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The Most Ultimate Guide about Motuo Tibet Travel Guide

Time: 05-12-2019 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

Hidden in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, Motuo County is one of the most isolated regions in the world. It is also the only Chinese county with no highway connection to the outside world. Once there was a highway linking Motuo to the outside, but it only existed two days. The Chinese central government and Tibet’s local government began to build the Motuo highway some 30 years ago. But all attempts at creating a road were doomed to fail due to the extremely complex geological structure, volatile climate, frequent landslides, floods, mud-rock flows and avalanches. That’s why Motuo is considered as one of the most remotest places in human civilization. The only way to access to Motuo is by trekking a frozen overland route through the Himalayas and crossing a suspension bridge. But it’s well worth the risk when you see this beautiful place.

Motuo Tibet 
Motuo Tibet


Part 1. Motuo Tibet Facts
Part 2. Motuo Tibet Climate
Part 3. How to Get to Motuo
Part 4. Best Trek Routes in Motuo

Part 1. Motuo Tibet Facts

1. According to the Tibetan Buddhist scripture, Motuo in Tibetan is the purest and holiest region. Most of the local people, mainly of the Menba minority, are descendants of people who migrated from other places in Tibet more than one hundred years ago.

2. In Motuo there are tropical fruits such as bananas and pineapples. It might be hard to imagine that tropical fruits can be found in mountain areas, but it is really the case in Motuo. Situated in the lower reach of Yarlun Tsangpo River, Motuo boasts a typical sub-tropical moist climate, which brings plenty of rainfall and spring-like days all year round.

3. Motuo is also well known as the "Natural Museum of Tibet" or "Tibetan Botanical Garden" since it has one-tenth of China's plant species.

Motuo in Tibet  
Motuo in Tibet

4. Motuo is the last county that has no highway in China. The inaccessibility  makes it one of the most untouched places in the world. For that, it attracts a large number of travelers and adventures to this place to witness its rugged beauty.

5. Once there was a highway linking Motuo to the outside world, but it only existed for 2 days. So the most common way of commercial transportation in Motuo is via labor carriers.

Part 2. Motuo Tibet Climate

Motuo has a mild and favorable subtropical climate caused by the relatively low elevations. As the lowest area in Tibet Plateau, it is an ideal place in Tibet with the mildest climate, the most abundant rainfalls and the best preserved ecological environment. You probably won’t believe it, there are many tropic fruits grow in Motuo. Just imagine you are enjoying fruits like bananas and pineapples in the snow-capped mountains, which will be a memorable experience.

Part 3. How to Get to Motuo

Motuo County is located in the southeast of the Tibet Autonomous Region and at the lower branch of Yarlung Tsangpo River. The average altitude of the county is 1,200m (3,900ft) above sea level. Due to the landscape of several high-elevation mountain ranges, there is no permanent road in Motuo. Even so, tourists can go to Motuo by air and bus.

By Air - Travelers can fly to Nyingchi Milin Airport from Lhasa, Chengdu, Kunming or Chongqing first and then take the airport shuttle bus to Bayi Town in Nyingchi. The whole journey costs around CNY 25 and takes about one hour. When you arrive at Bayi Town, you can take a regular minibus from Bayi Town to Pai Town (派乡). Bus fare is around CNY 60. Alternatively, travelers can charter a taxi to Pai Town. It costs around CNY 350.

By Bus - Travelers can go to Bayi Town from Lhasa by bus. Buses available at east station and long-distance station of Lhasa, It costs around CNY 20 and takes about 8 hours. After arriving, visitors can take direct daily bus to Pau Town the Post Hotel square in Bayi at about 10am. It costs around CNY6 and takes about 6 hours.

Part 4. Best Trek Routes in Motuo

A trek to Motuo, the mystic land hidden the Yarlong Tsangpo Canyon and the last county inaccessible by vehicles in China, is undoubtedly crowned the No.1 challenging trekking route in China. With a total length of around 98 kilometers, this trek often takes four days to complete.

Trekking in Motuo  
Trekking in Motuo


Day 1: Pai - Songlingkou (4hrs/18km)
Day 2: Mt. Duoxiongla - Lage (5 hrs/20km)
Day 3: Lage - Hanmi (7 hrs/28km)
Day 4: Hanmi - Beibeng (9 hrs/32km)

Tips for trekking

  1. To enter Pai and Motuo, travelers need to supply a special permit, which can be applied at the Military Police Office of the Bayi Town. The office is open from Monday to Friday.
  2. Bring some necessities including alpenstock, sun glasses, sunscreen cream, lighter, penknife and water bottle. 
  3. Bring some high-energy snacks, such as jerked beef, chocolate and energy sticks.
  4. Bring a small medical kit.
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