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Road Trip To China

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Highway sits in on a pre-trip briefing for an AUTOVENTURE™ scheduled for next October. This Singapore-to-Tibet expedition will be a trip to remember!

Driving from Singapore to China is no laughing matter.

Experienced in driving holidays, AA Singapore has put in place a comprehensive itinerary, which include Tibet and the Everest Base Camp. Scheduled to take place in October 2021, a pre-trip briefing was organised via two webinars held on 30 and 31 October 2020.

The webinars served two purposes:

    • to familiarise participants with the rigours they are expected to face during the convoy; and
    • to provide participants with necessary and vital information for them to better prepare for the trip.

As with most AUTOVENTURE™ trips, the adventure begins in Singapore. It then passes through Malaysia, Thailand and Laos before reaching China. Participants also have the option of joining the expedition at Chiang Khong, a city near Chiang Rai in Thailand and ending the drive at either Chengdu or continuing the trip for another two weeks, covering part of the desert landscape of Xinjiang and eventually arriving in Beijing.

Participants got a preview of the key locations they will drive through, learning about the climate, culture and driving habits of each region. One of the most interesting places on the itinerary is undoubtedly the Everest Base Camp. While nothing beats scaling the peaks of Mount Everest, being at the base camp will still enable participants to enjoy breathtaking views of the most iconic peaks on earth. Other places of note are Mohan, a border town in Mengla County, Yunnan; Shangri-La; the city of Kunming; Dali Old City; Litang County; the ancient town of Feng Huang; Chengdu and Zhangjiajie. Many of these places boast gorgeous mountain scenery and natural wonders, such as stone forests, gorges and lakes. Stunning potalas and monasteries, such as the Sumtsaling Monastery in Yunnan, will also be encountered.DRIVING IN CHINA
The total journey in China will take about 36 days, covering a distance of about 12,000km. Out of this distance, 35% of the drive will be on first-class highway, 55% will be on second-class highway, and 10% will be off-road. Expect to drive along winding roads such as 24 Zig Road, one of the most spectacular roads in the country, and the 72 bends of Nujiang, a 12km road that ascends from an altitude of 3,100m to 4,651m!Participants will have to apply for and obtain a valid driver’s licence in China in order to drive legally in the country. The Association also advised the participants of the different international driving permits required for the trip.SAFETY AND OTHER MATTERS
As the trip covers mountainous locales such as Lhasa and Kunming, one concern is altitude sickness. Participants are advised to visit their doctor to seek medical advice and obtain medications for the condition. It is also important to bring along the right clothing, such as thermal wear to keep warm in higher altitude destinations, as well as vehicular spare parts that may be needed for the trip. Other car essentials to bring along include a tyre pressure monitor and tyre kit, and spare alternator belt. It is also recommended to carry a full size spare tyre instead of a donut spare tyre.Due to the different terrains, AA Singapore recommended driving SUVs, with an engine capacity of at least 2, 000 cc, instead of sedans for the trip, as the convoy would be travelling on rocky mountain roads and muddy areas. Do note that most of the cars will drop approximately 5–10% of its engine oil in high altitude destinations, thus, it is advisable to carry extra engine oil during the trip.

For a glimpse of past driving holidays that AA Singapore has organised, visit https://aa-highway.com.sg/gallery/

If you are inspired to join this particular trip after reading this article, but didn’t attend either of the two webinars — not to worry. You can get more information by visiting our website at https://www.aas.com.sg/events-activities/autoventure.html

Alternatively, contact the expedition team at aa-events@aas.com.sg or 6333 8811 ext*140

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