Nagchu Travel Guide
Nagchu (also Nagqu) in the northern Tibet is the largest prefecture-level city of Tibet Autonomous Region. Nagchu Prefecture is generally called as Changtang. It is at an average elevation of over 4,500 meters. Its administrative center is in Nagchu Town which is on the edge of the Changtang and one of the highest, coldest and most windswept towns in Tibet. Nagchu town serves as an important stop on both the road and railway line between Qinghai and Tibet.
Nagchu has unique landscape, including the vast Qiangtang Grassland, the Holy Lake Nam-tso, gorgeous mountains and rivers, ancient monasteries, exciting horse racing festival held from 10 to 16 August and other unique tourist attractions. This area also has rich resources of wildlife and alpine vegetation.
Since Nagchu(4,500m) is much higher than Lhasa(3,656m), we highly recommend you to get to Lhasa first and let your body acclimate to the high altitude before heading for Nagqu horse festival. In the first few days, you can pay a visit to Potala Palace - the landmark of Tibet, Jokhang Temple - the spiritual heart of Tibet, Barkhor Street - the most famous pilgrimage circuit and bustling bazaar in Lhasa.
Then you can travel to Nagchu by train from Lhasa with the stunning alpine scenery along the track or overland by Qinghai-Tibet Highway with the short visit to Yamgpanchen Hot Spring and holy Namtso Lake. Fascinated by the wild landscape and nomadic lifestyle? Please kindly follow our ultimate Nagchu travel guide and delve into the mysterious northern Tibet Plateau.
Chinese Name: 那曲 Nàqū
Location: largest prefecture-level city in Tibet, West China
Altitude: 4,500 m (14,764 ft)
Area: 450,537 square kilometers
Administrative Division: 1 district, 10 counties
Climate and Weather: typical sub-arctic climate with over 2,886 hours of sunshine every year
Best Time for Visit: May to September (especially August for Nagqu horse festival)
Railway: Nagchu Railway Station
Airport: Nagqu Dagring Airport (to be built)
Nagchu Photo Gallery
Ultimate Nagchu Travel Guide
To make sure you can enjoy the best Nagqu travel experience available, we kindly prepare the latest and most easy-to-use Nagchu travel and tour guides below for you. From Nagqu climate and weather to Nagchu food and drink, from Nagchu horse racing festival and tour planning to Nagqu tourist attractions and travel maps, etc., you can follow the insider’s tip and won’t miss a single moment when visiting Changtang Plateau, northern Tibet.
Maps of Nagqu Prefecture-level City, Northern Tibet
Nagqu is a prefecture-level city that is located to the north of Lhasa, in northern Tibet. Officially established as a prefecture-level city in May 2018, it is the sixth prefecture-level city to be established in the Tibet Autonomous Region, with only Ngari still being a separate prefecture. Translated literally as “black river”, Nagqu is bordered with the Xinjiang prefectures of Bayingolin and Hotan to the north, the Qinghai prefectures of Haixi and Yushu and Chamdo Prefecture-level city of Tibet to the east, Ngari Prefecture to the west, and Nyingchi, Lhasa, and Shigatse to the south.View More
Nagchu Tourists Attractions
Nagchu (also Nagqu or Naqu) in the northern Tibet is the largest prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region. Nagchu Prefecture is generally called as Changtang, which is home to the unique nomadic culture and splendid natural scenery. Nagchu tourist attractions offer you detailed information about all the tourist sights in Nagqu, like Qiangtang Prairie, Nagqu Horse Racing Festival, Nyenchen Tangula Mountain, Tangra Yum Tso, Tsanden Monastery, Siling Tso, Relics of Xiangxiong Kingdom, Skeleton Wall, Shenzha Nature Reserve, Purog Kangri Glacier, Geladandong Serac, Drolma Canyon, etc.View More
Ultimate Guide to Your Nagchu Horse Racing Festival Tour Planning
Tibet is a land where festivals are a major part of the way of life, and as a devout Buddhist region, there are plenty of festivals throughout the year to make even the most festive Tibetan happy. Horse racing festivals are a great way to spend a few days, meeting old friends, spending time with family, and enjoying the great Tibetan foods that are found in huge quantities at any Tibetan festival. And there is no better or bigger horse racing festival than the one held in Nagqu every August. Lasting for anywhere from five to fifteen days, the Nagqu Horse Racing Festival is the best festival of its kind in Tibet.View More
Lhasa to Nagqu by Train: attending Nagchu horse racing festival by Tibet Train
Taking Tibet train to Lhasa has become extremely popular among tourists at home and abroad. Covering a total length of 1956 kilometers, Qinghai-Tibet Railway starts from Xining, passes Kunlun Mountain, Wudaoliang, Tuotuo River, Tanggula Mountain, Amdo, Nagchu, Yangbajain, and finally arrives at Lhasa. As a key component of the sky railway, Nagchu to Lhasa railway was built in June, 2001 and was completed in July, 2006. At an altitude of 4,547 meters above the sea level, Nagchu Railway Station is 322 kilometers away from Lhasa and 820 kilometers away from Golmud. All the Tibet trains would stop over at Nagchu. It takes you about four or five hours to get to Lhasa from Nagchu by train. The expense of soft sleeper is RMB198.5 and the hard sleeper RMB 128.5.View More
Nagqu Food and Drink: best guide to dining in Nagchu
Though the food in Nagchu might not cater to Western tastes, it does provide enough caloric for you to finish your trip. Yak butter tea is plentiful, as is the usually foreigner-preferred sweet milk tea. Food is hearty and can be quite bland, although there are a couple of descent Chinese restaurants in the town. The food offered by Sichuan-cuisine, Tibetan-cuisine, Muslim-cuisine restaurants is very basic in Nagchu, so it is recommended to buy some favorite instant food before hitting Nagchu.View More
Hotels in Nagchu
Hotels in Nagchu offer you a clean and relatively comfortable place to stay just off the main road. However, many hotels in Nagchu do not have licenses to accommodate foreigners.View More
Recommended Northern Tibet Nagqu Tour Itineraries
Nagqu, well-known for authentic nomadic culture in northern Tibet, offers you tons of amazing things to do, like attending Nagqu Horse Festival in August - the most hilarious festival in northern Tibet, exploring the mysterious relics of Xiangxiong Kingdom - the earliest civilization center on the Tibetan plateau, capturing the superb views of Namtso Lake and Siling Tso - the largest lakes of Tibet in just one go, visiting the prestigious Tsanden Monastery and other off-the-beaten-track temples altogether, etc. Check the top 4 highly recommended Lhasa Nagchu tours with the extending trip to eastern Tibet Kham Region and Area.
- 8 Days Tibet Nagqu Horse Racing Festival Budget Travel by Train
Lhasa - Nagqu - LhasaView Details
- 11 Days Travel through Qinghai-Tibet Highway
Xining - Chaka - Golmud - Amdo - Nagqu - Lhasa overland tourView Details
- 18 Days Cycling Tour from Golmud to Lhasa
Golmud - Kunlun Mountain - Wudaoliang - Tuotuo River - Amdo - Nagqu - Namtso - Yangpachen - LhasaView Details
- 20 Days Northern and eastern Tibet Kham Culture Loop Tour
Lhasa- Nyingchi-Chamdo- Markam - Tengchen- Sok D Zong-Nagchu-Namtso-LhasaView Details