Know Before You Go
Tibet Travel Guide
Overland to Tibet - Tibet Road Map and Guide
Highways in Tibet
Currently, there are five highways to Tibet, namely the Sichuan Tibet Highway, Xinjiang Tibet Highway, Qinghai Tibet Highway, Nepal Tibet Friendship Highway and Yunnan Tibet Highway, as show on the Tibet Road Map below.
Due to the poor and rough road conditions, driving to Tibet used to be extremely difficult. However, in recent years, with the improvement of the living standard and transport services on the plateau, self-drive tours to Tibet have been becoming increasingly popular. Now, vehicles from different parts of China can be seen along the Qinghai-Tibet highway and Sichuan-Tibet Highway.
Among the five highways, only Qinghai-Tibet Highway and Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway are open to foreigners at present.
The Qinghai-Tibet Highway starts from Xining, running through the mountains of Kunlun and Tanggula, via Golmud, and reaches Lhasa, with a total length of 1,214 kilometers long and an average elevation of above 4,000 meters. It takes visitors the shortest time to Tibet with the best and safest road comparing to other highways. As the terrain is desolate, it's not recommended and you may have a better time on the train to Lhasa, Tibet.
Many travelers book overland Tibet tours via the Sinao-Nepal Friendship Highway that runs from Kathmandu (capital of Nepal), through Zhamud Friendship Bridge and reaches Lhasa, with a total length of 920 kilometers. It takes three to five days with stops at sights along the way.
Roads in Tibet
A transport network centered around Lhasa has taken shape in Tibet, covering various parts of Tibet and provided outlets to China's hinterland and countries in Central and South Asia. Click to check out the road conditions in Tibet for your trip.