Namtso Lake is the first highlight you have to shoot for some great photos. The lake is 70km long from west to east and 30km wide from south to north, covering an area of more than 1940 square kilometers. There are usually no terrifying waves as the Namtso is a forbidden lake without big rivers flowing in and out. The surface of Namtso Lake is always as clean and bright as a giant mirror which reflects the beautiful views of blue sky, white cloud and high snow mountains. Blue is the color of Namtso, but you can see many kinds of blues – soft blue, dark blue, stone blue, royal blue, black blue… Firstly, you will see the royal blue lake connects to the blue sky which has several floating white clouds hanging in the air. Then move your eyesight to the beautiful Crescent lakeshores where you can find white tents and herds of Tibetan nomads. All these scenes can be put in a single photo. Early morning and dusk are two best hours to take photos of Namtso Lake when the sunlight and shade mingle together, and the colors on the lake changes bizarrely. Don’t miss the dusk time to shoot the sunset – the red and firing clouds crowd together, forming a cloud wall above the west edge of the lake; suddenly a golden ray of sunlight penetrates the clouds wall, and dyes the lake shore and lake red. It is very likely this stunning moment only happens for several minutes. So you have to observe the weather change and get ready. The middle of the daytime is great for you to have a walk and take photos of blue sky and lakes.
Near the southern shore of Namtso Lake dominates the magnificent Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains. The main peak is Mount Nyenchen Tanglha with an alevation of 7,162 meters (23,497 ft), can be seen clearly encircled by its little-brother-like snow mountains. These snow mountains form an incredible long, high and giant wall standing on the southern shore of Namtso Lake. In the early morning when the sunrise starts, the light sunlight firstly shines on the summit of Mount Nyenchen Tanglha, makes it look like a golden pyramid. As the sky getting bright, the snow mountains will show silver lights and leave their grand shades on the lake. Sometimes, there are several white clouds flying pass by, stopping and floating above the mountains. Everything is so quiet and beautiful.
As the “Holy Lake” of Tibetan, Namtso attracts thousands of pilgrims to worship every year. It is a great chance to record their inspiring believes in your photography. But remember to ask for permission before you taking photos. Or don’t take too closer photos. The kora encircling Namtso Lake is very popular among pilgrims, and needs about 15~20 days to finish. They throw the tributes into the lake, and pile a Marnyi Stone near the lake shore to seek for bless from the God.
The rich water resource creates vast lands of fertile pastures at the periphery of Namtso Lake. It is a great chance to explore the local Tibetan nomads’ living. The pastures are the paradise for the animals. Majority of the animals are the yaks. Yak trading is the biggest income for local Tibetan. There are also many wild lives, such as Mongolian gazelles, marmots, hares, etc. In the summer days, the pastures all turn into a vast green. While in autumn, the pastures will be divided into slides of different colors. All these wonderful things will let you feel the geniality of our Mother Nature. Looking carefully you will see sporadic white tents of nomads with rising smoke from kitchen chimneys
Marnyi Stones and Prayer Flags
Tibetan people believe that the stones are zoetic and intellectual, so they carve Buddhist scriptures and Buddha on the stones to communicate with Gods. These carved stones are Marnyi Stones. Special pigments which are locally produced are used to paint or write on the stones so that the colors can retrain for a long long time. Sometimes Tibetan will place a bone of yak head on the stones , standing for the spectacular Tibetan culture. The colorful prayer flags are a beautiful scene to shoot. They are usually hanging over the hills.
The friendly Tibetan is a good photography theme for documentary photographers. At Namtso Lake, you will have chance to explore the real and traditional living of Tibetan. You can record their daily living and their artworks, such as Thangka. Besides the local Tibetan, you can also go to visit some local monasteries where you can take some special photos. There are some monasteries located along the lake shores. Duo Qiang Monastery (多恰寺) is the largest one with not many monks. It is located on a nearby island with many meditation caves. Remember not to disturb the meditation of the pilgrims.