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The Xin-Tibet Highway into Tibet—Exploring the Mysterious Xinjiang and Ali Region of Tibet

There are five main routes into Tibet by highway in China:
South Line of Sichuan-Tibet Highway (Chengdu-Lhasa Section of National Highway 318)-the most beautiful avenue in China
North Line of Sichuan-Tibet Highway (Chengdu-Lhasa Section of National Highway 317)-Tibetan Buddhism Worship Tour
Yunnan-Tibet Line (Yunnan-Tibet)-the secret world of Shangri-La, the ancient tea-horse road
Qinghai-Tibet Line (Qinghai-Tibet)-a plateau highway that goes hand in hand with the Qinghai-Tibet Railway
New Tibet Line (Xinjiang-Tibet)-through the mysterious Xinjiang and Tibet’s Ngari area
This article will give you a detailed introduction to the highland highway that runs through the mysterious Xinjiang and Ngari region of Tibet-Xin-Tibet Highway

Overview of Xinzang Highway

Along the Xin-Tibet Highway, there are more than ten snow-capped mountains at an altitude of more than 5,000 meters, over the Kunlun Mountains and Gangdis Mountains, along the northern foothills of the Himalayas, and pass through the vast western wasteland. The entire line is mostly endless Gobi, desert and perennial land. The snowy mountains are often hundreds of kilometers away from people. It is precisely because of this that you can see groups of wild animals such as Tibetan wild donkeys and yellow sheep. The scene is very spectacular.

1. Route of Xinzang Highway

The Xin-Tibet Highway is composed of two parts: Xinjiang Kashgar-Tibet Ali Shiquan Section and Shiquan River-Lhasa Section.
Xinzang Highway Route Map

Xinzang Highway Route Map
The total mileage of the section from Kashgar to Shiquan is about 1,343 kilometers: Kashgar, Xinjiang—243km (G3012 highway)—Yecheng—1100km (G219 National Highway)—Shiquan River
The Shiquan River to Lhasa section can be divided into Ali South Line and Ali North Line.
The total mileage of Shiquan River-Lhasa on the Ali North Line is about 1680 kilometers (Tibet Provincial Highway 301 to Nagqu connects Qinghai-Tibet Highway 109 National Highway): Shiquan River—120km—Geji—350km—Gaize—330km—Nyima—330km—Class Ge—220km—Naqu—330km—Lhasa
The total mileage of Shiquan River-Lhasa on the South Ali’s Line is about 1,600 kilometers: Shiquan River-331km-Baga-334km-Zhongba-145km-Saga-293km-Latse (end of G219 National Road, connected to G318 National Road)-157km- Xigaze—337km—Lhasa

2. Xin-Tibet Highway suitable for fellow travelers

Xinzang Highway scenery

The Xin-Tibet Highway enters Tibet regardless of whether it takes the Ali North Line or the Ali South Line. The total mileage amounts to nearly 3,000 kilometers. It is the longest road into Tibet among all the five highways entering Tibet.
At the same time, because the Xin-Tibet Highway passes through the Kunlun Mountains, Gangdis Mountains and other Himalayas, the Xin-Tibet Highway is also the route with the highest average altitude among all the routes into Tibet.
The North Ali Line takes Tibet Provincial Highway 301. The road conditions are average. It focuses on the natural scenery of Qiangtang grassland and wildlife activities in Tibetan areas. It is suitable for tourists who want to cross-country and explore nature.
Take National Highway 219 on the Ali South Line, and the road conditions are good. It mainly focuses on the trip to the mountain, the Guge Dynasty, and Mount Everest. It is suitable for tourists who need to turn mountains and watch Mount Everest.

3. The best season to enter Tibet on the Xin-Tibet Highway

May-June is the preferred time for the Xin-Tibet Highway to enter Tibet. At this time, the winter ice and snow have gradually melted, the temperature is suitable, and the rainy season is coming soon, which has little impact on road conditions. At this time, the wild animals on Xinzang Online are also in the breeding season, and there are more in number, making it easier to spot and watch.
From September to October, the Xin-Tibet Highway passes through the region with a comfortable climate, and the grasslands are still green. Animals such as Tibetan wild donkeys and Tibetan antelopes are mostly outdoors. Lake Haizi shows its most charming side.
June to August is the rainy season in Tibet. Rainy days will not only affect road traffic, but also reduce the visibility of scenic spots and affect the mood of viewing.
The winter from November to March of the following year is the winter in Tibet. Roads are prone to snow, and most of the wild animals begin to hide for winter. The grasslands along the way turn yellow, and the lakes and lakes are frozen, lacking vitality and vitality.

4. The time required for the Xin-Tibet Highway to enter Tibet

The Xin-Tibet Highway is more than 3,000 kilometers long, and it takes a long time. Generally, it takes at least 10 days to drive. If you go to Mount Everest Base Camp or stay at Gang Rinpoche and turn around the mountain, you will need more time.

5. Altitude along the Xinzang Highway

Altitude changes in the Kashgar-Shiquan section of the Xin-Tibet Highway
Sketch map of elevation changes in the Kashgar-Shiquan section of the Xin-Tibet Highway
A simplified diagram of altitude changes on the Shiquan River to Lhasa Ali South Line of the Xin-Tibet Highway

6. Daban (Daban: Yamaguchi in Uyghur, similar to the pass on the Sichuan-Tibet line), which passes through the Yecheng to Shiquan River section of the Xinzang Highway
Mazadaban 4969 meters above sea level


K217 of the Xin-Tibet Highway is Mazdaban, which is the longest Daban on the Xin-Tibet Line, with an elevation of 4950 meters (or 5100 meters). The Mazha Daban mountain is steep and goes straight into the sky. “Mazha” means “tomb”, which is why the original two Uyghur tombs are named after the site. The scenes on both sides of Mazadaban are extremely desolate. There are endless rocky mountains everywhere without grass, and the mountains are covered with brown gravel. It was an extremely lonely scene, barren slopes, dust, white mountain tops, there was no sign of life, only the occasional truck passing by could remind us that this is still the earth.
Heikatarban, 4930 meters above sea level

Black Qatar Ban on the Xin-Tibet Highway

Heikatarban is also called Heishan Daban, the mountain is black, the altitude is nearly 5,000 meters, the roads are many, and the road conditions are poor. A large glacier can be seen on the opposite mountain. Mazha along the Yarkand River valley to Heika. The Yeerqiang River Valley is the source of the Tarim River. The turbulent Tarim River originated from the northern foot of the Karakoram Mountains. After gathering the trickling snow, it flowed down and finally became the turbulent Tarim River.
Qitai Daban 5186 meters above sea level
Qitai Daban

Qitai Daban is located at the pass of the West Kunlun Mountains and is famous for its steep slopes. The weather here is also harsh, with wind, frost, snow and rain, and the ramps are long and barren. Qitai Daban is not the same as Black Qatarban. Although there are not so many scissors bends, the long, gentle slope is boundless, giving people a kind of despair that is unable to reach the village.
Jieshan Daban 5347 meters above sea level

Although Jieshan Daban is high, its ups and downs are gentle, and there are few cliffs on both sides of the road. There is no danger when crossing Jieshan Daban. On the contrary, because of its height, standing on the mountain pass, looking around, but there is no world. There is a blue sky above, a few white clouds on the foot, the snowy snow in the mountains, the green grass on the hillside, the graffiti of cattle and sheep, wild horses chasing fun, and a few Tibetan antelopes occasionally sprang out, giving us several surprises and excitement.
Red clay Daban 5356 meters above sea level
Xin-Tibet Highway Red Earth Daban

The red earth Daban is the highest point on the Xin-Tibet Highway. Because the area is located in the Kunlun Mountains, the soil is reddish brown.

Documents required to enter Tibet on the Xin-Tibet Highway

Since the Qinghai-Tibet Highway does not require tourists to drive by themselves, the required documents are the same as those for entering Tibet by plane and train. If you have special requirements for the Qinghai-Tibet Highway to enter Tibet, please contact us. If the conditions are met, we will try our best to meet your needs.

1. Tourists from Hong Kong and Macau need a Home Visit Permit

2. Taiwan tourists need a Taiwan compatriot card and a Tibet entry letter.

3. Foreign tourists need Chinese visa and Tibet entry letter.
Tips: If you plan to go to Mount Everest Base Camp, Ali and other areas after arriving in Lhasa, please contact us and we will help you quickly apply for relevant passes.

Attractions along the Xinzang Highway

1. The section from Yecheng to Shiquan on the Xinzang Highway

The section from Yecheng to Shiquan on the Xin-Tibet Highway is magnificent, and the sky is far away. As there are no people on the road and there are few vehicles, it presents a sense of heroism of riding a thousand miles alone. Walking on this section of the road, crossing Kunlun Mountains and Gangdis Mountains, there is a strong desire to conquer. There are no specific scenic spots in this section of the route. There are scenery all the way and scenery everywhere.

2. The Shiquan River-Xigaze-Lhasa section of the Xin-Tibet Highway (Ali South Line, Shenshan Shenghu Zhuanshan, Guge Dynasty and Everest Tour)

Pangong Co, 4241 meters above sea level
Pangong Co.

The most peculiar thing about Pangong Co is that it is a lake with different salt content from east to west. The lakes in the eastern part of China are freshwater lakes, with green water color, good water quality, and rich produce, rich in delicious plateau carps. The middle part is a brackish lake; the western part of Kashmir is a saltwater lake, but there are no fish in the lake. . The surrounding scenery of Pangong Co is very beautiful. It is surrounded by mountains and snow-capped mountains in the distance. The lake is very clear and the visibility is usually 3 to 5 meters. The lake water is dark green, light green and dark blue due to factors such as light, depth, and brightness. s color. Pangong Co is known as the highest bird island in the world. There are about 20 species of birds on the island, and the number can reach tens of thousands. The main birds are: bar-headed goose, brown-headed gull, fish gull, and phoenix Among them, bar-headed geese and brown-headed gulls are the most abundant.
Guge Kingdom Ruins 3889 meters above sea level
Ruins of the Guge Dynasty

The Guge dynasty is of great significance in the history of Tibet. It was a local government established by the descendants of the Tubo royal family in the Ali area in western Tubo and once ruled the Ali area. Before dawn, the castle of the Guge Dynasty gave the impression that it was dark and tall. After daybreak, the sun gradually shone on the castle hill. Under the deep blue sky, the golden ancient castle and the earth mountain merged into one. The majestic Guge dynasty castle stood proudly in the morning. The ruins of the ancient buildings that have been weathered are in The barren land is particularly desolate and even more ancient. Walking into the tallest building of the castle, you can see from afar, and the whole castle is panoramic, which makes people feel majestic and daunting.
Mount Kailash, 6721 meters above sea level
God Mountain Gang Rinpoche

Mount Kailash

The Mount Kailash is a world-recognized sacred mountain, and many believers come here every year. Gang Rinpoche is like a holy messenger standing beside the holy lake of Manpang Yumco, quiet and solemn. Mount Gang Rinpoche is shaped like a white pagoda, and it is more towering and upright under the light of the surrounding relatively gentle mountains. It takes about three days for Gang Rinpoche to go to the mountain. Tourists with this purpose can contact us.
Mapang Yum Co, 4588 meters above sea level

Sacred Lake Mapang Yumco

“Mabang” in Tibetan means undefeated, invincible, and Mabangyongcuo is an unbeatable jasper lake. The lake is clear and transparent, and the natural scenery is beautiful. The water birds on the lake are full of vitality. If you encounter a good weather with blue sky and white clouds, Mapang Yumco can be called a fairyland. Stopping by the lake for a while, it seems that you have received a holy baptism. Has been sublimated, as if to wash away the past.
Everest Base Camp 5200 meters above sea level
Mount Everest


Mount Everest Base Camp is the best place to view Mount Everest. It has a high altitude, strong winds and colder living conditions. Even with all the difficulties, some tourists came to the world’s highest peak Everest despite the difficulties and obstacles, and seeing the true face of the world’s highest peak became a lifelong wish. When the golden gleam of Mount Everest was unfolding in front of you, the huge shock was beyond words.
Gawula Pass, 5210 meters above sea level

Gawula Pass

The Gawula Pass is a pass on the way to the Everest Base Camp. The only viewing platform in the world where you can watch 4 8000-meter-class snow peaks (the order from left to right is: Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Cho Oyu). When the weather is clear, you can feel the majesty of the snow-capped mountains above 8,000 meters above sea level at the Gawula Pass.
Tashilhunpo Monastery in Xigaze, 3900 meters above sea level

Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse

Tashilhunpo Monastery is located at the foot of Niseri Mountain in Shigatse, Tibet. It is the largest temple in the Shigatse area and the religious and cultural center of the Hou-Tibet area. It echoes the Jokhang Temple in the former-Tibet area. In Tibetan, Tashi Lhunbo means “Auspicious Sumi”. Since the 4th Panchen Lama took the presidency, this place has become the “residential place” of the Panchen Lama (the monk travels with a tin stick to follow him, because it is called the residence of the monk is the residence). Tashilhunpo and Lhasa’s “three major monasteries” Ganden, Sera, and Drepung Monastery, as well as Taer Monastery in Qinghai and Labrang Monastery in Gansu are listed as the “six major monasteries” of the Gelug Sect. There are three main halls in the temple, that is, the three golden domes that can be seen in the distance. They are the Qiangba Temple dedicated to the world’s tallest Qiangpa Buddha, the five-ninth Panchen Lama’s burial pagoda, and the tenth Panchen Lama’s. Lingta Temple.
Gyangze Baiju Temple 3900 meters above sea level

Baiju Temple

The unique feature of Baiju Temple is the peaceful coexistence of various sects in one temple, which is rare in other monasteries in Tibet. This gives it a special position and influence in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. The Baiju Pagoda is also known as the “One Hundred Thousands of Knowledge and Literation Pagoda”, referred to as the “White Pagoda”, and also known as the “Baiju Pagoda”. It is because of this pagoda that Baiju Temple is particularly charming. This is not an ordinary pagoda, it is a pagoda built one by one from nearly a hundred Buddhist halls. The tower occupies an area of ​​2,200 square meters, is octagonal on all sides, has 5 floors, bright lines, unique style, solemn and stable. This pagoda is also known as the “One Hundred Thousand Pagoda” and is a unique treasure in the history of Chinese architecture.
Gyangze Castle (Zongshan Castle) 4000 meters above sea level

Gyangze Castle

Zongshan is not high, only more than 100 meters, but the terrain around Gyangze is flat, so Zongshan stands out from the crowd. The Zongshan building was built around the beginning of the 14th century, mainly including the Zongben (county chief) office, sutra hall, Buddhist hall and various warehouses, all built from the mountainside to the top of the mountain. The building is tall and magnificent, condescending and magnificent.
Carola Glacier 5560 meters above sea level

Carola Glacier

The Karora Glacier is close to the road, only 300 meters away. After getting off the bus, slowly approach the Karora Glacier. The huge glacier stretches from the top of the mountain to the side of the road which is only a few hundred meters away from the road. In Lanzhong, he felt a few cool swishes. Although the glacier is in black and white layered form due to the dust on the highway for many years, the upper part of the glacier is shining like a giant thangka hanging on the mountain wall under the sunlight.
Yamdrok Lake, 4,441 meters above sea level

Sacred Lake Yamdrok Lake in Autumn

Yamdrok Lake, Manas Lake and Nam Co have become the three holy lakes in Tibet. Yamdrok Yumso’s water source comes from the snow water in the surrounding Nyainqentanglha Mountains. There is no outlet. The inflow of snow water and natural evaporation have reached a peculiar dynamic balance. The lake water evolves into a kaleidoscopic blue as the light changes. Looking at the Yamdrok Lake from a distance, it looks like a blue ribbon wrapped around the mountains and rivers of Tibet. When you walk into the Yamdrok Lake, the lake is bluer than the sky. White clouds are reflected on the lake, as if the sky is sinking into the bottom of the lake.

3. Shiquanhe-Nima-Naqu-Lhasa section of Xinzang Highway (Nali North Line, Qiangtang No Man’s Land)
Qiangtang Grassland with an average elevation of 4500 meters

Ali Qiangtang Grassland
In northern Tibet, there is a place called “Oasis of Life”. This is the purest place in Tibet’s snow-covered plateau-the Qiangtang grassland. In this grassland with the highest altitude in the world, there is a “double-measured” blue lake Haizi scenery. The lake Haizi here is completely original because of the small number of visitors. There are many continuous pure snow-capped mountains and glaciers around Haizi. The Qiangtang grassland is a paradise where a variety of plateau wild animals thrive. Tibetan antelopes, Tibetan wild donkeys, and migrating black-necked cranes live freely on this grassland. The few indigenous Tibetans live in harmony with them. Enjoy a blue sky and live together on this fertile soil.

Selin Co, 4530 meters above sea level

Sering Co

Selin Co is the second largest lake in Tibet and the third largest saltwater lake in China. Selin Co is a tectonic lake produced during the formation of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is also a large deep-water lake with a water depth of more than 30 meters in the center of the lake.

Selincuo means “the devil’s lake reflected in majesty” in Tibetan and is located in Bangor County and Shenzha County at the northern foot of Gangdise Mountain. The Selin Co watershed is surrounded by mountains, the lake basin is vast, and the lakeside water and grass are abundant. It is one of the important animal husbandry bases in northern Tibet and the Shenzha Wetland Nature Reserve that protects the black-necked cranes and the ecological system of the breeding area.
Dangya Yongcuo 4600 meters above sea level

Dangre yong co

Dangya Yongcuo is the largest holy lake for worship of the original Tibetan religion—Yongzhong Bon, and the third largest lake in Tibet. Dangyeyongcuo runs north-south, the upper circle is thinner and the lower one is long. It looks like a vajra. To the south of Dangyeyongcuo is the Dalguo Mountain. “Dalguo” and “Dangra” are both ancient elephant male words, meaning “snow mountain” and “lake”. Therefore, Dalguo Mountain and Dangra Yongcuo are regarded as “sacred mountain” and “sacred lake” by Yongzhong Bons. “. There are three major Yongcuo in Tibet: Yamdrok, Manapon, and Dangre.
“Yongcuo” means “a lake like jade” in Tibetan. In Tibet, not just any lake can be named “Yongcuo”. Even Namtso, which is known as one of the “three holy lakes”, has not received the title of “Yongcuo”. “What a sacred position in the hearts of Tibetans. The terrain in the south is relatively closed, forming a relatively warm and humid microclimate, where barley can be grown, which is extremely rare in northern Tibet.
Wenbunan Village 4600 meters above sea level

Wenbunan Village

Wenbunan Village is located on the east side of the lake in Dangya Yongcuo, nearly two hundred kilometers away from Nima County. Wenbunan Village is divided into the north and the south by a ravine. Many travelers do not go forward when they arrive in the “North Village” and waste long distance travel. The “South Village” of Wenbunan Village is the essence.
Nam Co, 4718 meters above sea level

Holy lake Nam Co

Nam Co is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. The lake in Nam Co is clean and holy. The dark blue and light blue lake water, against the backdrop of the towering snow-capped mountains, gently rippling and flapping, like a shiny sapphire, inlaid on this vast plateau. When you are in Nam Co, the scenery you see is far better than the picture. It was shocking and exciting to see. The Naganla Pass near Nam Co is 5,190 meters above sea level. Overlooking Nam Co from the Naganla Pass, Nam Co looks like a young girl in a blue tulle, sleeping quietly on the grassland.

Necessary supplies for Tibet highway

1. Medicines: medicines to prevent altitude sickness, such as altitude safety, rhodiola, etc. Other standing medicines such as antipyretics, anti-diarrhea, bandages, band-aids, oxygen bags, etc.
2. Food: Meals will be provided at the stops on the Sichuan-Tibet South Highway. If you are worried that you are not accustomed to eating or have no need to eat at the meal due to altitude sickness, you can bring some of your favorite food to adjust .
3. Clothing: Due to the high altitude fluctuations, you may experience the four seasons in one day when you enter Tibet on the Sichuan-Tibet line from May to October. There are many viewpoints that need to be dropped off for viewing. High altitude areas have low temperatures, so Even in summer, you need to bring warm clothing. Accommodations generally have heating facilities. If you are worried about your sleep quality, you can bring a warm sleeping bag.
4. Digital: The camera must be a must-have item for taking the Sichuan-Tibet highway to Tibet. If you are a photography enthusiast, please bring your favorite set of equipment. The recommended focal length of the lens is 24-70mm; 70-200mm; 14-24mm ; 24-120mm; Please bring the camera memory card and extra battery.
5. Daily necessities: sunscreen and sunglasses are essential items for the plateau. The snow mountain pass is more reflective, so please prepare sunscreen products.
6. Toiletries: It takes a long time to enter Tibet by road. Please prepare your own toiletries, towels, toothbrushes and so on.

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