Seven Dragons Across Asia

A dream that became an adventure!  

By Bill Pratt


An Introduction by Rusty BennanDubbs:


On this adventurous and cultural journey we discovered five of the greatest wonders of Asia.  Two Wonders of ancient China:  the Terra Cotta Warriors of Xi’an and the Great Wall.  The Great Wall, at over 3,000 miles long, is the only man-made monument recognizable from space. The 22-centuries old fortified city of Xi’an houses stunning remains of imperial palaces and a life-size army of 10,000 individual terra cotta warriors.  A Wonder:  Tibet is a medieval treasure everyday both naturally, and culturally.  A Wonder: at over 11,400 vertical feet, the shear-rock North Wall of Mt. Everest is incomprehensibly awesome.   A Wonder:  17th century Kathmandu with its temples, Hindu gods, palaces, holy cows and modern King.


This motorcycle trip has never been done…by anyone.  There were few tourists seen.  The trip was tough physically on both men and machines due to mileage, number of days, roads or lack of, seriously high elevations and a need to keep to a flexible yet firm itinerary whose goal is to ride to Kathmandu.   This was a big trip, as logistically and physically challenging as any expedition.


The Ride was exhausting, fascinating, boring, insightful, exciting, and proved “awakening” for the serendipity it allows between the people and cultures it touches.  Looking like time travelers with colorful machines and motorcycle protective armor, this ride was spent most of its time visiting countries where daily lifestyles remain 200 or more years in the past. 


Why this route?  My objective has been to ride from the capital of China through the Himalayas to the capital of Nepal.  Routes through China are many, but there are only 4 across Tibet.  One route is west to east so that doesn’t work.  Two routes are roughly east to west and then south but each has very bad road conditions with landslides often blocking those routes.  Using one of these routes and running into a serious landslide would virtually render the ride SOL.  One route is dependable from north going south through Golmud to Lhasa.  The rest of the China route is designed to take us past the great cultural treasures of China yet leads us to Golmud.  The route design is a combination of dependable logistics, my wishes and Zhi Wei’s knowledge.


What is “mai won te”?  A Chinese expression meaning; that’s the way life is going; a shrug of the shoulders; time to read a book and wait; relax and see what happens.


Tso Ba!   Lets Go!


Ó Copyright, Bill Pratt, Mill Creek, WA – March 2001