A journey to Wenquan, one of Earth's highest road-accessible towns

Wenquan is a high mountain town at an elevation of 5.100m (16,732ft) above the sea level located in the Qinghai province of China. It’s one of the highest towns accessible by car on Earth.


The road to the town is paved. It’s called Qinghai-Tibet Highway (part of the China National Highway 109). The town, also known as Wenchuan or Wenzhuan, is located in the Tanggula Mountains, a few kilometers north of the Tanggula Pass. The surrounding area is home to endangered animals, including snow leopards and panda. The town is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the city with the highest elevation; however, there are villages around the world that are situated even higher.

The weather in this region can shift rapidly from bright sunshine to moderate or heavy snowfall. At such high altitudes, the reduced oxygen levels can lead to severe hypoxemia during activities like labor, exercise, or even while sleeping. This can also result in cerebral edema and lung swelling.
Pic: huan wang