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Namtso Lake Guide - Attractions, Weather, Transfer, Maps

Namtso Lake, bordering between Lhasa and Nagchu, is the largest salty lake in Tibet and the second largest lake in China - only after Qinghai Lake. Reaching to 70km from east to west and 30km from south to north, the whole lake covers an area of 1,920 square kilometers. With an altitude of 4,718 meters, it is the highest large-scale lake above sea level in the world. In Tibetan language, Namtso means “Heavenly Lake”. As one of the three holy lakes along with Yamdrok Lake and Manasarovar Lake, it has attracted numerous tourists and pilgrims with its natural beauty and Buddhist holiness.

Namtso Lake – the Paradise of Photography!

For most tourists, a tour to Namtso means appreciating a visual feast. In clear weather, the lake wate takes on a fantastic shade of turquoise which matches the bluish sky harmoniously. In the riverside prairies, there are Marnyi Stones, colorful prayer flags, flocks of yaks, circumambulating Tibetans etc. All these views make an incredible painting, which is the favorite of shutterbug. In fact, you needn’t master photographing skills or chose the shooting angles, because a blindly shoot will record the best landscape.

Top Namtso Attractions and Activities

Namtso is not a big area, but it still owns a lot of attractions to fulfill your eyes and mind. The first attraction must be the Namtso Lake which shows the great wonder of nature. Besides, there are magnificent mountains, amazing islands, Buddhist monasteries, boundless prairies, and other plateau animals. These attractions are sure to touch the deepest strings of your heart. The top attractions in Namtso Scenic Area include Namtso Lake, Tashi Dor, Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains and extensive Qiangtang Prairie.

Namtso Lake

Type: Nature, Religious Site

Altitude: 4718 meters

Best time to visit: June to September

Meaning Heavenly Lake, Namtso Lake is really worthy of its name. With shimmering turquoise-like blue water and beautiful riverside spots, Namtso Lake draws nature-lovers to come here in endless stream.

Tashi Dor

Type: Island, Buddhist Site

Altitude: 4718 meters

Best time to visit: June to September

Tashi Dor is a one of the five charming peninsulas protruding in Namtsto Lake. As a attraction and the center of Buddhist activities. Here you can see the magical Guest-greeting Stones and a featured Monastery.

Nyenchen Tanglha

Type: Religious Sites, Nature

Altitude: 6205 meters

Best time to visit: June to September

Close to the ranges of Nyenchen Tanglha, visiting Namtso offers a splendid sight of these peaks. The continuous peaks are always covered by long-lasting snows and leave their inverted image in the water.

Qiangtang Prairie

Type: Nature

Altitude: 5000 meters

Best time to visit: June to September

Qiangtang is one of the five greatest pastures in China and you can enjoy one part of stunning view in Namtso. In this mountain meadow, there are luxury brushes, swarp grass, and some impressive flowers

Useful Namtso Travel Notes

  • 1. How to Plan Namtso Lake Travel
    Usually, tourists like to extend their Lhasa tour to Namtso. Firstly, Lhasa is can be reached easily from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xian, Guangzhou, Kunming etc. and Kathmandu. A classic tour to Namtso Lake need 5~6 days. After four days tour to visit the landmarks of Lhasa, you can spend one or two days on a Namtso Lake journey. If you have more time to explore the nature and culture fully, you can have a longer tour combining Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, Everest and Namtso.
  • 2. High Altitude Sickness Tips
    It is easy to suffer from High Altitude Sickness (HAS) for people who haven’t acclimatized themselves well to the plateau especially in the night at Namtso Lake as the lake is located more than 4700 meters above sea level. Our suggestion is that you can spend several days in Lhasa and surrounding area where the altitudes are lower for acclimatization. When your body is ready, you can go to Namtso Lake. If you have no confidence on your physical condition, don’t manage with the effort to stay a night at Namtso Lake because the HAS usually occurs in the night.
  • 3. Wearing and Packages
    The temperature in Namtso Lake is much lower than Lhasa, especially at night. After getting to Namtso Lake, you should keep yourself warm all the time. Don’t remove your jacket even the temperature casually or you may catch a cold, which is very dangerous on the plateau. Avoid fast and long walking and other strenuous activities. Take a standby battery with you, because there are too many things to photograph.
  • 4. Necessary Permits for Visiting Namtso Lake
    To visit Namtso Lake, you only have to obtain the Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit), issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau. Other permits, such as Alien Travel Permit, Miltary Permit and Border Pass are not required. Travelers can’t apply for the permit on their own. You have to let a China Travel Agency to apply for the permit on behalf of you. It usually needs about 15~20 days to obtain the permit.

Most Recommended Tour Packages

Following are some other recommended tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our Tibet tour packages are customizable to meet your personal requirements. You can also contact us to customize a trip if you want.

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