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Yangpachen Hot Spring

 Lhasa Attractions

Seated at an altitude of 4,300 meters, Yangpachen is an "electricity town" built around a geothermal power plant 87 km north of Lhasa. Yangpachen borders on a flat area of Steamy hot springs with an area of 16 square kilometers, and is rich in terrestrial heat. 

Yangpachen hot springs, which have been harnessed to produce much of the electricity for the capital Lhasa of Tibet. It was said that long time ago, before the sky and the earth was separated, the whole world was in total darkness. People living at the foot of Mt. Nyainqentanglha were suffering. One day, a golden phoenix flied to the area, determined to create brightness by sacrificing itself. It threw one of its bright eyes onto the ground. A fairy caught the eye, and then a bright lamp arose in the air. Snow capped peaks of Mt. Nyainqentanglha appeared; grassland like large carpet emerged; happiness came into Tibetan people. However, a greedy man near Yangpachen coveted the lamp. He took a witch man's idea to sharpen his hatred into an arrow to shoot the lamp. The lamp was broken then, the pieces of the lamp dropped onto the ground, turning into hot springs and burned the man to his end. People said that the hot springs were the fairy's tears.

If visit Yangbachen early, you can witness clouds of mist rising from the earth and a substantial hot springs-fed lake, cloaking the surrounding green pastureland and crystalline waters in swirls of white. On clear days in warmer months, Tibet's intensely blue skies and bright light bring radiant shades of color out from the landscape against the distant rocky browns of nearby snow-capped mountains. In colder months, Yangbachen remains largely thawed while all around is ice and snow.

Note that the combination of hot water and oxygen-poor air can be dangerous for new arrivals susceptible to altitude sickness, so take it easy before taking the waters and get out if you feel light-headed or short of breath.

There is also a thermoelectric power plant on the edge of the Yangpachen hot springs field covering 20–30 square kilometers. The thermoelectric power plant was established in 1976, and the first development of geothermal power in the whole of China.

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