Pang La is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 5.205m (17,076ft) above the sea level, located in Tibet, north-east of the Himalayas, in the People's Republic of China. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of the country.
The road to the pass is called Zhufeng Road, on the way from Tingri to Everest base camp. The climb has more then 1000m of vertical climbing and it’s famous because there are 64 switchbacks from the south and 41 from the north, towards Friendship Highway, never too steep.
The surface of the road is gravel and sand. It’s not an easy road, in fact probably one of the hardest and worst roads in the world, but at the same time one of the best and most rewarding. The top of Pang-la Pass is marked by a cairn with a pole stuck in its center from which hang strings of prayer flags. The base of the cairn is piled with offerings of stones and bones. The bad gravel road descends from 5.200 m to 4.100 m, before again ascending to 5.200 m to the Everest Base Camp. It looks a bit potholed in places but not too bad. 20 km/h can be the average speed.
The pass is very popular with mountain bikers. Crossing the pass is one of the great trips that you can experience in Tibet. The drive is definitely worth it. Don’t forget your camera! Once you scramble up along the endless switchbacks, a beautiful view of the endless brown ridges crowned on the horizon with white wall of the Himalayas including Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse and Makalu open.