Self-drive travel popular in Tibet

created: 2009-11-12

Self-drive seems to have become the order of the day with tourists driving hundreds of cars each day on the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, a major part of the No. 318 Highway connecting China's mainland to the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Everyday there are at least 150 cars driven by tourists themselves to visit southeastern Tibet's Nyingchi Prefecture, said Long Jun, a leading official in the prefectural tourism bureau.

"In recent years, China has spent a large amount of money improving the regional transportation facilities and supporting services along the tourist routes. As a result, most of the self-drive visitors choose to enter Tibet via the No.318 National Highway with a relatively low altitude, " Long said, "What's more, they can enjoy numerous scenic spots on the way. "

From eastern China's Shanghai to Tibet's Zham Port, the 5,000-meter No. 318 National Highway is considered the "picturesque corridor in China and the world."

Experts from an investigation group organized by Chinese National Geographic Magazine believe that the views along the Sichuan-Tibet Highway from Sichuan Province's capital of Chengdu to Tibet's capital of Lhasa are the most wonderful and magnificent.

Recently, Qiu Juanjuan and seven other travel fans set out on their 20-day self-drive trip to Tibet from Zhejiang Province's capital of Hangzhou to experience the Tibetan ethnic folk customs along the way.

Having passed the most precipitous part of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, they arrived in the Klugling forest area.
Photo shows a part of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway in southeastern Tibet's Nyingchi Prefecture. [Photo Source:]

"The highest section we passed was at the 5,008 m altitude above sea level. My eyes were fixed on pretty landscapes everywhere along the region. Most of the areas were equipped with tourists facilities such as accommodation arrangements, among other things," Qiu said.

Last year, Nyingchi's Bome County invested nearly one million yuan to build the first regional motel for self-driving travelers. More motels soon followed along the road in the prefectural Bayi town, Zogang and Mangkam counties.

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