From Tibet in the west to Beijing in the northeast to Guangzhou in the south, China's highways connect this massive country. While conditions vary, and a four-wheel drive may be required in remote areas, they can take you to majestic mountains, the seashore and ancient sites.
Overland China routes have existed since ancient times. More recently, China has embarked on a massive road-building program.
The Modern System
Major cities in the east are all connected via the highway system, from Beijing south to Guangzhou and Hong Kong. A coastal route runs along the coast from Shanghai to the south.
Roads in Western China
Although highways to the west can be difficult, it is possible to visit Tibet via road. The best route is from Qinghai. For spectacular scenery, there is also a route to Lhasa, Tibet from Kathmandu, Nepal.
Highway Numbering System
Highways are numbered. Highways that extend from Beijing are in the 100s, and north-south highways are designated in the 200s. East-west highways are all numbered in the 300s.
China inaugurated an ambitious expressway construction project in 1988 with completion scheduled for 2020. Much of the work is completed in the east and around major cities. Eventually these expressways will connect China with North Korea, Vietnam, Russia, Kirghistan, Kazakhstan and Burma.
Article Written By Jeff Fulton
Jeff Fulton is a writer specializing in business, travel and culture. He has worked in international sales, customer relations and public relations for major airlines, and has written for Demand Studios since May 2009. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Business Administration in marketing from the University of Chicago.