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Namtso Lake

 Lhasa Attractions

Shanhaiguan Great Wall Introduction to Namtso Lake (纳木错湖)


Its name in Tibetan language means “Sky Lake”. We are so touched by its beauty that we have to recommend this place to you. Namtso is the second largest salt water lake in China, taking up an area of 1920 square kilometer. The blue sky reflects on the surface of the lake and they emerge with each other at the horizon line. It is so vast and gorgeous. 

Lake Namtso is the highest lake in the world sitting at 4,718 meters above sea level, 60 kilometers to the northwest of Damxung County seat of Lhasa, Tibet. It is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and is adored by the local people. During the Tibetan year of sheep, pilgrims from far away come to walk around the lake, a mission that takes over ten days to complete. 

There is a legend that Namtso Lake is the beautiful daughter of nearby Bam Lake. She was married to the Nyainqentanglha Mountains. As time went by, she could not stand the frigid weather and loneliness any longer and so, with a sad heart, threw all her jewels, ornaments, and necklaces into the lake. Hence, it is also said that there are boundless treasures at the bottom of namtso heavenly lake resort. 

Namtso has five uninhabited islands of reasonable size, in addition to one or two rocky outcrops. 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 permitted by the Chinese Government.

The largest of the islands is in the north-west corner of the lake, and is about 2,100 m long and 800 m wide, rising to just over 100 m in the middle. At its closest point it is about 3.1 km from the shore.

The most remote island is, at its closest, 5.1 km from the shore. At summer time birds like Ruddy shelduck Phalacrocorax migrate to the lake area, besides the fields of astragalus, roegneria nutans and marram grass.

The weather at Namtso is subject to abrupt sudden change and snowstorms are very common across the Nyainqêntanglha range.

 

   
Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Location

Border between Damxung County and Baingoin County

   
Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Travel Information

Admission Fee: 120 Yuan (May-October), 80 Yuan (November-April)
 

   
Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Main Sights

Namtso Lake, Snow Mountain,  Yingbin Stone, Gassho Stone

   
Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Travel Tips 

1. The best way to reach Namtso Lake is to take a bus or hire a mini bus from Lhasa.

2. Namtso Lake is 5,000 meters above sea level, bring along medication and take your time when walking.

   
   

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