The Khunjerab Pass



The Karakoram Highway
The KKH or the Karakoram Highway was built between 1966 and 1986 after relations between China and Pakistan improved (following the Sino-Indian war). The Karakoram Highway follows a branch of the ancient Silk Road. It is the only reliable road between China and the subcontinent. Conditions building the road were so harsh and dangerous, it is said a Chinese worker has died for every 1.5 km of road. Chinese construction workers were also asked by the Pakistani government to work on the Pakistani side of the road.


Khunjerab Pass
At 4730 m, the Khunjerab Pass is the highest point on the Karakoram Highway and one of the highest motorable roads on earth. From the Chinese border city of Tahskurgan the road will slowly go up to about 4200. Only at this point does the road transform itself with hairpins up to 4730 m. A few hundred meters from the top, there is a last small Chinese checkpoint. Picture, military salute and go-go-go, we are leaving China !


The gate with the two flags has disappeared. Now remain two statues with the flags of the two countries.


We were not alone for long at the top of the Khunjerab pass. Besides a few funny looking animals, we met Benka and her BMW. Originally from Slovenia, she has spent the last 4 years on her bike and is the first to have taken her bike to...Antartica ! You can follow her on We also set up our satellite phone and made amazing calls home. 



On the way to Gilgit, we passed by a hammer that was used for the construction of the KKH and that now serves as a memorial for the workers who didn't make it back home.


To cross from China into Pakistan along the KKH : what a memorable way to spend Christian's birthday !

Kashgar to the border Back to Trip page Sost to Lahore