[Important] Breaking news! China has resumed the issuance of all types of visas(Including tourist visa) for foreigners since March 15, 2023. Read more »

China Highway/Road Travel

Traveling by highway/road is another choice to reach your destinations in China. Instead of taking flight or high speed train, travelers who visit by highway/road can appreciate scenery along the way, breathe some fresh air and have a taste of the real China and enjoy close contact with Chinese people. China Discovery suggests you choose the transfer between two destinations with 6-8 hours’ drive in one day. You can either take long distance bus, or use private car.

How to Travel by Road

Long-distance Bus

In many parts of Yunnan, Sichuan, Tibet, and Guizhou and some more destinations, the railway network is rather undeveloped that travelers should take long distance bus as a form of transport. The tickets for long distance fee are a little expensive than the tickets of normal train. Compared with hiring car for self-driving or using private car, it is more ECONOMIC. Buses leave continuously for most major locations and usually have frequent departures. Long distance bus travel is the way to experience the REAL China.

Long Distance Bus in China

Types of Long Distance Bus

There are two main categories of buses: the sleeper and the seater. The sleepers feature two or three rows of bunk beds, lined up on either side of the aisle and in the middle. The seaters vary greatly and you can adjust the width your seat and make it comfortable.

Buy Tickets

Travelers can buy tickets at the long distance bus station, travel agencies, ticket-booking website and even show up at your leisure with no ticket and buy at the time you will board. It is suggested to book tickets in advance, especially during Chinese holidays, like May Day (May 1 to May 3), Chinese National Day (October 1 to October 7) and Chinese Spring Festival and some other public holidays. Otherwise, you’ll get into the crowds and wait for long time and even no tickets to buy at all.

Find your Bus

Take your tickets with you to pass through the security check. Then, check which ticket entrance you are going to use and check with the staff whether your bus will go or not. If it is a little bit early, you can find a seat in the waiting room to take a rest and wait for the bus. Please make sure you get it very clear which bus and which ticket entrance you are going to use. If you have no idea, find a staff who can speak English and check with him/her.


Bags and suitcases can be stored in the ample belly of the bus before boarding. Small bags can be put at the shelf over your head.


Usually, there is no toilet on long distance bus. The drivers will let the passengers get off to use toilet on the way. The break usually takes 15 minutes.

Food & Drink

Prepare some snacks and water before you get aboard. You can eat in the bus and waste bags are provided in the front of your seats. Some buses even have hot water dispensers, so be sure to pack a thermos and instant coffee! Otherwise, you can buy some or eat some food during the break.

Private Car

When you book a China tour package with us, you’ll enjoy private service with private guides and experienced drivers for you, your family and group. Our guides try their best to explain the history and facts about all the sites you’ll visit with their expert knowledge. The drivers are licensed, experienced and helpful. Using the private car service makes your tour comfortable, flexible and enjoyable.

Private Car in China

For example, taking our private car you can visit First Bend of Yangtze River and Tiger Leaping Gorge in one day. Your private service begins at your hotel in Lijiang and transfer to First Bend of Yangtze River with 1.5 hours for the visiting and follow your trip to Tiger Leaping Gorge, either Upper Leaping Gorge or Middle Leaping Gorge. After the visit, you’ll be transferred to Shangri-La with 2 hours’ drive. All the tour arrangement (sightseeing and transfer from Lijiang to Shangri-La) will do in one day. If you take long distance bus on your own, the journey can be tiring. China Discovery suggests you use our private car service in the areas with incomplete transportation system, like Yunnan, Tibet, Guizhou, and Inner Mongolia, etc.

China Highway Network

China highway is a network and an integrated system of national and provincial-level highway in China. The system of national-level highway is known as the 7918 network, composed of 7 radial highways from the capital Beijing, 9 north-south highways and 18 east-west highways.

7 Radial Highways from the Capital Beijing

China Highway

Beijing-Harbin Highway (G1): 1280 KM, with Qinghuangdao, Shenyang, Changchun, Harbin on this route;

Beijing-Shanghai Highway (G2): 1245 KM, with Tianjin, Jinan, Tai’an, Suzhou, Shanghai on this route;

Beijing-Taipei Highway (G3): 2330 KM, with Hefei, Huangshan, Fuzhou, Taipei, on this route;

Beijing-Hong Kong Macau Highway (G4): 2285 KM, with Shijiazhuang Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Changsha, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong on this route;

Beijing-Kunming Highway (G5): 2865 KM, with Taiyuan, Linfen, Xian, Guangyuan, Chengdu, Ya’an, Xichang, Panzhihua, Kunming on this route;

Beijing-Lhasa Highway (G6): 3710 KM, with Hohhot, Baotou, Yinchuan, Lanzhou, Xining, Lhasa on this route;

Beijing-Urumqi Highway (G7): 2540 KM, with Hohhot, Baotou, Ejinaqi, Hami, Turpan and Urumqi on this route.

9 North-South Highways

This north-south network includes Hegang-Dalian Highway (G11), Shenyang-Haikou Highway (G15), Changchun-Shenzhen Highway (G25), Jinan-Guangzhou Highway (G35), Daqing-Guangzhou Highway (G45), Erlianhaote-Guangzhou Highway (G55), Baotou-Maoming Highway (G65), Lanzhou Haikou Highway (G75), and Chongqing-Kunming Highway (G85).

18 East-West Highways

This east-west network includes Suifenhe-Manzhouli Highway (G10), Huichun-Ulnahot Highway (G12), Dandong-Xilinhot Highway (G16), Rongcheng-Wuhai Highway (G18), Qingdao-Yinchuan Highway (G20), Qingdao-Lanzhou Highway (G22), Lianyugang-Horgos Highway (G30), Nanjing-Luoyang Highway (G36), Shanghai-Xian Highway (G40), Shanghai-Chengdu Highway (G42), Shanghai-Chongqing Highway (G50), Hangzhou-Ruilin Highway (G56), Shanghai-Kunming Highway (G60), Fuzhou-Yinchuan Highway (G70), Quanzhou-Nanning (G72), Xiamen-Chengdu (G76), Shantou-Kunming (G78), and Guangzhou-Kunming (G80).

Recommended Tours

Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Pudacuo National Park
5 Days Lijiang & Shangri-La Best Highlights Tour

Lijiang / Shangri-La

Holy Lake -Yamdrok Lake
7 Days Lhasa Shigatse Gyantse Tibetan Culture Private Tour

Lhasa / Gyangtse / Shigatse

Jiabang Rice Terraces
6 Days Guizhou In-depth Ethnic Tour with Jiabang Rice Terraces

Congjiang / Zhaoxing / Jiabang / Rongjiang / Kaili / Zhenyuan / Kaili / Guiyang

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

Customize a Trip

Have a question? Get answers from our travel experts or guests

  • Your Question:
  • Your Name:
  • Your Email:
  • Submit
Why Book with China Discovery