Qinghai-Tibet Highway
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Qinghai-Tibet Highway

Update: Jan. 11th, 2013

Qinghai-Tibet Highway

Qinghai-Tibet Highway starts from Xining in Qinghai Province and ends at Lhasa in Tibet. Among all the highways on the plateau area, Qinghai-Tibet Highway ranks first for its high elevation. It is also the shortest highway heading toward Tibet with the best road condition among all the highways to Tibet. A large number of tourists planning a self-driving tour to Tibet would like to choose Qinghai-Tibet Highway in the consideration of safety since all the sections on this highway are asphalted.

Construction History of Qinghai-Tibet Highway

Qinghai-Tibet Highway has a length of 1937 kilometers and a width of 10 meters. It enjoys an average altitude of higher than 4000 meters. The construction of Qinghai-Tibet Highway was firstly started in 1950 and put into operation in 1954. It experienced several reconstructions for maintenance and improvement since it stretches on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with severe climatic environment and special geographical condition. The comprehensive reconstruction of Qinghai-Tibet Highway was started in 1974 and completed in 1978. Since then, Qinghai-Tibet Highway has been the busiest highway among all the highways leading toward Lhasa from other parts of China. It plays important role in the exchange of goods and materials between Tibet and the other cities of China.

Notes for Tibet Tour through Qinghai-Tibet Highway

Most tourists making a self-driving tour to Tibet through Qinghai-Tibet Highway would suffer different levels of high altitude sickness for the rising elevation. It is necessary to take some medicines effective in the precaution of altitude sickness several days before start the trip.

Generally, the period between May and October is regarded as the best season to make a Tibet tour through Qinghai-Tibet Highway. Few tourists would like to travel to Tibet through this highway for the weather is a little cold. Warm clothes and sleeping bag should even be prepared in the summer since there is always obvious temperature difference between day and night.

Tourists making a Tibet tour through Qinghai-Tibet Highway are strongly suggested to prepare some solid food in case of need during the journey. It should be noted that most of the restaurants along Qinghai-Tibet Highway only provides Sichuan style dishes and some simple flour food.

Tourists making a self-driving tour to Tibet through Qinghai-Tibet Highway are highly advised to pass the sections with extremely high altitude as soon as possible. The section between Golmud and Lhasa is about 1100 kilometers; most of the drivers would start this trip early in the morning so as to arrive in Lhasa before the night. Good hotels with relatively better condition could ensure tourists good rest which is quite important for the adaptation of the high altitude environment.

Natural Landscapes along Qinghai-Tibet Highway

Tourists making a self-driving tour to Tibet along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway will have the chance to enjoy the breathtaking natural landscapes during the journey. One of the most attractive scenic spots in Qinghai Province – Qinghai Lake would present tourists a picture composed of beautiful sky, lake, grassland and mountains. Besides, tourists could also appreciate the magnificent landscape at Tanggula Mountain Pass, as well as the peaceful landscape of Nagqu Prairie with endless grassland and running animals.

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