From Paris to Hong Kong by Bike: ETH Zurich Alumnus Basile Verhulst and the Story of his 18’000 km Journey

by Sacha Pantillon, Assistant Project Manager

On December 14, an ETH Zurich and EPFL Alumni gathering took place in the office of swissnex China which was organized by the ETH Zurich and EPFL Alumni Shanghai Chapters.

The topic of the event was “From Paris to Hong Kong by Bike”. Basile Verhulst shared the story of his 16-months and 18’000 km long bicycle journey from Paris to Hong Kong. The event started around 7pm with an opening speech delivered Zhang Xi (Head of the ETH Zurich Alumni Shanghai Chapter) and after that Basile held his presentation.

At the beginning, Basile did a small presentation about himself and how the idea was born. He then shared with us all the steps that he did for the preparation of the journey (for example: he bought a bike on ebay and several bike bags). He also showed us very interesting photos with all the things than he brought along for his trip, which was very little.

Next, he presented a very fascinating picture showing the countries he travelled through in different colors. This map was representing how difficult it is to be invited to the houses of local people. According to Basile, this is more difficult in Europe and the easiest places to be invited to people’s homes are the Middle-East and the West of Asia.


During his presentation, Basile told us some stories about the native people in different countries, about their culture, their language, and some funny facts. He mentioned that his two biggest problems during the trip were to find a place where he can put up his tent and to obtain the visas for the different countries. Finally, there was a Q&A session and a nice networking part with food provided by Geneva Catering.

A big thank you to Basil Verhulst for the presentation and his presence, to the ETH Zurich and EPFL Alumni Shanghai Chapters and also to everyone who joined the event! 

If you would like to know more about Basile’s journey, you can check out his website: