203 Provincial Road (S203)
Located in Ngari Prefecture, in the central part of Tibet, in China, the 203 Provincial Road (S203) is a very challenging and scenic trip in the middle of nowhere.
This asphalted road passes through remote areas, so you need to be prepared. It’s 402 km (249 miles) long and stays for a long time very high (over 4.500m above the sea level) over a long high plateau. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. The wind in Tibet is usually quite strong at mountain areas. Even in summer, the temperature might drop from 20°C at daytime to -10°C at night. In July and August, it may rain continually for several days and you even can confront with snowy days.
Located near the Nepal border, the journey offers great views. It’s definitely worth it. This is a high mountain road. Its highest elevation is 5.230m (17,158ft) above the sea level. The climb is simply terrible, with a notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters. The bigger problem than the condition of the road is extremely low oxygen for engine combustion. It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions, can be extremely challenging. The road is a shortcut between the 318 National Road (G318) in Shigatse (Xigazê) and the 301 Provincial Road (S301).
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