Hidden in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, Motuo County is one of the most isolated regions in the world. It is also the only Chinese county with no highway connection to the outside world. Once there was a highway linking Motuo to the outside, but it only existed two days. The Chinese central government and Tibet’s local government began to build the Motuo highway some 30 years ago. But all attempts at creating a road were doomed to fail due to the extremely complex geological structure, volatile climate, frequent landslides, floods, mud-rock flows and avalanches. That’s why Motuo is considered as one of the most remotest places in human civilization. The only way to access to Motuo is by trekking a frozen overland route through the Himalayas and crossing a suspension bridge. But it’s well worth the risk when you see this beautiful place.
1. According to the Tibetan Buddhist scripture, Motuo in Tibetan is the purest and holiest region . Most of the local people, mainly of the Menba minority, are descendants of people who migrated from other places in Tibet more than one hundred years ago.
2. In Motuo there are tropical fruits such as bananas and pineapples . It might be hard to imagine that tropical fruits can be found in mountain areas, but it is really the case in Motuo. Situated in the lower reach of Yarlun Tsangpo River, Motuo boasts a typical sub-tropical moist climate, which brings plenty of rainfall and spring-like days all year round.
3. Motuo is also well known as the " Natural Museum of Tibet" or "Tibetan Botanical Garden " since it has one-tenth of China's plant species.
Motuo in Tibet
4. Motuo is the last county that has no highway in China. The inaccessibility makes it one of the most untouched places in the world . For that, it attracts a large number of travelers and adventures to this place to witness its rugged beauty.
5. Once there was a highway linking Motuo to the outside world, but it only existed for 2 days. So the most common way of commercial transportation in Motuo is via labor carriers.
Motuo has a mild and favorable subtropical climate caused by the relatively low elevations. As the lowest area in Tibet Plateau, it is an ideal place in Tibet with the mildest climate, the most abundant rainfalls and the best preserved ecological environment. You probably won’t believe it, there are many tropic fruits grow in Motuo. Just imagine you are enjoying fruits like bananas and pineapples in the snow-capped mountains, which will be a memorable experience.
Motuo County is located in the southeast of the Tibet Autonomous Region and at the lower branch of Yarlung Tsangpo River. The average altitude of the county is 1,200m (3,900ft) above sea level. Due to the landscape of several high-elevation mountain ranges, there is no permanent road in Motuo. Even so, tourists can go to Motuo by air and bus.
By Air - Travelers can fly to Nyingchi Milin Airport from Lhasa, Chengdu, Kunming or Chongqing first and then take the airport shuttle bus to Bayi Town in Nyingchi. The whole journey costs around CNY 25 and takes about one hour. When you arrive at Bayi Town, you can take a regular minibus from Bayi Town to Pai Town (派乡). Bus fare is around CNY 60. Alternatively, travelers can charter a taxi to Pai Town. It costs around CNY 350.
By Bus - Travelers can go to Bayi Town from Lhasa by bus. Buses available at east station and long-distance station of Lhasa, It costs around CNY 20 and takes about 8 hours. After arriving, visitors can take direct daily bus to Pau Town the Post Hotel square in Bayi at about 10am. It costs around CNY6 and takes about 6 hours.
A trek to Motuo, the mystic land hidden the Yarlong Tsangpo Canyon and the last county inaccessible by vehicles in China, is undoubtedly crowned the No.1 challenging trekking route in China. With a total length of around 98 kilometers, this trek often takes four days to complete.
Trekking in Motuo
Day 1: Pai - Songlingkou (4hrs/18km)
Day 2: Mt. Duoxiongla - Lage (5 hrs/20km)
Day 3: Lage - Hanmi (7 hrs/28km)
Day 4: Hanmi - Beibeng (9 hrs/32km)
Tips for trekking
Hello, we are considering to travel in Tibet in summer. We are a family of 5, two adults and three kids, age 13(then), 10, 8. We are interested in the 10 days Mt. EBC & Namtso Lake Group tour. We are US citizens with valid 10-year Chinese multiple entry visa, which we have applied when we went to Beijing in 2019. We are currently living in South Korea.
1. Are kids suitable (or even allowed) for this tour?
2. If kids can join, are there any discount deals for kids?
Dear Ms. Ho***,
Greetings from Helen at Budget Tibet Tour and welcome you to join our 10 days Mt. Everest & Namtso Lake group tour. For your questions: 1. Your kids are suitable for this tour. Travelling in Tibet is as safe for kids as it is for their parents. While the high Tibetan plateau may be the highest place on the planet, very often, the kids that visit this region are more adaptable and have fewer problems than their parents. We also have arranged wonderful Tibet tours for many families with kids such as a tour to EBC for a family with a 3-year-old son, a 9-year-old girl and a 11-year-old boy, they did have fun in Tibet and there is no problem for them. Or you can take some medicine under the guidance of doctor to prevent high altitude before enter Tibet. 2. If kids travel with you, we'll offer some discount for them, please check your email and find more detailed information. Thanks & Regards
Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side