Lake Namtso is a mountain lake on the border between Damxung County of Lhasa Prefecture and Baingoin County of Nagqu Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, approximately 112 kilometers Northwest of Lhasa. As the second largest saltwater lake in China only after Qinghai Lake, Lake Namtso is the biggest lake in Tibet and the highest altitude saltwater lake in the world. The water here is a storybook crystal-clear blue. Clear skies join the surface of the lake in the distance, creating an integrated, scenic vista. Its purity and solemnness are symbols of Qinghai-Tibet Platean. It should not be missed by any traveler who visits Tibet.
In Tibetan, Namtso means 'Heavenly Lake.' And it is considered one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. Namtso is famous for its high altitude (4720 meters), vast area (1961 square kilometers (about 757 square miles) and beautiful scenery. In Nov. 14, 2005, Namtso Lake was selected as one of the five most beautiful lakes in China by Chinese National Geography magazine.
The rainfall and melted snow from high mountains keep this lake alive. The five islands in the water give it more beautiful and splendid. The largest island is Liangduo Island. Besides, there are five bylands stretch into the lake from different directions. The largest byland is Zhaxi byland. On the bylands, thereare many bizarre stone peaks, look like trunks, human beings, trees etc. In addition the natural grottos on the bylands will surely give you funs to explore. Some grottos are narrow and long like subways; some are full of stalactites; still, others are like louvers. Queer rocks, steep peaks, natural stone ladders and other landform wonders on Zhaxi byland present visitors what nice works nature did.
The best touring time must be summer, during that time, the wild yaks, hares and other wild animals leisurely look for food along the expansive lake shores, countless migratory birds fly here to lay eggs and feed their babies, lovely fishes in the lake jump out of the lake water, sheep and cows herds are like flowing white blanks on the green grassland which can stretch as far as your eyes can see, the dulcet songs of Gauchos resound through the valleys. How beautiful and peaceful here is! Along with the amazing natural scenery, there also is a famous sacred Buddhist place, Zhaxi Temple in Zhaxi byland. In every Tibetan year of sheep, thousands of Buddhism adherents will come here to worship and walk clockwise along the Namtso Lake in order to receive the blessing of the gods.
Admission Fee: CNY 80
Transportations: No direct buses to Namtso Lake, the best way is hire a taxi or a mini bus from Lhasa.
Note: The sea level is 1100 meters higher than that of Lhasa, therefore please bring lots of water and pay more attention to mountain sickness.