China's topography is diverse, with magnificent plateaus, rolling mountains, vast plains, deep valleys and basins surrounded by mountains. The terrain is lower in the east and higher in the west. There are usually high plateaus in the East China, basins in Central China, and plains in East China.
The city with the highest altitude in China is Shigatse in Southwest Tibet, with an average altitude of 4000 meters, while the city with the lowest altitude in China is Tianjin, in North China (about 150 kilometers from China’s capital city of Beijing), with an average altitude of 3.3 meters. The tallest mountain in China and also in the world is Mount Everest, at the border of China and Nepal, with a height of 8844 meters.
The highest terrain is Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, with an average altitude of 4000-5000 meters. It is the largest plateau in China, and is the headstream of many major rivers in Asia. Most of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is located in Southwest China, including Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province, West Sichuan Province, South Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and some parts of Gansu Province and Yunnan Province. The whole plateau also covers some areas in Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tadzhikistan and Kyrgyzstan, with a total area of 2.5 million square kilometers, among which 2.4 million square kilometers are in China.
More information and tips on traveling in high-altitude areas.
Shigatse 4000 m (4374 yd)
Lhasa 3658 m (4000 yd)
Huanglong 3558 m (3891 yd)
Shangri-La 3280 m (3587 yd)
Qinghai Lake 3260 m (3565 yd)
Jiuzhaigou 3100 m (3390 yd)
Golmud 2808 m (3071 yd)
Xining 2261 m (2474 yd)