Qinghai-Tibet Highway (Xi'ning-Lhasa)

Qinghai-Tibet Highway (Xining-Golmud-Lhasa)

Qinghai-Tibet Highway is by far the safest highway with best road conditions into or out of Tibet, comparing to other highways such as Sichuan-Tibet Highway, Yunnan-Tibet Highway, Xinjiang-Tibet highway or Nepal-Tibet highway.

Starting from Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, the Qinghai-Tibet Highway stretches a 1,947 km (about 1,210 miles) into Tibet with an average elevation of above 4,000 meters. Winding along the Kunlun Mountain, Tanggula Mountain, Tuotuo River, and vast grassland, the Qinghai-Tibet Highway amazes travelers with its appealing landscape along the plateau.

The land adventure from Lhasa to Xining or vice versa is awesome and really enjoyable. With a flexible schedule of 3-4 days for the 200 km, you are welcomed to discover more of the remote area along the way.

However if you have decided to enter or leave Tibet by driving along Qinghai-Tibet Highway, please do not forget that the road condition might not be as good as you think. And you’d better make careful preparation before departure.

Quick tips below:

1) Take enough clothes, medicines for high altitude sickness, and enough food, as food along these roads is often bland and sometimes unavailable.

2) Do not undertake too many activities in order to avoid mountain sickness. If you are traveling with your own car, take sufficient gas and make sure that your car is in good mechanical condition.

Best Time to Go

The best time for tourists to go is from May to the second week of October when the climate is typical of plateau land. The rapeseed flowers bloom vigorously from July to August, making the place a “Tibetan Yangtze Delta in spring”. However, rainfall may ruin the travel a little.

Qinghai-Tibet Highway Route

Lhasa – 87 km – Yambajan – 75 km – Damxung – 164 km – Nagqu – 138 km – Amdo – 89 km – Tanggula Mountains – 100 km – Yanshiping – 91 km – Tuotuo Riverside – 150 km – Wudaoliang – 269 km – Golmud – 484 km – Caka – 196 km – Daotang River – 123 km – Xining