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Lhasa and Lake Namtso Tours

Latest Update: July,18 2017

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso Tours Lake Namtso

Lake Namtso is the second largest saltwater lake in Tibet, with Qinghai Lake being the largest, and is the world's highest lake at an elevation of around 4,740 meters.

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursEnjoy horse rides during the Namtso Tours

No visit to Lhasa would be complete without including a trip to Namtso Lake, conveniently located between Lhasa and Nagqu. In Tibetan the name means "Heavenly Lake", and it is indeed as if a little reflection of heaven can be seen in its calm, turquoise waters. Or that could just be a reflection of the NyenchenTangula Mountains, which lie along the lake's southern shore. The melted snow and ice from the mountains is the lakes main water supply.

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursSitting on a lakeside slope to overlook Nmatso Lake and surrounding mountains

The best way to see the spectacular views of Lake Namtso is with one of our small group tours, which also incorporate the famous and unmissable sights of Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet.

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursThe Potala Palace in Lhasa

Almost all of our tours start in Lhasa, and you will always be able to take in the most important sights of the premier city of Tibet. The Potala Palace, with its gilded burial stupas containing the relics of the previous Dalai Lamas, is one of the most important historical and cultural locations in Tibet. It also contains the famous, underground meditation cave of the 33rd King of Tibet, SongtsenGampo. The palace is in two parts, and the White Palace, the original part, was built in the 7th century by SongtsenGampo as a gift to his bride-to-be.

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Take a Rest on the Climb Up

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursRest on the stone bench while climbing up the stairs of Potala Palace

Sitting atop Moburi, the "Red Hill", the palace looks down on the city from its 3,750 meter vantage point. It is a long climb to the top, which may require several rest stops, but the climb is well worth the visit.

Potala Square

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursPhoto at the rooftop of Jokhang Temple

Back down in the city you will get to visit the Jokhang Temple, the holiest temple in Tibetan Buddhism, and the primary seat of the Gelugpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Also built by SongtsenGampo, the ancient King of Tibet, it is the spiritual center of Buddhism in the region, and inside sits the most precious object in the temple, a life-sized statue of Buddha Sakyamuni when he was just 12 years old. Adorned with many precious gems, this gilded statue is the most sacred object in Tibet.

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursCatch a group photo on Barkor Street

Around the temple runs the famed Barkor Street, which is the route for the pilgrim's kora, a holy walk, clockwise around the temple, which is believed to aid in the journey to enlightenment. Koras can be found all over Tibet.

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursWatch the monk debating in Sera Monastery

And there is also the famed Sera Monastery, one of the Great Three monasteries. Founded in 1419, the name, Sera, means "wild rose" in Tibetan, and was named because of the roses that were in bloom on the hill behind it when it was built. The main attraction of the monastery is the colorful and animated debating of the monks, held under the trees in the debating field every afternoon. Definitely something to watch, even if you do not understand what is said.

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursJump shot at Namtso Lake

After the Lhasa tours, you can finally visit this greatest of Tibetan Lakes, and experience standing by the waters of the highest lake in the world. The waters are normally a deep shade of blue that matches the midday sky, but when the snow melts in the spring, the waters turn a vivacious and miraculous shade of turquoise.

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursA lovely girl riding on a Tibetan yak

Thousands of pilgrims come to the lake every year, to walk the kora around its shores. With the lake being 70km long and 30km wide, it can take 20-30 days to walk around it completely.

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursTook photo in one of the karst caves on TashiDor Penninsula

While the lake is home to 5 small, uninhabited islands, which are the homes of many species of wild birds, the major feature around the lake shore is the TashiDor Peninsula. The lake has five peninsulas that stick out into it from the shore, and the TashiDor Peninsulais the largest. On its 10 square kilometers of land lies the Tashi Monastery, several karst caves, a huge stone forest, and a few natural stone bridges.

In the Thaw

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursStanding on the frozen ice lake

The lake is often still frozen in April, with the snows just melting, and the icicles dripping from the rocks.

Yaks, Flags, and Tourists

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursJoyful to play with the yak on the lake shore

Yaks can be found grazing around the shore, and a multitude of prayer flags can be seen hanging at certain, special points around the shoreline. You will have the chance to hang your own prayer flag before you leave.

 Lhasa and Lake Namtso ToursPrayer flags hanging around the shoreline

The lake is also famous around the world, for its appearances in films and on television. In 2002, the lake was a backdrop for some scenes in the Hong Kong film, The Touch, and its historical background was used for the 2010 romantic dram Shangri-La. Internationally, the lake has featured on the world famous British television channel, BBC, in their hit TV series, "Himalaya with Michael Palin", hosted by the famous actor and host from the Monty Python shows.

Recommended Tibet Lhasa and Lake Namtso Tours

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