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How to get into Ngari
Though the situation has improved over the latest several years, the harsh climate, the poor road conditions and the inconvenient transport still remain obstacles on the way to Ngari. However, where there is a will, there is a way. For those who are intensely fascinated by the unique and sacred beauty of Ngari, nothing is unconquerable.  

Where to start
Distance (km/mile)
Yecheng County, Xinjiang
Xinzang (Xinjiang-Tibet) Highway:
Available direct coaches.
The town of Shiquanhe
The North Route:
Available direct coaches.
Purang County
The South Route:
No direct coaches.
Humla, Nepal
Purang County
Humla-Sino-Nepal frontier port-Purang
Group entries are permitted while individual passports shall be remarked with 'Via Purang Port'.

Ways of Travel:

  1. Travel groups organized by travel agencies
Advantages: well-scheduled, no worries about transport, dining and lodging.
Disadvantages: the most expensive way of traveling. 

  2. Individual or group travels by renting a 4WD or jeep
Advantages: cheap (if you can find some companions to share the expenses), flexible travel schedules.
Disadvantages: You and your group have to get fully prepared for the journey, such as where to find restaurants and hotels and how to cope with unexpected accidents. If the vehicle breaks down on the way or rainy days occur, you will be confronted with unforeseen obstacles.  
Useful Information: You can rent a 4WD or jeep in either Lhasa or Shigatse, but it is easier to find one in Lhasa. Do pay attention to the condition of the vehicle, the driver's road sense and whether he has driven to Ngari. A well-conditioned vehicle with a skillful and experienced driver will greatly improve your trip. The price should be confirmed prior to departure, with the usual cost of a round trip being about CNY 10,000. Notices looking for travel companions can be found in Yak Hotel, Snowland Hotel and Banak Shol Hotel in Lhasa. Don't hurry to depart until there are enough members in your group (usually 4-5 persons for a 4WD or jeep expedition) to ensure an economical and safe journey.  

  3. Coach Travel
Advantages: If you are not that lucky finding travel companions, taking coaches would be far cheaper than renting a vehicle and driver by yourself.
Disadvantages: No direct coaches from Lhasa to Purang. The town of Shiquanhe can be directly accessed by two routes: Lhasa-Shigatse-Tsochen-Shiquanhe; Lhasa-Shigatse-Bagar-Shiquanhe. However, the service is not available every day. 
Useful Information: Bagar, which can be directly accessed by coach, is only about 20km (12 miles) to Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar.
Coach Stations: The North Suburb Coach Station, Lhasa Add: Zhaji Lu, Lhasa Ngari Chiru (Zang Lingyang) Transportation Corporation Add: No. 37 Niangre Lu, Lhasa (neighboring the Ngari Prefecture Office in Lhasa) 

  4. Hitchhiking
Advantages: the cheapest way of traveling
Disadvantages: with no idea of where and when trucks or mail cars may pass by, the trip would be full of hardships and anxiety.  
Useful Information: Truck drivers usually take the north route (please referred to the above route form) to Ngari and they can be found around No. 37 Niangre Lu, Lhasa, where the Ngari Prefecture Office in Lhasa is located. It is also practicable to hitchhike in Lhaste, a small town near to Shigatse, where there is a bridge that is inevitably crossed by all vehicles to Ngari. Note that hitchhiking in Tibet also carries a charge, though just a small sum compared with hiring a jeep or taking coaches. 

In-Ngari Travel
The town of Shiquanhe, where the Administrative Office of Ngari Prefecture is seated, is the largest town in western Tibet. Restaurants, hotels and shops congregate around the Crossroad, enabling travelers to get supplies and necessities. It can be accessed from both Lhasa and Xinjiang; however, there are no coaches available from the town of Shiquanhe to other places in Ngari. Except for renting a 4WD or jeep, the only way of traveling within Ngari is hitchhiking by trucks, mail cars and military vehicles, which can be found around the Crossroad and the trade market.

Since there are no bus services in the town of Shiquanhe either, taxis are the only means of transportation for an in-town tour. The charge ranges from CNY 5-10.  

Distances from the town of Shiquanhe to other places in Ngari
Distance (km/mile)
Purang County
Zanda County
Rutog County
Mt. Kailash
Lake Manasarovar
Lake Palgon
Gegye County
Gertse County
Tsochen County

Comments and Questions

Dear Sirs,

May 2012 I am entering China through KKH at Khunjerab Pass. I am going to Kashgar so that I can take the main highway to Lhasa.

Where I can apply for Tibet Travel Permit at PSB office? Is there a possibility to get the permit in Kashi, Yecheng/Kargilik or Ali (with paying fine)?

I will appreciate the answer.


12/1/2011 5:56:00 AM


Asked by Sergi (Poland)

You are not able to get the Tibet Entry Permit only if you take part in a tour group through a China travel agency. It doesn't matter too much whether you apply for it at Kashi, Yecheng/Kargilik or Ali (with paying fine).

12/1/2011 7:02:00 PM