cycle touring taklamakan desert
AsiaFrom the road

Taklamakan desert – cycle touring China Part 2

cycling the taklamakan desert
chinese silkroad transportation
silk road signs
taklamakan desert china
taklamakan desert
sand dunes taklamakan desert
G315 China
Qakilik China
dates Qakilik China
fresh food china
chinese food Xinjiang
taklamakan desert cycling
cycle touring china
road to the tibetan plateau
winter camping Taklamakan
winter camping china
downhill sign China
tibetan plateau silkroad


Stephen 10. January 2021 at 1:08

No wonder you resorted to audiobooks and podcasts, to break up the monotony! It looks so bleak! I loved the picture of the car on the back of a truck on the back of another truck! I’ve never seen anything like that before.

I still hope to cycle through China. But the constant check points and being followed turns me off. I’ve read other blogs of other touring cyclists who have given up on China (and some other countries) because of that, and gone on to somewhere else instead. But that seems to be more in some certain prvinces of western China. I’ve also heard that it’s a little harder to get a Chinease visa if you’ve been to so many countries in a short time frame before (Wheels to Wander gave up on getting a Chinese visa due to the Chinese wanting to further investigate due to the number of countries they’d been to before). If I were to go through China, I’d probably go there first.

Fabian 10. January 2021 at 11:05

Thanks for the comment and happy new year to you Stephen!

Yeah, the one with the Trucks was funny, I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it 🙂
You’re right. In my opinion, it is still worth doing the Taklamakan but only If your main goal is the challenge itself of crossing the whole desert by bike, or the mental or physical challenge behind. Except that and thinking about bicycle touring itself, there’s not much to see! In this case, I would rather enjoy some days in Kashgar and then skip the desert and eastern Xinjiang by train and continuing touring in Qinghai Province and the Tibetan Plateau which is amazing. I didn’t hear about that issue getting the Chinese visa so far, could be a problem to get the visa in certain countries. I got mine in Tehran and didn’t have any problems getting my 60day visa, but I also “only” had stamps from the previous 12 countries I cycled through. Also, a lot of other cyclists already applied for their Chinese visa in their home country, which is gonna be more expensive but you also might get a visa that is valid for longer or even multiple entry visas.

Stephen 10. January 2021 at 12:16

My planned route, China was going to be one of the last countries – I plan to do NZ, the Americas, Africa, Europe, then Asia.Xinjiang is might be one that I might take the train through. It’s a long way across, and China is a massive country. It may be time saving.

John 14. April 2021 at 10:57

Good on you Fabian! Really interesting read. I’m a cyclist based out in China. Will read on and get some inspiration for the next trip. If you have one province/area that you would do again do let me know and I will give it a go. Best. John

Fabian 2. June 2021 at 9:01

Hi John!

Welcome to the Blog and thanks for the comment.
China was such an interesting and varied country. And due to the political situation in Xinjiang and the arriving winter on the Tibetan plateau, quite challenging as well.
I think for me Qinghai and the Tibetan plateau was the most special area I cycled through in China. I would love to explore this province again by bicycle and tent, maybe also in the warmer season.
And of course, there is still a lot more to be explored, especially provinces in the east I didn’t go through.
Wish you a great week and happy cycling!



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