Off the beaten track in China.

Unfettered freedom with the Unimog long-distance tourer.

Splashes of yellow and red flicker in the dusty dry desert air. They appear from the middle of nowhere as the Unimog turns the corner, brightly coloured tents and flags belonging to the camp of the twelfth Unimog Off-road Tour in China’s Alashan Desert. The camp is on the route of Liu Bin and other members of the Unimog Club China. And is the highlight of their a month-long off-road adventure through the Middle Kingdom.

It's a Unimog thing.

Liu Bin is a big fan. A real Unimog man. So much so that he even travelled specially to Germany once to collect a wooden model Unimog, an accurate replica down to the last detail. Naturally, he also owns a full-size Unimog – a long-distance tourer. Liu Bin, also known as Benson Liu, was in fact the first private individual in China to own the off-road mobile home from Mercedes-Benz.

His work is his hobby and his hobby is his job. Benson Liu’s passion for Unimog infuses his whole life. He’s the official Daimler representative and a private dealer for Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks in Shenzhen, a metropolis with a population of over 12 million, close to Hong Kong. In his role as contact person for Unimog Club China he is available to answer questions from interested parties and he meets other members regularly at events where they can enjoy their shared passion.

In October 2017 the club organised a major trip. Taking centre stage on the adventure were a Unimog U 5000 with detachable cabin, a Unimog U 4000 with double cab and a Unimog U 4000 long-distance tourer.

Travel without limitation.

The Unimog gets to places other vehicles cannot reach. That claim is one that Benson Liu and his clubmates aimed to put to the test on their 26-day travel. From desert to snow-covered glacier, from high plain to river ford – the adventurers covered every kind of terrain and were richly rewarded for their efforts. Entirely new worlds opened up – unspoiled, wild landscapes far from the hustle and bustle of the city. They covered a total distance of 11,000 km from the south to the north-west of China, through rain and shine across snow, ice, rock and sand, across eleven provinces and autonomous regions, at altitudes up to 4,828 m.

Off the beaten track: going off-road through China with the Unimog long-distance tourer.
Fording capability up to 1.20 m: no problem for the extreme off-road Unimog.
Even on snow and ice the extreme off-road Unimog is in its element.
Past mountains, valleys and lakes: taking the Unimog off-road is when the real adventure starts.
Benson Liu and his fellow club members reached 4800 m above sea level, with Unimog power.
Cross-country in the Middle Kingdom: the extreme off-road Unimog is built for adventure. Next stop: the Unimog Off-road Tour.
Off the beaten track: going off-road through China with the Unimog long-distance tourer.

Next stop: the Unimog Off-road Tour.

The adventurers’ itinerary also included the “Yue Ye” Unimog Off-road Tour in the middle of China’s Alashan Desert. The camp opened its doors to Unimog aficionados for the twelfth time. The name Yue Ye means “happy and wild” – a fitting motto for Benson Liu and his friends from Unimog Club China. From morning till evening the focus was firmly on the Unimog, with visitors given the chance to put the vehicle’s tough guy reputation to the test in training sessions on the unrelenting desert sand and receive useful advice from professional Unimog drivers. At the end, participants could choose to demonstrate their newly acquired knowledge and practical off-road driving skills to qualify for a certificate.

In between the organised sessions there was plenty of time for everyone to share their experiences with other like-minded Unimog fans. Technical discussions round the camp fire, mutual expressions of joy during the fireworks display, with nothing but the vast desert around them – plus a whole lot of Unimog trucks. All this combined to make Yue Ye and the Off-road Trip an unforgettable experience for Benson Liu. Because Benson Liu is a fan. Now more than ever.

Unmissable: the 2017 Unimog Off-road Tour brought a touch of colour to the Alashan Desert.
Unimog drivers’ training in the desert.
Professional Unimog drivers from Mercedes-Benz China explain the structure of the vehicle.
The experts also told participants all about the various functions in the interior.
A great view: the extreme off-roader provides optimum visibility.
Participants on the Unimog Off-road Tour enjoyed fine food too.
Lunchtime gathering: like-minded Unimog fans talk shop.
Proud graduates of the Unimog training course in the Alashan Desert.
Unimog merchandise attracts the participants’ interest.
The evening draws to a convivial close round the Unimog Off-road Tour camp fire.
Grand finale: fireworks light up the vast desert sky.
Unmissable: the 2017 Unimog Off-road Tour brought a touch of colour to the Alashan Desert.
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