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Namtso Lake

Namtso Lake, the bright pearl of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, is known as one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. Endowed with pure water and stunning landscapes, it has been the holy land of Tibetan Buddhists and Mecca of the hiking enthusiasts from all over the world.

Placing at an elevation of 4,718 meters, and covers an area of 1,940 square kilometers, Namtso Lake ranks the second largest saltwater lake of its kind in China (after Qinghai Lake) and the highest altitude saltwater lake in the world. The water here is crystal-clear blue. Clear skies join the surface of the lake in the distance, creating an integrated, scenic vista. Soul of every visitor who has ever been here seems to be cleansed by the pure lake water.

Namtso Lake, Tibet Tours

Namtso Lake, Tibet ToursNamtso Lake, Tibet Tours

The lake has five uninhabited islands of reasonable size stretch into the lake from different directions, among which the largest one is Liangduo Island. A great many bizarre stone peaks can be found on these islands. Some of them are like trunks; some look like human beings; some resemble trees. Various kinds of vivid shapes can easily arouse your imagination. At the same time there are many quiet grottos which are masterpieces of nature. Some grottos are narrow and long like subways; some are full of stalactites; still, others are like louvers. Queer rocks, steep peaks, natural stone ladders and other landform wonders on Zhaxi island present visitors a picture filled with mystery and enchantment.

Namtso Lake maintains its levels from rainfall and melted snow flowing from the high mountains. Summer is the best time for visiting to the lake. During the time, wild yaks, blue sheep, Mongolian wild asses, foxes, black bears, water deer, marmot, hares and other wild animals leisurely look for food along the expansive lake shores; countless migratory birds fly here to lay eggs and raise their squabs; sometimes lovely fishes in the lake jump out of water, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine; sheep and cows herds are like flowing white blanks on the green grassland which can stretch as far as your eyes can see; the dulcet songs of Gauchos resound through the valleys. This time of the year Namtso Lake is full of life and activity.

Namtso Lake, Tibet Tours

Namtso Lake, Tibet ToursNamtso Lake, Tibet Tours

Namtso Lake is also a famous sacred Buddhist spot. There is a Zhaxi Temple in Zhaxi Island. In every Tibetan year of sheep, thousands of Buddhism adherents flock here to worship. As a rule, they walk clockwise along the lake in order to receive the blessing of the gods. The islands have been used for spiritual retreat by pilgrims who walk over the lake's frozen surface at the end of winter, carrying their food with them. They spend the summer there, unable to return to shore again until the water freezes the following winter. This practice is no longer advocated now in Tibet.

Namtso Lake, Tibet ToursIn Nov. 14, 2005, Namtso Lake was selected as a famous Tibet sight and one of the five most beautiful lakes in China by Chinese National Geography magazine. For years, The Tibetan Tourism authority has endeavored to make Namtso Lake become an altiplano lake eco-tourism destination with the international standard. According to the survey of the Lhasa Tourism Bureau, 99% of the tourists who trip to Tibet take Lhasa as their top tour destination, among the famous attractions of the Lasha area, the Namusto Lake in Dangxiong County has become the hottest one in the area. It has become the hot tourist spot in Tibet with the increasing publicizing efforts and the constant improvements of service facilities.

Namtso Lake, Tibet ToursTravel Tips to Namtso Lake

1. Namtso Lake is located at northwest of Lhasa, about 200 km from there. There are no direct buses to. The best way is to hire a taxi or a mini bus from Lhasa (with our local guide).

2. The sea level of the Namts Lake is 1100 higher than that of Lhasa, therefore bring enough water, prepare some Acute Mountain Sickness pills according to your doctor's suggestion and don't over-exert yourself.

3. Trek around the lake is considered the highlight of the visit; if you stay over night by the lake, please equip with tent, sleeping bag and other things.

4. The temperature during daytime in the lake area is around 6~18 ℃, but the night temperature may reach 0 ℃ and when visit the lake, down-jacket is needed.

5. The best travel time to Namtso Lake is from May to October; during the May and June of the Tibetan Calendar, thousands of Circumanbulators (all are Tibetan Buddhism adherents) pilgrimage around the lake.

6. The wonderful Dangxiong Horse Race and the Namtso International Hiking Meeting are held on the lakeside every year, so don't miss them.

If you're planning for a Tibet tour, please contact us; we also welcomes customized tour packages. Please feel free to contact China Fact Tours!

Questions & Comments

  • Sherry on February 19, 2013, 11:11 am

    Hi, is it possible for you to arrange this tour in Mid April without camping at the lake side? If we want to go to Lhasa, Namsto lake, Yamdrok Lake and Shigaste, will you be able to arrange it within a 6-7 day tour package? And how much would that be? (We also want to have a 4WD car for travelling) Many Thanks

  • Ripple on January 18, 2012, 3:35 pm

    Hi, June - Sep is the best travel time to Namtso Lake, but sometimes much rain. Usually, the road come to block in Oct or Nov.

  • Anita Wah on January 18, 2012, 12:17 pm

    we are planning to travel to Tibet end of April to May for 3 weeks... when is the best time to travel to Namtso Lake? Will the road be blocked by snowstorm?

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