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Road trip from Mongolia to Southeast Asia via China
View in Google Map: Mongolia – China – Laos
Duration: 26 Days
Chinese history and religion, China’s capitals Beijing and Xi’an during several dynasties, The most famous and classic attractions such as the Great Wall and Terracotta Warriors, Several UNESCO world cultural and natural heritage sites, Megacities and remote areas of china, The History of the Communist Party of China and the History of the Red Army, Giant Pandas, Tibetan areas and Shangri-La areas, China’s best hikes Area and one of the deepest gorges on the planet, Experience Chinese Tea Culture
Day 1 Mongolia Zamyn Uud – Erenhot
Border and customs formalities,the cars/bikes usually needs to be left in the customs supervision warehouse for one night.
Day 2 Erenhot – Ulanqab or Somewhere before Beijing, 340km
Customs formalities, chinese driver’s license and number plates are usually done by noon. Let’s hit the road aferter lunch.
Day 3 Ulanqab – Great Wall of China, 300km
Arrive at the Great Wall of China. Visit the Great Wall in the afternoon.
Day 4 Beijing
We will arrive Beijing, the capital of China, around noon.There are so many attractions and activities in Beijing.
Day 5 Beijing
The Forbidden City: The Forbidden City in Beijing is the palace of 24 emperors in the Ming and Qing dynasties of China. It is also the best place to learn about ancient Chinese architecture, history and culture. Learn about China’s long cultural traditions here, and as the largest and most complete ancient building complex in the world, its plane layout, three-dimensional effect, and majestic form can be said to be rare in ancient times, and it is therefore recognized by the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Cultural Affairs Bureau. Organization listed as “World Cultural Heritage”. Some palaces in the Forbidden City have also set up comprehensive historical art galleries, painting galleries, classified ceramics galleries, the Four Treasures of the Study Hall, and Qing Dynasty court regulations and cultural relics exhibitions, etc., with a large collection of ancient art treasures. It is not to be missed. The Forbidden City is the palace that witnessed the grand ceremonies held in ancient times, and the place where the emperors and empresses lived. The Forbidden City houses a large number of precious cultural relics, accounting for one-sixth of the total number of cultural relics in China.
We will visit Tiananmen Square and Jingshan park together with forbidden city.
The Temple of Heaven: It is famous all over the world for its rigorous architectural layout, unique architectural structure and magnificent architectural decoration. Visit the places where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties offered sacrifices to the heavens and prayed for a good harvest, and feel the majesty of ancient royal buildings. Cross the Danbi Bridge, a corridor running from north to south, explore the Circular Mound Altar and Huangqiongyu in the south, and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest and Huanggan Hall in the north. Witness the echo wall, three-tone stone, dialogue stone, etc. built using acoustic principles, and understand the advanced level of ancient Chinese architectural craftsmanship.
Day 6 Beijing – Datong, 340km
Yungang Grottoes: Located in the western suburbs of Datong City, Shanxi Province, China, the Yungang Grottoes were mainly built between the second year of Xing’an (453) and the nineteenth year of Taihe (495) in the Northern Wei Dynasty. It is the first large-scale grotto in China that was excavated by royal dignitaries. The whole cave group is divided into east, middle and west parts. There are more than 1,100 large and small Buddha squats and more than 51,000 large and small Buddha statues. The largest Buddha statue is 17 meters high, and the smallest Buddha statue is only 2 centimeters high. The largest grotto is Cave 6 (excavated by Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty), which is 20 meters high from the ground to the top of the grotto.
Huayan Temple: Located in the ancient city of Datong. It is the most complete preserved Liao Dynasty temple. There are still monks practicing in the temple.
Shanhua Temple: Located in Xiaonan Street, Datong, it was built in the Tang Dynasty. It was called Kaiyuan Temple during Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty, it was renamed Dapuen Temple during the Later Jin Dynasty of the Five Dynasties, and it was renamed Shanhua Temple in the tenth year of Ming Zhengtong. It is the largest and most complete Liao and Jin style temple in China. The only colorful glazed five-dragon wall in Datong is preserved in the temple.
Day 7 Datong – The Hanging Temple in Hunyuan County, 80km
The Hanging Temple: This Temple is a temple integrating Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. The temple was first built during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-535), and the existing buildings were rebuilt during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The entire temple is built on the hillside of Cuifeng Mountain, relying on 27 wooden beams to support all the main buildings of the temple. From a distance, it looks like it is suspended in the air, so it is called Xuankong Temple.
Day 8 Hanging Temple – Yingxian Wooden Pagoda – Mount Wutai, 260km
Yingxian Wooden Pagoda: It is the oldest and tallest wooden pagoda in China. It is impossible to verify the exact date of its construction, but it can be confirmed from its architectural style and related cultural relics that it was built in the Liao Dynasty and was repaired many times in the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The tower has experienced several major earthquakes and was shelled in a warlord melee in 1926, but the tower never fell. The tower is 67.31 meters high, and the main structure is all wooden. The tower body has five floors, of which the first to fourth floors each have a dark layer as the base of the upper layer, and the top of the tower is made of iron. Tasha. There are statues of Buddha in the inner tank of each tower room, among which a 10-meter-high Sakyamuni statue is placed in the inner tank of the first floor, and murals are painted on the inner wall. Due to the complex structure of the wooden pagoda in Yingxian County, there are 54 different types of bucket arches in the whole pagoda. The maintenance plan of the pagoda has been in a state of controversy since the 1970s, and it was not until 2013 that the relevant plan was finally determined.
Keep driving to Mt. Wutai.
Day 9 Mt. Wutai
Mount Wutai is the only Buddhist monastery in China where Chinese Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism complement each other. It is said that Mount Wutai has 128 temples, and there are 47 existing temples in total. Among them, many temples were built by imperial decree, and many emperors came to pay homage. The famous ones are: Xiantong Temple, Tayuan Temple, Pusa Temple, Nanshan Temple, Dailuoding, Guangji Temple, Wanfo Pavilion, etc. Wutai Mountain has been officially included in the “World Heritage List”.
Nanshan Temple was first built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The stone carvings and clay sculptures in the temple include Buddhist legends, Taoist allusions, and patterns of trees, flowers and plants, which are unique in Mount Wutai. Standing on the top floor of Youguo Temple, you can overlook the other four towers of Mount Wutai.
Xiantong Temple is the largest and oldest temple in Wutai Mountain. It is the earliest temple in China along with the White Horse Temple in Luoyang. In the bell tower in front of Xiantong Temple, there is the largest bronze bell in Wutai Mountain – the Changming Bell. On the surface of the bell is engraved a Buddhist scripture in regular script with more than 10,000 characters.
Inside the Tayuan Temple is the Dabai Pagoda, the landmark building of Mount Wutai. The tower is 56.4 meters high and the whole body is pure white. There are more than 200 copper bells hanging on the top of the tower, and the sound is crisp when the wind blows. The Sutra Pavilion is located on the north side of the Dabai Pagoda. It is a wooden structure building. There are more than 20,000 volumes of scriptures written in Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan.
Bodhisattva Peak is the largest and most complete Tibetan Buddhist temple in Wutai Mountain. It is the main site of the Yellow Sect Dharma Association from the fourth to the fifteenth day of the sixth month of the lunar calendar every year. During this time, you can see the grand occasion of lamas “suppressing demons” when climbing the mountain. . Because the emperors of all dynasties have visited the top of the Bodhisattva, there are many steles and plaques inscribed by the imperial pen in the temple. In the hall and backyard of the east courtyard, there are two white marble steles with four prisms. The four sides of the stele are engraved with inscriptions written in four languages: Han, Mongolian, Manchu and Tibetan, all of which were handwritten by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty.
Day 10 Mt. Wutai – Pingyao Ancient Town, 300km
The ancient city of Pingyao was the financial center of China in the late Qing Dynasty, and has the most complete ancient county layout in China. Pingyao is also the birthplace of China’s banking industry. It was appraised as world cultural heritage by UNESCO in 1997.
Day 11 Pingyao – Yan’an, 350km
To understand the history of the Communist Party of China, the Red Army, and the Long March of the Red Army, you must visit Yan’an.
Day 12 Yan’an – Hukou Waterfall – Xi’an, 450km
The Hukou Waterfall is the largest waterfall on the Yellow River, the second largest waterfall in China and the world’s largest yellow waterfall.
Day 13 Xi’an
Xi’an used to be the political, economic and cultural center of China and the first city to open to the outside world. The famous Silk Road started from Xi’an; the Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum, one of the “Eight Wonders of the World”, shows the city’s majestic and profound historical and cultural heritage. . The long historical and cultural accumulation makes Xi’an enjoy the reputation of “Natural History Museum”. The cultural relics are second to none in the country in terms of their variety, quantity, and value, and many of them are rare treasures that are unique in China and rare in the world.
Visits: Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Qin Shihuang, Shaanxi History Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Day 14 – 15 Xi’an to Chengdu, 800km
drive to Chengdu, Hometown of Giant Pandas, a city with 16.33 million population. The surrounding Chengdu Plain is known as the “Country of Heaven” and the “Land of Abundance”. In 2011, it was recognized by UNESCO as a city of gastronomy. Don’t miss the food here, such as hot pot, and a variety of snacks.
Day 16 Chengdu
Giant Pandas and rest.
Day 17 Chengdu – Leshan – Kangding, 380km, Altitude 2560m
Visit the Leshan Giant Buddha, a world cultural heritage and the tallest stone Buddha statue in the world. The Leshan Giant Buddha was excavated in the first year of Kaiyuan (713) of the Tang Dynasty and completed in the nineteenth year of Zhenyuan (803). It took about 90 years for three responsible persons.
Stay Overnight in Kangding, the historical border between the Kham region of Tibet and the Sichuan region.
Day 18 Kangding – Siding Cuo – Tagong, 100km
Things to do in Tagong: Lhagang (Tagong) monastery, Marnyi Stone in tibetan village, Tagong Grassland
Day 19 Tagong – Litang, 230km
Litang Monastery was built in 1581 (the period of the third Dalai Lama), and developed rapidly during the period of the second Xianggen Living Buddha (1908-1949), and the number of monks in the temple reached 7,000. At present, there are nearly 3,000 monks, and it is the only Gelugpa monastery in the Kham area that can grant Geshe degrees.
Birthplace and Former Residence of the Seventh Dalai Lama.
Day 20 Litang – Shangri-La, 420km
Lost Horizon is a 1933 novel by English writer James Hilton. The Shangri-La described in his book is the area we pass through today.
Day 21 Shangri-La – Tiger Leaping Gorge, 110km
Because of the popularity of James Hilton’s novel Lost Horizon (1933), which introduced Shangri-La and is said have been written on an inspirational theme of “the Tibetan Buddhist Scriptures, where human beings, animals, and nature lived in harmony under the rule of a Tibetan”, the Chinese authorities changed the name of Zhongdian County to Shangri-La County in 2001, as the city claims to be the source of inspiration for Hilton’s novel.
The Sumtseling monastery belonging to the Gelukpa order of Buddhism was established by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1679. It was built during the rule of the Qing dynasty Kangxi Emperor (r.1662-1722). He fully patronized the development of this monastery. It is also said that the emperor was associated in the reincarnation search for the Seventh Dalai Lama
Dukezong Ancient Town: It was a town along the Tea Horse Road. Magnificent Tibetan pagodas, temples, houses, and other structures.
Keep driving to Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Day 22 Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge is a scenic canyon on the Jinsha River, a primary tributary of the upper Yangtze River.It is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas World Heritage Site.
It’s One of the deepest gorges in the world, it measures 16km long and is a giddy 3900m from the waters of the Jinsha River to the snowcapped mountains of Haba Mountain to the west and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to the east. Legend says the name comes from a hunted tiger escaping by jumping across the river at the narrowest point (still 25 metres (82 ft) wide), using the rock in the middle.
At a maximum depth of approximately 3,790 meters (12,434 feet) from river to mountain peak, Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world. The inhabitants of the gorge are primarily the indigenous Nakhi people, who live in a handful of small hamlets. Their primary subsistence comes from grain production and nowadays hiking tourism.
Day 23 Tiger Leaping Gorge – Lijiang Ancient Town, 90km
Lijiang Ancient Town is the best-preserved minority ancient city. This is one of the most popular destinations for Chinese people. A large number of bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops make the nightlife here colorful. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 24 Lijiang Ancient Town – Dali Ancient Town, 160km
Located at the foot of the beautiful Cangshan Mountain, the ancient city of Dali was the capital of the ancient Nanzhao Kingdom and Dali Kingdom. This is a suitable place to live, and many people from big cities want to settle in Dali.
Things to do: Three Pagodas, Dali Ancient City, Erhai Lake, Xizhou Town
Day 25 Dali Ancient Town – Pu’er, 440km
The city was originally called,’Simao City’ and, is famous for its Puer Tea. Pu’er — a legendary, fermented dark tea sourced from ancient trees in the isolated forest canopies of the Yunnan Province in southwest China.It’s gentle, elegant and comforting, like an embrace from a parent.
This area also produces coffee.
Day 26 Pu’er – Mohan China/Laos Border – Laos, 280km
Drive 3 hours to the China/Laos border, complete border and customs formalities. Byebye China, Hello Laos.
Drive to Tibet with your own vehicle, drive to mainland China.
Cross China to southeastern asia, drive to China.
Overland China, drive into China, China self drive
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