Naqu, located in the northern part of Tibet Autonomous Region, is bordered by Chamdo to the east, Lhasa, Nyinchi and Shigatse to the south, Ngari Prefecture to the west, and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province to the north. Naqu means "black river" in Tibetan. It is called Qiangtang in ancient times. Due to its location in north Tibet, Naqu was called "Northern Tibet" in history. Naqu covers a total area of more than 400,000 square km, accounting for one third of the whole Tibetan region. Naqu has a population of about 450,000, with Tibetan population making up 99%.
In ancient times, Naqu was under the rule of Zhang Zhung regime. It is called Yangtong in ancient Chinese historical records, but in Tibetan historical records it is called Zhuodai, meaning "nomadic tribe" or "northerner". In the 7th century, Naqu area was ruled by Supi Tribe. After the establishment of Tubo regime by Songtsen Gampo, Naqu became the territory of Tubo. In the 10th century, Naqu, Yangbajain, Bangcang (in Tangra Yumco and Lhanag-tso), and Langru (in Baingoin County) were called four tribes in the north. Till 1269, posts were set up in Baqing, Suo County, Biru, Naqu and Dangxiong, Mongolian soldiers were stationed there. In 1725 Qing government set up Amban of Qinghai and appointed Chijiajiqin, the twelfth king of Hor to govern 39 tribes under the direct administration.
Naqu lies among Tanggula Mountains, Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains and Gangdisi Mountains. The terrain is high in the west and low in the east. It is wide and flat in the midwest, mainly with hills and basins. The eastern part are river valleys with many high mountains and gorges. The average altitude is above 4500 metres. The average oxygen level is 60%. The highest peak within this area is Sangdankangsang Snow Mountain, with an altitude of about 6590 metres. There are crisscross rivers providing abundant water resource. Yangtze River and Nu River originated from Naqu. There are over 3000 lakes including Tso Ngön, Siling Lake, Shibu Lake and Namtso Lake in Naqu, covering a total area of more than 10,000 square km. Namtso is the largest lake in Tibet and the second largest salt lake in China. Siling Lake is the second largest salt lake in north Tibetan Plateau. Naqu is located in subfrigid zone. It is high, cold, dry and windy and lack of oxygen, without frost-free period. The average annual temperature is -3.3~-0.9℃, and the relative humidity is 48%~51%, average annual rainfall is 380 mm, with rainfall from May to September accounting for 80% of the annual amount. The average annual sunshine duration is 2852.6~2881.7 hours. There are more than 110 kinds of wild animals such as monkey, wolf, lynx, argali, bharal, wild donkey, dwarf musk deer, leopard, bar-headed goose, fox, otter, Mongolian gazelle, snowcock, wild duck, yellow duck, black-necked crane, Tibetan antelope, wild yak, among which over 40 kinds are listed as key protected animals at national and municipal level, and more than 10 species were exclusively rare in Naqu.
Northern Tibetans are enthusiastic and outgoing. They are good at dancing and singing, in particular tap dance and Guozhuang dancing which have a strong ethnic characteristics. Tibetan New Year and Horse Racing Festival are the main festivals for them. Tibetan New Year is the most grand and solemn festival for Tibetans. Most of nomads’ houses are civil engineering structure. They are settled or semi-settled. Their religion centres on nature worshipping and totem worshipping. They regard many mountains and lakes in north Tibet as sacred mountain and sacred lake, and worship the mountain and the lake every year.
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Hello I am planning a trip to Katmandu and on to Lhasa and Mt. Kalias. I am pilgrim. Let me know costs and details I intend to fly or go overload from Katmandu Lhasa etc. Thx.
Dear Mr. To***,
Thanks very much for your inquiry. Travelling to Tibet from Nepal, you need to apply for Chinese Group Visa in Kathmandu. Firstly, we'll apply for visa invitation letter with copy of your passport. Next, we'll send visa invitation letter to you and our partner in Kathmandu. When you arrive in Kathmandu, you need to meet with our partner and give them your original passport, then they will go to Chinese embassy and apply for Chinese Group Visa for you. When you board plane from Kathmandu to Lhasa, they'll only check your passport and Chinese Group Visa. Apart from Chinese Group Visa, you also need Tibet Permit, we'lll apply for Tibet Permit for you in Lhasa, and our guide will pick you up at Lhasa airport with your permit. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Thanks & Regards
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