The southern route, a well-surfaced highway running parallel to the Himalayas all the way to Western Tibet’s main town, ALI (also known as Shiquanhe), passes through Saga, and on to Darchen, and makes for a stunningly picturesque journey. From Lhasa to Mount Kailash is around 1400km.

The alternative northern route via Tsochen, Gertse and Gakyi is longer: it’s over 1700km to Ali, and then another 300km or so southeast to Mount Kailash. It is also less scenic, but less liable to be affected by snow or flooding. Some tours plan to go on one route and return on the other – expect around a week’s-travelling time on either.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

China features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The roof of the world: a first-timer's guide to Tibet

The roof of the world: a first-timer's guide to Tibet

The ‘roof of the world’ has exerted a magnetic pull over travellers and adventurers for centuries. This vast, high altitude desert has spawned myths and leg…

10 Nov 2016 • Stuart Butler insert_drive_file Article
Video: 10 Taiwanese street foods you need to try

Video: 10 Taiwanese street foods you need to try

Street food in Taiwan has a charm that restaurants just can't match. There's a distinct pleasure to be found in wandering through the labyrinthine stalls glo…

24 Oct 2016 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Beyond the Jade Dragon mountain: stunning pictures of Yunnan, China

Beyond the Jade Dragon mountain: stunning pictures of Yunnan, China

After a few weeks exploring the region, Rough Guides travel writer and photographer David Abram shares some of his favourite images of Yunnan Province, China. …

18 Oct 2016 • David Abram insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month