Sam's Exotic Scenic Journey from Shigatse to Namtso Lake by the Qinghai-Tibet (Friendship) Highway
The longest drive was from Shigatse to Namtso Lake, over six hours in length. It was also the most picturesque as we drove across high plateaus, mountain meadows, and over snow-capped mountain passes. We passed nomadic cowboys and their grazing herds of cattle, small villages and native people at work along the way. It was one day the actual scenery was far better than the pictures I took.
The Qinghai-Tibet Highway runs from Xining, capital of Qinghai, to Lhasa, capital of Tibet, a distance of 2,000 kilometers. The highway, also known as “Freedom Highway”, accounts for 85 percent of the Tibet’s cargo since it opened in 1954. The route also brings fuel into Tibet and serves as the primary communication link between Tibet and other parts of China. Along its route, most over 4,000 meters, it crosses 15 mountains and 25 rivers and is impassible during the winter months. The Chinese government turned the former sand-and-stone- surfaced highway into an asphalt road in 1973. The Ministry of Communications invested 850 million yuan (102 million U.S. dollars) in 1991-1996 in upgrading the highway.
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This site was last updated 08/14/06