The Route: Hard but very beautiful! One of my absolute favourites. What really makes it hard is the numerous checkpoints-lots of night time checkpoint-dodging. The topography also takes it's toll, not many flat meters, lots of long hard climbs and quite a lot of dog attacks. The road condition is most of time ok, dirt roads almost all the way from Zhongdian to 25km from Lhasa. Food is never a problem, the nature is fantastic and very diverse. I could give you a list of where the checkpoints are, but I've heard it changes pretty much from year to year. Be careful in every decent sized town and NEVER sleep in any hotel-you WILL get caught by the PSB!
|Pass (three summits) -1||500||4276|
|Deqen||560||3300||Cool, but be alert|
|Markam||785||3900||CP on the Sichuan Route, informer town.|
|Pass (two summits)||800||4378||N29°41,798'||E98°31,504'||4139|
|SalweenBridge (LP)||1125||2740||CP, military, cool|
|Baxoi||1160||3200||Sometimes a barrier|
|Bayi||1609||2976||CP, no barrier, very dangerous|
|Gongbo Gyamda||1750||3420||Be careful|
The information about the checkpoints has to be taken with a pinch of salt. It changes from year to year and this was how it was when I went through in 1996. I have been talking to other cyclists who have been in the area later on, and it seems like it's basically the same. Yanjing is supposed to be open nowadays. As I see it, Markam, Bomi and especially Bayi is the main danger spots.
Photos from this route.
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