There are many people who have a dream of going on a self driving trip, but for many reasons we have to give up that dream. Now I’ll introduce you to a few self-drive itineraries to help you travel around China with ease.
1. Romantic Western Hunan
Mileage: About 1451 km
Road Conditions: Good, beautiful scenery along the route
Changsha to Changde and Changde to Zhangjiajie are all highways, while the rest of the road is a two-lane tarmac road. Changsha to Zhangjiajie is only a 3-hour drive. It also takes only 8 hours to reach Zhangjiajie if you are traveling from Guangzhou. Among them, Changde’s highway runs through the Wuling Mountains, with more curves, need to drive carefully.
Gas: This route is not very long and passes through many counties along the way. So, there are plenty of gas stations along the way that is easy to find.
Hotel: There are many local B&Bs with character along the way to try.
Features: Along the way, the ancient town villages and natural scenery, is a romantic self driving route.
2. The Grassland
Route: Beijing → Chengde → Sehanba → Asihatu Stone Forest → Lake Dariñor → Xilinhot → Zhangjiakou → Beijing
Mileage: About 1,800 km
Road Conditions: Good, especially the highway on the prairie, which is straight and flat.
Gas: There are many gas stations on both sides of the main highway in Hebei and Inner Mongolia.
Hotel: This route is well established and accommodations are easily accessible along the way. Camping out in tents on the prairie and lakeside to watch over the stars is also a very romantic thing to do. There are also many yurts on the prairie for tourists to stay.
Features: This self driving route starts in Hebei and crosses the North China Plain and Mongolian Plateau, passing through one steppe after another along the way. The scenery is so picturesque that every step along the way is a sight to behold.
3. South of the Colourful Clouds
Route: Chengdu→Xichang→Lugu Lake→Lijiang→Kunming→Xichang→Chengdu
Mileage: About 2700km
Road Conditions: Except for Xichang – Lugu Lake, the road is slightly worse, the rest is basically a highway. However, starting from Ya’an, you are driving in a high mountain canyon and along the river with many curves and cars, so you should drive carefully.
Gas: There are plenty of gas stations along the route.
Hotel: There are lots of local hotels for self driving travelers.
Features: The beauty of the line in Lugu Lake, Lijiang, Dali, and Xichang as a satellite city, a blend of ancient national customs and high-tech modern technology, showing its unique charm.
4. South Landscape
Route: Hangzhou→Xinchang→Yandang Mountain→Yatou→Wenzhou→Wuyi→Jiande→Hangzhou
Mileage: About 991km
Road Conditions: Very Good, mostly highway.
Features: This is a short self-driving route to experience the mountains, water, and culture of Zhejiang. You can enjoy the rain and smog of the Jiangnan waterfront and the mystery of Buddhist culture. You could enjoy the beautiful scenery of Jiangnan and visit the old houses of famous people.
5. Classic Itinerary to Tibet
Mileage: About 2168km
Road Conditions: This is a relatively treacherous route into Tibet. If you meet the rainy season you will encounter collapses and traffic jams. When traveling to high altitude mountain passes, you will suffer from strong snow, so drive carefully when going downhill.
Gas: Although there are several gas stations on the road, I suggest you reserve a bucket of oil in the car.
Hotel: There are hotels only in towns, so don’t spend the night on the road, because it’s very cold at night.
Features: Compared to other areas, this route is more treacherous, but for those who like to drive cross-country, it is definitely a classic route worth trying.
Special Tips: High Altitude, Cold Weather!
Please bring extra warm clothing and cold medicine. First-timers are equipped with anti-alpine response medication.
Did you get a little excited after reading all of the above self driving routes? What are you waiting for, let’s go on a say-go trip!