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Namtso Lake

  • Chinese: 纳木错 Nàmù Cuò /naa-moo tswor/
  • Type: Salt Lake
  • Location: Damshung County, Nagqu Prefecture
  • Distance from Lhasa: 220 kilometers (140 miles) north of Lhasa city, 4½ hours’ drive.
  • Altitude: 4,718 meters (15,479 feet), accessed by a 5,100m (16,700 ft) mountain pass
  • Area: 1,900 square kilometers (760 square miles)
  • Entrance Fee: RMB 120 per person
  • Opening Hour: 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Opening Dates: From April---October
  • Best Visiting Time: June – October
  • Recommended Visiting Time: Three hours
  • Highlights: You can camp near the holy lake and appreciate the sunrise and sunset.
Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake
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Namtso Lake is a mountain lake at the border between Damxung County of Lhasa Prefecture and Baingoin County of Nagqu Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, approximately about 250 kilometers from Lhasa and 80 kilometers from Damxung County. The touching beauty of Lake Namtso should not be missed by any traveler who visits Tibet. Its purity and solemnness are symbols of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In Tibetan, Namtso means "Heavenly Lake." It is considered one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. The water here is a storybook 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.

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Brief Instruction of Namtso Lake

With over 30 kilometers from north to south and over 70 kilometers from east to west, Lake Namtso covers a total area of more than 1,900 square kilometers, being the second largest salt lake in China. At an elevation of 4,718 meters, it is also the highest altitude salt lake in the world, the furthest depth being more than 33 meters. Namtso has five uninhabited islands of reasonable size, in addition to one or two rocky outcrops. The largest of the islands is in the north-west corner of the lake, and is about 2,100 meters long and 800 meters wide, rising to just over 100 meters in the middle. At its closest point it is about 3.1 kilometers from the shore. By the lake there are also two standing stone pillars, each rising 30 meters and eight meters apart. One has a crack large enough to hold a single person inside. Some Tibetans believe it is the Gate God of the Lake Namtso.

Beisides, Lake Namtso also means “the holy lake” in the Tibetan language. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful places in the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountain range. Its cave hermitages have for centuries been the destination of Tibetan pilgrims. In every Tibetan year of sheep, thousands of Buddhism adherents will come here to worship. In every Tibetan year of sheep, thousands of Buddhism adherents will come here to worship.

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How to Get to Namtso Lake

At present, there are three ways for international tourists to get to Namtso Lake: 1. Charter a bus or car with other travelers to Namtso Lake. 2. Hire a car in Lhasa and drive 5 hours to this holy lake. 3. Join a tour to Namtso lake.

  1. How to Charter a Bus or Car? If you are a budget traveler, then chartering a bus or car is best for you. It can not only save your money but also free you from making itinerary and signing the contract. Usually, you can find information of car rental in front of many youth hotels like Dong Cuo International Youth Hostel, Phuntsok Kasang International Youth Hostel in Lhasa, Kyeri hotel and Banakshol hotel.
  2. How to Hire a Car in Lhasa? Renting a car with a driver has become the most popular way of traveling in Tibet. The best place to rent vehicles is Lhasa. And the price for renting a car are decided by many factors such as the price of oil, the season, the vehicle condition, and the driver.
  3. How to Join a Local Tour? You can also choose to join the local travel agency. The travel agency will arrange everything for you, from planning an itinerary to renting a car. That is very flexible and convenient. During the peak season, you can easily find Lhasa and Namtso tour group >

The Highlights of Namtso Lake

  1. Sunrise & Sunset: The sunrise and sunset of Namtso Lake are breathtaking and stunning! Usually, the sunrise and sunset last about a half hour, the former occurs about 7am or earlier in summer and later in winter. The best photography location for shooting is the southern side of Tashi Penisula and golden Nyainqentanglha mountains. The sunset normally occurs between 8pm and 9pm. The best photography location for shooting is the northern lakeshore of Tashi Penisula.
  2. Namtso Lake Kora: Namtso is one of the most sacred lake in Tibet. Every year, pilgrims from the all-around Tibet to make a pilgrimage there.

Travel Tips for Namtso Lake

  1. A day trip is often recommended, as the weather is very cold and harsh at night.
  2. There is no hotel at Namtso. But you can find hotels in the town of Damxung.
  3. Don’t forget to bring some thick and portable clothes since the weather is changeable and it might rain and snow in Namtso areas.
  4. Remember to bring sunglasses and sun cream to protect you from strong sunlight and ultraviolet ray.

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