Yunnan to Tibet overland tour-how many National Highways you can get Tibet permits to drive through?

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Yunnan to Tibet overland tour via taking two different kinds of National Highways and for how many National Highways we can get Tibet permits?

There are three main National Highways that the foreign tourists can get Tibet permits to drive through which are G214, G318 and Qinghai Tibetan Highways. There is a good news that Tibet Autonomous Region is going to open G219 National Highway to foreign tourists soon which has another extremely beautiful scenery and the landscape. 

So-far the best Tibet overland tour is Yunnan to Tibet overland tour which starts in Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan province which has lots of different ethnic groups of China including a pretty large numbers of Tibetans in Shangrila.

Is it allowed for foreign tourists to drive to Tibet from Yunnan via taking G214 and G318 National Highway?

Yunnan to Tibet overland tour is a long journey overland tour via G214 and G318 National Highway. Since 2019, this beautiful Tibet overland tour was opened to foreign tourists again and this beautiful Tibet overland tour can be started from Kunming which has lots of international flights or you can fly to Kunming and from Kunming continue connecting a flight to Dali or Shangrila and from there you can start your self-driving tour in Tibet or you can ask your local Tibetan tour operator to arrange vehicle for you waiting in Shangrila or Dali.

If you like to see more ethnic groups during your self-driving tour in Tibet, it is recommended to start the trip to Tibet from Kunming by following G214 until you reach Deqin county, one of the biggest and most famous counties in Shangrila city of Yunnan province because of Kawa Karpo snow mountain, located in Deqin county.

From where G318 National Highway is started and where it is ended and what is the total distance of G318?

From Deqin county, you will meet G318 high way. The starting point of G318 National Highway is People’s Square in Huangpu Du District, Shanghai and the ending point is the Sino-Nepal Friendship Bridge in Dzangmu border, Nyalam county of Shigatse city. The total distance of G318 National Highway is 5476Km distance. If you start the self-driving tour from Shanghai all the way to Dzangmu border in Tibet, you will pass by the administrative districts during your 318 National Highway self-driving tour which are mainly Shanghai-Suzhou-Huzhou-Xuancheng-Wuhu-Chizhou-Anqing-Huanggang-Wuhan-Jingzhou-Yichang-Enshi-Chongqing-Dazhou-Guang’an-Nanchong-Suining-Ziyang Chengdu-Ya’an-Ganzi-Qamdo-Nyingchi-Lhasa-Shigatse.

Which is the most beautiful parts of the G318 National Highway?

Staring the overland tour on G214 and G318 from Lijiang or Shangrila is the most beautiful Tibet overland tours as you can see beautiful Tibetan villages of different Tibetan regions of Yunnan, Kham and central Tibet. Usually, if your time is quite limited and mainly looking for a Tibet overland tour from Yunnan, then we recommend to start your trip to Tibet from Yunnan. You can fly to Kunming and connect the flight to Lijaing which is just around an hour flight as you can visit one of the most beautiful old towns in Lijiang and the pond of the black dragon and different kinds of ethnic group’s culture.

Driving from Lijiang to Shangrila or known as Gyelthang in Tibetan enroot visit the First Bend of Yangtze River at Shigu and the Tiger Leaping Gorge. In Shangrila, you can visit a beautiful monastery called Songtsanling monastery and one of the most beautiful old towns in Gyelthang including a visit to a beautiful Bazzar with full of colourful Tibetan traditional products.

From Gyelthang, you can continue Yunnan to Tibet overland tour to Deqin county at the distance of around 180km. In Deqin county, you are recommend to spend two nights as you will go to explore Kawa Karpo, the most beautiful snow mountain in the world. The villages in Deqin county are very beautiful and the view of Kawa Karpo snow mountain is extremely beautiful.

Where do you meet G318 National Highway for your Yunnan to Tibet overland tour?

After driving around 500km distance on the G214 national Highway, you will meet G318 National Highway after Deqin county. Deqin county is also another starting point of Yunna to Tibet overland tour where some people start their Tibet overland tour from Chengdu via Kanding, Dartsedo in Tibet, Lithang and then to Deqin county. From Deqin county, you can continue Yunnan to Tibet overland tour via Yanjing town, known as Tsakalo in Tibetan or Tsaka by Naxi ethnic group.

Which is the border town between Tibet Autonomous Region and Yunnan province?

The official name of Yanjing Township is “Naxi ethnic group Township as there were quite many Naxi ethnic groups but nowadays, most of the population is Tibetans. Yanjing township is under the administration of Mangkang County, Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China” Yanjing is considered as the jewel on the ancient tea-horse road so the Naxi people call it “Tsaka” or salt well, “Tsa” is salt in Tibetan, and “ka” is hole.

It is located at the southeastern tip of the Tibet Autonomous Region, between Mangkang County and Deqin County on the east bank of the Lancang River in the Hengduan Mountains. It is the first stop from Yunnan to Tibet on the Yunnan-Tibet Highway. The average altitude of the town is about 2400 meters. The northeast is adjacent to Batang ccounty located in Sichuan province, the south is bordered by Deqin county in Yunnan province, and the west is connected to Zhayu known as Zayul county in Tibetan, Bitu, and Menkong in Zuogong County, Tibet.

The climate is relatively hot, rich in crops such as barley, barley, corn, and millet, as well as apples, Pears, pomegranates, walnuts, watermelons and other fruits. Yanjing is a magical place in Tibet. Historically, it was the main route of ancient tea-horse road and it was the main place where the Tibetans exchange tea trade and to be transported to Tibet. The cultural landscape of Yanjing Salt Field is now the only surviving artificial original salt-dried landscape on the “Ancient Tea Horse Road”.

From where do you need Tibet permits for Yunnan to Tibet overland tour?

No matter whether you start your trip to Tibet from Kunming, Lijiang or Shangrila and traveling around Yunnan province including Shangrila where it is full of Tibetans, you are not required Tibet permits. You can just travel with your passport and a valid China visa. When you reach Yanjing township, the border between Tibet Autonomous Region and Yunnan province, you are asked to show your Tibet permits and Tibetan tour guide with a licensed Tibet tourist vehicle. Without those three important things, you are not allowed to travel and to get all those Tibet permits, you must contact local Tibetan travel agent based in Lhasa in a month advance to prepare and make necessary Tibet travel permits for Yunnan to Tibet overland tour.

How to get to Nyingchi prefecture from Yanjing township and what you can see on the way?

From Yanjing to Markham county at the distance of around 110km and from Markham county to Pachoe county via Dzogong county by passing several high mountain passes including 77 zigzag roads of the Tsa Kampala pass. After Dzogong county, you will reach Pamda where the Chamdo airport is and from Pamda, there is a junction where you can drive to Chamdo prefecture on the right handside or you can continue Tibet overland tour on the G318 National Highway towards Pachoe county.

After Pashoe county, continue Yunnan to Tibet overland tour via Rawu lake which is the border between Chamdo prefecture and Nyingtri prefecture. Most parts of Nyingtri prefecture is located in a beautiful forest gorge with gorgeous snow mountain including Mt Namchark Barwa and the grand canyon of Yarlung Tsangpo which finally goes into India. On the way, you can visit some Bon monasteries and Bon sacred mountain and the most beautiful Darksum lake and finally by taking Nyingchi to Lhasa highway at the distance of 410km distance, you will reach Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet.

What is the highlight of Yunnan to Tibet overland tour?

The highlight of this trip too many but tell the general things that you can see during this most adventurous Tibet overland tour are different kinds of ethnic groups and their traditional culture and lives, different kinds of region’s Tibetans and their traditional way of dressing, believing, way of talking, dialects etc. The first bend of Yangtse river which is a very important river for the southeast Asian countries. The most beautiful snow mountain of Kawa karpo which is also believed as a very sacred mountain by Tibetans and there are thousands of pilgrims going around Kawa Karpo every year.

Different kinds of old towns in Lijiang and Shangrila and lots of beautiful Tibetan villages and their traditional Tibetan houses, built in different architect styles by depending on the climate of each and every single village’s location. Beautiful salt well in Yanjing, lots of monasteries, beautiful green grasslands with nomads, grazing their Yak and Sheep. Yak is the most sacred animals for Tibetans, especially in the olden days. They used Yak for everything, such as yaks for transportation, Yak for meat, Yaks for making tents etc.

Driving through lots of high mountain passes with a beautiful landscaped of snow mountains, rocky hills, beautiful gorges, dense forest, wild animals, beautiful green fields of Barley and wheat, mastered-seed flowers, gorgeous lakes, ponds, river flowing and full of peach flowers if you come on the right time so Chinese tourists call G318 National highway is the most beautiful overland tour all over China.

Where is the starting and ending point of G214 National Highway?

G214 National Highway starts from Xining, the capital city of Qinghai province and it is one of the biggest Tibetan inhabitant areas where it used to be called Amdo, the north eastern part of Tibet. The ending point of G214 National Highway is ended in Jinhong in Yunnan province and the total distance of G214 is 3256Km. The terrain along the route is complex, and the climate is high and cold. The advantage of G214 National Highway which is different from other national roads is that the whole road presents the best biodiversity, geological diversity, landscape diversity, rich nature and historical culture, unique religious and ethnic customs as you are passing through through the four provinces of Qinghai Tibetan area, Kham area of Tibet Autonomous Region, Yunnan Tibetan area and Sichuan Tibetan area.

Do you need Tibet permits for G214 National Highway overland tour?

Generally speaking, most parts of G214 National Highway is located in those of the three Tibetan areas under Qinghai province, Sichuan province and Yunnan province so all those three provinces are not required any travel permits. You can travel easily with a valid passport and China visa even if you travel to the Tibetan areas of those three provinces. The villages and towns passing during G214 national highway are Kham, the eastern part of Tibet and Amdo, the north eastern part of Tibet.

You can see hundreds of thousands of monasteries if you had enough time during your G214 National Highway Tibet overland tour, vast grasslands, beautiful nomad camps, rich Khampa and Amdo people’s culture and traditions. Beautiful snowcapped mountains, rocky hills, gorgeous lakes, beautiful fields.

Where is the starting and ending point of Qinghai Tibetan Highway?

Qinghai Tibetan Highway is started from Xining, the capital city of Qinghai province and ended in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region. The total distance of Qinghai Tibetan Highway is around 2100Km and the driving distance in Qinghai province is around 1400km and around 700km is in Tibet Autonomous Region.

What you can see during your Qinghai Tibetan Highway overland tour?

You can see beautiful monasteries, huge green grasslands, lots of Tibetan and Mongolian nomads, beautiful Qinghai lakes ( Kokonor lake by Mongolian and Tso Ngonpo by Tibetan ), the most beautiful Kunlun mountain ranges, Tanggo la mountain pass at the elevation of over 5000mts above sea level, beautiful Nyenchen Thangla mountain ranges and lots of beautiful Tibetan nomad camps, black Yak-made nomad tents and beautiful villages.

Do you need Tibet travel permits for traveling through Qinghai Tibetan Highway overland tour?

For the parts of Tibetan area in Qignhai province, you are not required Tibet travel permits but you are required to have Tibet travel permits during your Qinghai Tibetan highway overland tour once you are entering in Tibet Autonomous Region where there is a small county called Amdo county which is the border county between Qinghai province and Tibet Autonomous Region, located to the foot of Tanggo la mountain pass. It is the same process getting Tibet permits as Yunnan to Tibet overland tour that you need to ask your local Tibetan travel agent to prepare Tibet permits in a month advance as you need several different kinds of Tibet travel permits.

Is G219 National Highway planning to open to tourists?

G219 National Highway is planning to open to tourists soon and many parts of G219 is driving to many villages and towns which are bordered to India, Bhutan, Nepal, Ladhak, Sikkim, Pakistan etc so you need special Tibet travel permits to travel through G219 National Highway. All the roads of G219 has been constructed and most parts of the road was paved too.

Where is the starting and ending point of G219 National Highway?

G219 is started from Kashgar in Xinjiang in the western parts of China and ended in Guanxi province. The total distance of G219 National Highway is around 10065km and it is the longest National Highway in the world.

How many Kilometers of G219 National Highway that can cover in Tibet Autonomous Region?

The distance of G219 in Tibet is 3486km and it is started from Tsawalong township in the far eastern part of Tibet, bordered to Yunnan province. Tsawalong township at the altitude of 1700mts above sea level with a beautiful Yangtse river gorge and river bend, green forest and beautiful Tibetan villages. If we drove from Tsawalong to Yunnan border, there is around 48km distance and on the way, you can visit the heart of Mt kawa karpo and V shape bend of the Yangtse river scenic spot. From Tsawalong to Zayul county is 211km and on the way, there is a nomadic town called Mouru village with a beautiful scenic spot. On the way, you will pass by several different kinds high mountain passes with average elevation of over 4600mts above sea level. Zayul county is at the elevation of 2340m above sea level and it is a nice place to spend over night in order to acclimatize. From Zayul county.

Will there be another option for Yunnan to Tibet overland tour once G219 is opened to foreign tourists?

So in the future, if this part of the G219 is opened, it will be another great option of Yunnan to Tibet overland tour as Tsawalong and Zayul county are located in a very low altitude places which is perfect to acclimatize to the high altitude slowly rather than driving to the high altitude quickly.

From Zayul county, you can drive to Rawu lake and join the G318 National High way and continue Tibet adventure tour till Nyingchi and from there, you can drive to Jindong town where there is a junction to continue to Lang county or drive to Yumei town on the left side. Yumei town is bordered to India and it is a beautiful border town through two big mountain passes and beautiful green grassland of nomadic area. From Yumei county, you can continue Yunnan to Tibet overland tour to Tsetang via Longtse county by visiting Lhopa ethnic group on the way.

After Tsetang, if you still want to follow the G219 National Highway, then it goes through Chonggye county, Tsomei county, Lhodark county, bordered to Bhutan and continue to Gyantse, Shigatse, Everest, Kyirong, Saga, Baryang, Mansarovar lake, Guge Kingdom, Rutog county, Yecheng and finally to Kashgar.

Since Tibet is a vast land, probably much bigger than entire Europe if we combine all 5 different provinces and autonomous Regions of Tibet if you had enough time, Tibet is the best place of self-driving or making adventure over landing tour such as Yunnan to Tibet overland tour, Chengdu to Tibet overland tour, Qinghai to Tibet overland tour or Gansu to Tibet overland tour or from Lhasa to Kashgar overland tour etc. You can get plenty of different kinds of Tibet overland tours with the most fantastic landscape and various different kinds of ethnic culture and religion, nomadic and farmer’s lives, beautiful green grasslands, snow mountains, plenty of lakes and ponds, wild animals and different kinds of birds and flowers that you can enjoy during your Tibet overland tour. 

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