Sichuan-Tibet Highway Route
The 2,412km long Sichuan-Tibet Highway starts from Chengdu of Sichuan on the east and ends at Lhasa of Tibet on the west. The road stretches into Lhasa passing Ya’an, Garze and Chamdo.
Sichuan-Tibet highway traverses 14 high mountains which average 4,000-5000m, spans dozens of famous rivers (Dadu River, Jinsha River, Lantsang River, Nujiang), crosses primeval forest and numerous dangerous sections. It has spectacular views along the line, with unique ethnic customs.
Travelers can enjoy the magnificent and changeable scenery ranging from warm spring to cold and snowing winter, which makes you intoxicated. This climate will be changing in front of you and you may think “days in heaven, but years on the earth”. The trip may take around 15 days if you you are not in a hurry.
- Southern Route
Chengdu-> Ya'an-> Kangding-> Xinduqiao-> Litang-> Batang-> Markam-> Bongda-> Baxoi-> Bomi-> Nyingchi-> Bayi-> Gongbo Gyamda-> Lhasa.
2149km in length with the highest point at Litang of 4700m.
- Northern Route
Chengdu-> Xiaojin-> Danba-> Daofu-> Luhuo-> Garze-> Manigango-> Dege-> Gyamda-> Chamdo-> Bongda-> Baxoi-> Bomi-> Nyingchi-> Bayi-> Gongbo Gyamda-> Lhasa.
2412km in length with the highest point at Queer Mt. of 4916m.
Scenic Spots along the route
The capital of Garze autonomous county with an old name-Dajianlu, as a noted town with famous scenic spot----Paoma Mtn、Muge Lake, it plays a role as the center of transportation, culture , commerce and politics in Garze county.
- Zheduo Mt.
It divides Daduhe River and Yagongjiang River, and traditionally divides Man and Han group, with a name as “the barrier of the northern area of the Great Wall”.
It is the dividing spot of south and north highways. Being famous for the beautiful scenery, people call it as “the paradise of photography”.
Being located in the Maoya Plains, the vast and flat Litang is the highest county along the highway, called the “High town of the world”. The annual Litang Horse Racing, the most important civil activities in Kangding region, Tibet, is held in each August, a blooming season. At that time, all herdsmen with splendid costumes and exquisite ornaments from the grassland go together to the Horse Race.
Siguniang Shan(四姑娘山 Four Sisters Mountain)
Things to do: hiking the Haizi gully where hides several alpine lakes, climbing Mt. Daguniang (5355m)..., 2 to 3 days2 to 3 days
- Danba (460km from Chengdu. Altitude: 1950m)
Things to do: hiking in the countryside and discover some picturesque Tibetan villages.
It is possible to hike from Dangling to Daofu (2 days)
Bamei Town (3450M), Tagong Grassland (3800m).
Highlights: Mt Yala and its lakes
Hiking around Tagong:
1. Discovery trek to the Yala (Zhara) Sacred Mountain, where hides beautiful Alpine lakes.
2. A 6-day circuit in the west of Tagong. Highlights: several isolated monasteries, lakes. Guides and horses can be found in Tagong.
3.Trek from Tagong grassland to Mugetso of Kangding
If Danba doesn't have any direct bus to Ganzi, go first to either Bamei or Tagong, stay overnight, and catch the Kangding-Ganzi bus next day.
Hiking around Ganzi: from Dargye (Dajin) Monastery, walk along the Yalong River to a nunnery, around 7km upstream, on the west bank of the river. Heading Dargye Gonpa (Dajin Si) after Ganzi, reach Rongbatsa town. ..
Sertar (3984m): In the north of Ganzi hides a splendid monastery and the biggest Buddhism college outside Tibet. But the 150km distance needs a whole day to get there.
As the cultural center of Tibet, Derge has the famous Dege Printing House. A plenty of spectacular hiking possibilities exist in the backcountry. The origin of Tibetan woodcarving and engraving printing technology, Yinjing temple keeps the most delicate, complete and oldest printing procedures. Temple of Babang, Zongsa and Zuqing are also famous. Natural scenery includes New Luai, Axu Grassland.
Babang/Palpung Monastery, and its surrounding area including a Buddhism college, Dordra Monastery.
Dzongsal monastery- stay in the monastery overlooking the Meisu village.
(All three monasteries provide accommodation.)
Hiking: "The walk to Babang is possibly the most wonderful day's trek anywhere in China. The people here grow highland barley on spectacular green terraces that line the trekking route."
Dege(Anjihei) - Babang (7-10 hours, climb over two passes: the highest Ngose La is around 4700m)
Babang has a guest room, no restaurant.
Babang - Dzongsal, Meisu (7-9 hours, one high pass: Ha La 4355m).
Acccomdation in Dzongsa Gompa or a guesthouse at the painting school at the shedra below. Meisu has shops and restaurants.
The accommodation in Manigango is horrible. Better to camp at Yilhun Lhatso Lake.
Dzongsal - Dopu valley - Maniganggo (the monastery may help arrange the tent and food for this hike).
From Dzongsal to Dege: the monastery can call a jeep from Dege to pick up the hikers.
Enter into Tibet: Tibet Permits(MUST READ)
The Jinsha Bridge, 26km from Dege is the Tibetan border. It's worth a try.
Being located in the area of Hengduan Mtn and three-river (Jinshajiang River, Lantsang River and Nujiang River), Chamdo is an important town in eastern Tibet with many Monasteries, holy mountains and valley scenery, and the Chambaling Monastery is the most well known.
The most famous Ranwu Lake is one of the origins of the branch of Yarlung Zangbo River. The Baxoi temple is one of 4 Gelug Sect temples.
Also named as Namjiagbarwa Grand Cannon, located between Pomi and Bayi. The canyon is claimed by Chinese Scientists the Deepest gorge in the world. Covered by dense primitive forests, the gorge cuts through some soaring peaks up to 7000 meters. The two highest among them are the famous Mt. Namjagbarwa (Namtche Barwa, 7782m) and Mt. Gyalha Bairi (7234m).
The trail to Metok / 墨脱(Motuo) is adored by Chinese keen hikers as the most challenging trail. Metok village can be accessed only by foot.
West Trailhead: Pai village near Bayi, a 6-day hike to reach Motuo.
East Trailhead: the 80km point. The road comes from Bomi ends here. A 3-day hike to reach Motuo.
Northwest Trailhead: Pailong near Tongmai on the 317 highway between Bomi and Bayi is the departure spot. Hike around 11 days to reach Motuo.
- Gongbo Gyamda
The most famous Basum-Tso National Forest Park, also named as Gonggo Lake, is the earliest and most well developed scenic spot, and famous for the beautiful combination of lakes, mountains, plants and animal resources.