The Burma Road




Our new 12-day bicycle tour passes through China's most beautiful region — Western Sichuan Province beginning and ending in Chengdu, the capital and home to the Giant Panda. We'll visit both well-known and little-known sights and will appeal to those who have cultural, social and geographical interests. This tour is relatively moderate to strenuous with full support. Average daily cycling mileage is about 40 miles, with daily mileage ranging from 21 to 61 miles.

We begin with a tour of brief tour of Chengdu visiting Wenshu Monastery, the River Viewing Pagoda and a local tea house with Sichuan opera. The following day the group will take transport to west to Dujiangyan, the location of the 2,500 year old irrigation system that is still in use today and was responsible for the end of severe drought and flooding problems and the development of the Sichuan basin as the "rice bowl" of southwest China. We continue to the road leading into the Wolong Panda Nature Reserve where, cycling to Wolong to visit the Panda Research Center offering plenty of panda photo opportunities.

The next day, the group will head up the challenging Balangshan Pass (above) through the Wolong Nature Reserve and will climb to 4,523 meters (14,835 feet). Along the way, Yaks can be seen grazing on the slopes tended by Tibetan herdsman. At the top of the pass we coast down into the picturesque valley to Rilongguan, at the base of Four Girls Mountains (6250 m, 20,500 ft), rugged snow covered peaks. Extended cycling options will be open to those who wish to try cycling at high elevation. We''l spend the next day will be spent hiking and/or cycling in the nature park.

On day five, the group will cycle (mostly downhill) to Xiaojin Xian where there is a Buddhist Temple, an Islamic Mosque and a Catholic Church where Mao spend some time on the Long March. Along the way will be visits to Twin Bridge Valley and Wori Tibetan Defensive Tower.

Day six we will cycle to Danba, located on the Dadu River, a major tributary to the Yangzi. We will also visit a lamasery and a Tibetan Buddhist Temple. Here the group will explore the area including some of the Tibetan Defensive towers the dot the hills around the town.

From Danba we will head south along the Dadu (going downstream) to Luding, a historic place where Chairman Mao crossed the river with his Red Army on his Long March. We will visit the museum with some artifacts. There will be an option for additional cycling on this day.

On days 8 and 9, the group will be in Moxi, the gateway to Hailuogou Glacier Park. This is the lowest glacier in Asia and, weather permitting, offers some spectacular views of Gongga Shan, a peak of 7,556 m (24,784 ft). Hiking, pony treks, mountain biking and hot springs are some of the possible activities

Cycling downhill from Moxi, the group will get transported most of the way to Xiling Mountain area and stay in a hotel with hot spring. Options for longer distances will be available to those who want more cycling.

On day 11, the group will cycle to Anren near Dayi, to visit the Li Landlord Manor. This is a good example of a feudal manor and was used as a re-education center to illustrate the evils of the landlord-serf system and includes an area of over 100 life-size clay figures graphically displaying the downtrodden workers being abused by the landlord.

On the last day, the group will cycle back to Chengdu, stopping for lunch in the small fishing village of Huanglongxi that is used as a set in classic period movies. After a farewell dinner, we'll visit the more cosmopolitan and modern side of Chengdu — it's hopping bars and dance clubs.