Roads into Tibet from mainland China, as well as the highway in Tibet are greatly improved in recent years. As the best way to experience the splendid Tibet plateau, taking an overland trip from Kathmandu to Lhasa is one of the most popular travel routes to visit Tibet. Also, many tourists choose to drive the road to Tibet from mainland China to explore the wonderful views which they can not see by taking the train or flight.
Here we offer you the updated road maps of Tibet, including the map of roads to Tibet from mainland China and the Sino-Nepal Highway Map, etc.
Map of Roads to Tibet
There are mainly 4 highways getting into Tibet from mainland China, including Qinghai-Tibet Highway from Xining to Lhasa, Sichuan-Tibet Highway from Chengdu to Lhasa, Yunnan-Tibet Highway from Kunming to Lhasa and Xinjiang-Tibet Highway from Kashgar to Lhasa. Among those 4 routes, Sichuan overland to Tibet, Yunnan overland to Tibet and Xinjiang overland to Tibet are probably most preferable choices by tourists.
This Tibet Road Map shows the main roads to Lhasa from Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Xinjiang province.
Besides, the map also shows the way from Kathmandu to Lhasa through the newly Gyirong Port, which was open in 2017 as a replacement of the old border Zhangmu port, which was closed after the big Nepal earthquake in year 2015. After the opening of new border, trip from Nepal to Tibet is resumed, of course it is also okay to travel overland verse vice.
Map of Qinghai-Tibet Highway
Qinghai-Tibet Highway starts from Xining to Lhasa, covering a distance of 1,937 km, was built from 1950 to 1954. Xining to Lhasa Road is a main state secondary road with 10 meters wide roadbed. And it is one of the highest and longest highways in the world, also the shortest, busiest and safest road to Tibet in China.
So it will be convenient to enjoy the overland journey of Xining to Lhasa overland. Qinghai-Tibet Line crosses many mountains and rivers, such as Kunlun Mountain (4,700 meters), Tanggula Mountain (5,515 meters), Tongtian River and Tuotuo River.
Besides, you can view Qarhan Salt Lake (covering an area of 5800 square metres, one of the most important inland salts and biggest one in China), Hu Poplar Woods, Cuona Lake ( the headwater of Nujiang River), the most famous heavenly Namtso Lake and Yangpachen Hotspring etc.
Map of Xinjiang-Tibet Highway
Xinjiang-Tibet Highway starts from Yechen and ends in Cha Wu in Lhatse in Tibet (2140km), being an important highway between Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Tibet Autonomous Region. The average altitude of this route is 4500 meters. The construction of this road started in 1951 and was completed in 1957. It is a very important border highway for China, also one of the highest roads in the world.
Xinjiang - Tibet Highway Maps shows the main road and attractions en route.
Travelling on Xinjiang-Tibet Highway, you are able to see some holy lakes seldom explored by tourists such as Siling Co Lake, Laang-tso Lake etc.; you can also visit the holy mountain Mt. Kailash and holy Lake Manasarovar, do the pilgrimage journey like a local Tibetan. A side trip from Darchen to Guge Kingdom ruins is also recommended. On this route, you will pass very important small town and cites, to see real Tibetan life.
Map of Sichuan-Tibet Highway
Sichuan-Tibet Highway (called Kangzang Road before renamed) is the longest high altitude road in China at present. It was built from April, 1950 to December, 1954. Starting from Chengdu of Sichuan to Lhasa of Tibet, it is part of G318 National Road. Besides, constructing the road was the hardest task in China because of the complex terrain.
In fact, Sichuan-Tibet Highway was divided into Northern (2,293km) and Southern (2,149km) routes at Xindu Bridge, namely Sichuan Northern Road to Tibet and Sichuan Southern Road to Tibet. Both of them lead to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, that is to say you can travel from Chengdu to Lhasa by road if you are in Sichuan province.
Whether you travel on the northern route or southern route, you will witness different kinds of amazing scenery, such as deep valleys, vast grasslands, and rolling mountains. It will be a lifetime rewarding journey to travel overland from Chengdu to Lhasa via Sichuan-Tibet Highway.
Note: For Sichuan Tibet Highway Northern Route are only partially open to international tourists, so normally it is more recommended to choose the southern route or make a journey.
Map of Yunnan-Tibet Highway
Yunnan-Tibet Highway, connects Kunming and Lhasa, also called No. 214 Highway. The route takes 2 days' drive to complete, with an average elevation above 4300m. It goes through primeval forest, Jinsha River and high mountains, being an important access to Tibet by overland.
The road was put into use in 1973, with a total length of 1,930 km starting from Jinhong city of Yunnan to Duopuma of Qinghai. Besides, it is connected with Sichuan-Tibet southern highway (G318). Part of the Yunnan-Tibet highway was Tea Horse Road in ancient time. Meanwhile, you can choose to travel from Kunming to Lhasa overland, or Lijiang to Lhasa overland, or Shangri-la to Lhasa overland.
Map of Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway
The Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway has a total length of 860km, connecting Lhasa and Kathmandu. The route goes across the major tourist attractions in Tibet or nearby, like Gyantse, Shigatse, Sakya, Tingri. Through this route you can view all the classic spots along the way such as Everest Base Vamp, Yamdrok Lake, Sakya Monastery, Tashilhunpo Monastery before finally reach Lhasa.
Road map of the Sino-Nepal friendship highway between Lhasa and Kathmandu.
The majority of the road is well-paved even it crosses high elevation plateau of Tibet. Overall it will takes a week or so to complete the overland trip from Kathmandu to Lhasa. And it is one of the best ways to enjoy a Tibet Nepal tour with the overland journey.
Overland journey to Tibet from mainland China or Nepal offers tourists an option to immerse deeply into the nature scenery and local customs along the way. All of these road trips are full of challenges and great views and worthy you to explore. If you have any questions about arranging an overland tour in Tibet, please contact us or leave your comments below.