Getting There

Yushu's often-talked-about plans for an airport finally came into being in 2009. It is expected that there will be weekly flights to both Xining and Lhasa, but permanent schedules have yet to be released. Check with CAAC in Xining for the latest details.

The normal bus trip from Xining should take around 16 hours, though if your bus breaks down, it could take double. The road climbs steeply out of Xining, passing through Yueri Shan into vast grassland country. There are few towns along the way; take plenty of provisions. After Maduo, you enter an expanse of alpine lakes and gradually ascend to a pass at 5,082m (16,670 ft.). If you aren't overcome by altitude sickness, stop for fresh yogurt and perhaps some filling tsampa (roasted barley flour mixed with tea) in grasslands south of Qingshui He. The last major town, 48km (30 miles) before Yushu, is Xiewu, where a dirt road branches east to Shiqu (95km/60 miles) and Manigange in Sichuan. If several passengers for Sichuan disembark, a minibus can be arranged at the Xiewu crossroads.

The main bus station is on Shengli Lu. Turning left (north) as you exit the station, you pass the post office on your left; it's a 10-minute walk from there to the main T-junction with Minzhu Lu, which runs left (west) toward the Yushu Hotel and Zhiduo, and east toward Xiwu and Xining. Jiegu Si commands a hill northeast of the T-junction. Xining-bound buses offer either hard seat (¥141; not recommended) or three sleeper services (¥175) per day. Book your ticket at least a couple of days in advance -- you don't want to be stuck at the back of the bus. There is one bus per day for Shiqu (5 hr.; ¥30) at 8am from Hongwei Lu, just east of the junction with Shengli Lu; or a minivan can be negotiated for ¥300, but most drivers are reluctant to go farther. To get to Chengdu take a bus from Yushu to Ganzi and change there.

Fast Facts

Banks, Foreign Exchange & ATMs -- None are available.

Internet Access -- Qingzang Wangba is two storefronts east of the Yushu Hotel (24 hr.; ¥3 per hour). The Dongwangjiao Wangba, located next to the Jiegu Hotel, offers similar 24-hour service for the same rate.

Post Office -- The main post office (tel. 0976/8825024; Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm) is just north of the bus station.

Visa Extensions -- The PSB at Minzhu Lu 144 (tel. 0976/882-8915; Mon-Fri 9am-noon and 3-6pm) should be able to arrange visa extensions in a couple of days.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.