Challenging
  • Elevation
    4 - Challenging
  • Terrain
  • Distance
    321.2 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    40.4 miles
operated by
SpiceRoads Cycling
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  • How long is the tour? How many days of riding?

    This tour is 12 days long, with 7 riding days.

  • How many riders will be in the group?

    Groups can be from 2 to 16. For groups of 9 or more, a second guide joins the tour.

  • Is there a minimum age for this tour?

    Yes, riders must be 18 years old by the time the tour starts.

  • Can I rent a bike for the tour?

    Yes, well-known mountain bike brands are available for hire at an additional cost.

  • What's the tour like?

    The total distance is 477 km (296 mi) over 7 days of riding. The first few days of the tour are spent acclimating to the altitude and environment. The riding is a real mixture as some days are short but with hill climbs, and others are longer, flat and fast, but they are all filled with jaw-dropping scenery. Keep in mind that this trip begins in Shangri-La, over 3,300 meters (10,826 ft) above sea level, and spends over a week above 2,500 meters (8,202 ft).

    There's never a dull-moment on this high-altitude journey through a surprising diversity of landscapes and cultures. Most of the days are packed with cultural experiences and scenic delights. Make sure that you bring your camera, as you are sure to want to record your experiences. The friendly locals, lack of tourists, stunning geography, and mouth-watering food will make it hard to say goodbye!

    Suitability: Yunnan is a high-altitude mountainous region, so you can expect a physically challenging experience on this cycling tour. There are many climbs, but they are all on paved roads so a smooth steady climb is possible. Being physically fit will, of course, be a huge asset, but as the tour is fully supported, a van can provide transfers if a cyclist desires it.

    Biking Conditions: This bike tour is mainly on smooth, paved roads, but there are also some small off-road sections, but nothing technical. There are some tough climbs in high altitudes with fast descents. It gets fairly cold up among the clouds, so make sure you bring some warm cycling clothes. Riders should have a moderate level of cycling experience and be in good physical condition because of the altitudes involved during the tour.

  • Am I safe?

    The tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue. But to a large degree, riders must be responsible for their own safety during the tour. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a cycling tour.

  • Where does the tour start and finish?

    The tour starts with an airport pick up at Diqing Shangri-La Airport (DIG). It finishes in the city of Kunming where the closest airport is Kunming Changshu International Airport (KMG).

  • Do I have to pay if travelling alone?

    You are not required to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. The tour operator will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender. If you cannot be matched, they will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share, a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room.

  • Please see a message from the tour operator about policies relating to COVID-19

    Updated: July 24, 2020

    Due to the ongoing global impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) and with many international borders remaining closed for an extended period, Spiceroads has decided to suspend the majority of tours until at least 30 October 2020.

    While this is extremely disappointing for all of us, the safety and security of our travellers, along with that of our staff and partners, has always been the most important factor.

    If you were booked on a tour that has been suspended due to the pandemic, you will automatically receive a credit of 100% of monies paid (of your deposit or full payment) which can be redeemed as follows:

    1. You can re-book a tour now for a future travel date before 30 September 2022.
    2. You can hold on to your travel credit until you are ready to re-book on any future departure before 30 September 2022.

    We apologise for the inconvenience and sincerely hope you will understand and support us during this unprecedented crisis. Spiceroads is a small company with a big heart and we are doing everything we can to work through this crisis and plan to start operating tours again as soon as we can. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding in these unprecedented times and are communicating with everyone booked on the impacted tours.

    If you are booked on a tour that is due to depart from 1 November 2020, there are currently no changes to your trip, and it is currently scheduled to depart as planned. We are monitoring the situation closely and will notify you directly if your tour is affected.

    If you want to cancel your booking, you can receive a credit for the amount paid to use on a new tour with a departure date before 30 September 2022.

    For new bookings please see our flexible booking conditions below:

    Terms & Conditions:

    • We require a deposit (as listed on the individual tour pages) or full payment to reserve a place for you on a tour.
    • In the event that we are unable to operate the tour, this deposit will be transferred to another tour at your discretion or held as a credit for use anytime until 30th September 2022.
    • The balance of the tour’s cost (final invoice) must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights.
    • In the case where a booking is made when there are less than 45 days until the tour departure date, the tour’s cost must be paid in full within 48 hours of receiving an invoice from SpiceRoads.
    • In all cases, tour fees must be paid “in full” before participation in a tour. No person(s) will be allowed to join a tour without fully settling their invoice and receiving a confirmation number from SpiceRoads.
    • Some last-minute miscellaneous fees (visas, additional local hotel bookings, etc.) can be settled on the day of arrival.

    Flexible Booking Policy

    • This policy allows for multiple changes to the departure date.
    • The change will only be approved if it is requested by the client in writing a minimum of sixty (60) days before the departure date.
    • In the event the change request is moving to a different tour, then a price adjustment may need to be applied and your tour consultant will advise on what this will be.
    • Deposit terms are 30% on booking or US$500 whichever is the greater.
    • Any cancellation without rescheduling forfeits the deposit paid, until 45 days, at which time it is 70%, until 15 days at which time it is 100%.

  • Are helmets included when hiring a bike?

    Yes, if you're hiring a bike from the operator, a complimentary helmet is provided, although you are welcome to bring your own if you wish.

Overall Rating:
A well-balanced tour
Lawrence Fumo — October 2015
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

THE SWEET-SPOT between 5-star "upscale" and "budget" tour-company. Always felt a fine balance between the biking, accommodation, and meals/snacks.

Overall - an excellent trip
James Peck — April 2014
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

Understood the challenge of the ride (4 chilis) and the elevation but well beyond my capability. Not an issue with the tour operator's description but rather my unrealistic optimism. Enjoyed nonetheless.

Food, real highpoint of the trip.

Trip was overall excellent. The companionship was excellent, rest days well spaced out and in interesting spots.