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Namtso Lake, Lhasa

Despite the petty grievances, given the up to 6 hours’ drive from Lhasa and the sporadic dizziness one feels when passing the high passes, nothing can stop global travelers from savoring the heavenly view of Namtso Lake(4718m), the highest saline lake on our planet.

Cuddled by imposing Mt Nyenchen Thangla Ranges, Namtso Lake is defined by its surreal beauty. With seagulls hovering above the sparkling sapphire lake, you stroll along the boundless shore of Namtso, gazing at the snowy rolling mountains in the distance. Every so often, a group of prostrating Tibetan pilgrims will pass you by. The mantras chanting, gentle whisper of lake lapping and cave retreats in 5 peninsulas nearby, etc. heighten your awareness of traveling in an earthly heaven.

On top of that, don’t forget to enjoy the hours of road trip jam-packed with nomadic Tibetan scenes. You may also choose to cycle or trek to the enchanting Namtso Lake. Please follow our in-depth guide below and make the most of Namtso Lake tour.

Basic Facts:

Chinese name: 纳木错 Nàmù Cuò

Altitude: 4,718m (15,479 feet); the world’s highest saline lake

Location: Northwest of Damxung County, Lhasa Prefecture, Tibet

Formation: Tectonic and glacial movement with steadily rising crust of the Earth, around 3 million years ago

Type: Second biggest Saline Lake in China; one of the top three holy lakes in Tibet

Opening Hours & Ticket:09:00-18:00; 120CNY/Person (high season), 60 CNY/Person (off season)

Ticket Purchase Procedure: Currently, no advanced booking is needed. Our Tibetan guide will properly handle the ticket purchase.

How to Get There: No bus line to Namtso is available; you may either hire a private car or take our tour vehicle from Lhasa to Namtso. The one-way trip covers 250km from Lhasa and it takes around 5 to 6 hours.

Namtso Lake Photo Gallery

All Articles about Namtso Lake

To make sure you can enjoy the best Namtso Lake travel experience available, we kindly prepare the latest and most easy-to-use Namtso Lake travel and tour guides below for you. From the altitude of Namtso Lake to the trekking and photography guide to heavenly Namtso Lake , and whether you should choose to visit Namtso Lake or Yamdrok Lake , etc., all you need to know is here. Please follow our insider’s tip and make the most of your long-awaited Namtso tour.

Namtso Lake Altitude: the Formation of the World's Highest Saline Lake

Namtso Lake, widely accepted as the largest lake in Tibet and the second-largest saline lake in China, is located at 4718m above the sea-level on the snowcapped Nyainqentanglha Range. Namtso Lake, with an area of 1920 square meters, is worshiped by Tibetans as one of the most sacred lakes (another two are Yamdrok Lake and Lake Manasarovar respectively) in Tibet for its high altitude as well as being next to heaven.

With 5 big uninhabited islands in its center and approximately 1500 lakes scattering around, Namtso is taken as the meditation and spiritual retreating place for pilgrims all over the world, making it the holy and the most mysterious lake to visit. Seeking the mysterious past of the Namtso Lake requires us to go back to the ancient times and began from where its tectonic formation started.

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Namtso Lake Trekking: Expert's Guide to Trekking to Namtso

If you have conquered majestic mountains or steep ravines, and begin to hunt for other places which you expected to be utterly exotic, or you never experienced a trekking tour on the plateau, the Namtso Lake Trekking will never make you feel disappointed, for this trek is typically considered as the fabulous one for those who want to explore the ecological mosaic of northern Tibet.

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Namtso Kora: Best Travel Tips for the Pilgrimage Walks around Holy Namtso

The way for Tibetan ancestors, nomads, pilgrims and even the aborigines to ask a blessing is never limited to the turning of the prayer wheels. Many other customs for praying have been preserved from the far more ancient time. Nomadic group living on this holy land found that circumambulating mountains and doing the lake kora were efficacious to release them from all kinds of sins, misfortunes and evil attacks and helped them pray for boundless merits and immense blessings. Therefore, the long-existed custom of doing the lake kora has been passed down and rooted deeply in the mind of today’s Tibetans.

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Namtso Lake Sunset: When and How to Take the Best Photos of Namtso Lake

Located at an elevation of 4718m on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Namtso Lake covers an area of 1920 sq. km. and has been worshipped by Tibetans as a sacred lake for centuries. Living in Namtso may be a bit impractical, but watching the sunset and shooting the lake pictures are definitely not that hard to achieve. Due to the high altitude and uncontaminated environment, sceneries here are incredibly stunning with spectacular views. The large turquoise lake, the sunrise and sunset, the flock-perched birds, the ancient caves and mysterious temples can all be the splendid themes for photo shooting and picture recording.

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Yamdrok Lake or Namtso Lake: Which One Is Better for Different Travelers?

Yamdrok Lake and Namtso Lake, together with Lake Manasarovar are believed by most of the locals as the three most sacred lakes in Tibet. Regardless of their religious and spiritual aspects, merely a glimpse at any view of them is enough to trigger the recognizable tremble in your heart. So, which one is better to choose for different travelers is seemingly become a tough question that baffles most of the visitors in Tibet. Before you make the decision, just follow us to get acquainted with the top things you need to know about Namtso Lake and Yamdrok Lake and make the optimal and well-suited plan for your trip.

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Namtso Lake Tour: All You Need to Know for Visiting Namtso Lake

Namtso Lake has been crowned as the largest lake in Tibet for centuries while its formation was absolutely shocking with grandeur. As the product of the extrusion between Eurasian Plate and Indian Plate, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau was formed with its continental crust set on the basement which was shaped about 1 billion years ago. With the unstable rising and sinking of the tectonic movements on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Namtso Lake was originally formed at the bowl-shaped sunken area, accompanied by some of the glacial actions.

Located on the snowcapped Nyaiqentanglha mountain range of the Plateau, it covers an area of 1920 sq km and the height reaches 4718 m from the sea level. The average depth of the Lake can reach more than 30 meters. Looking from the satellite image, Namtso Lake is just like a large piece of land towering into the sky, which has verified its name in Tibetan: the “heavenly lake”.

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Hotel at Namtso Lake: Where to Stay at Holy Namtso Lake.

Namtso Lake is widely considered as the must-go place when traveling to Lhasa City. Appreciating the magnificent sunset and sunrise as well as the starry sky makes guesthouses there popular. Follow us to see where to stay at holy Namtso Lake.

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How to Get to Namtso Lake

The distance from Namtso Lake to lhasa is over 240km, and there is no direct bus to get there. The most popular way to get to the lake is to hire a car in Lhasa for the five-hour drive to the lake, and the well-paved road makes the driving easy.Or you may enjoy the tour vehicle run by the travel agency you book your Tibet tour with. Remember to spend at least a couple of days for acclimatizaiton in Lhasa(3658m) before heading to Namtso Lake (4718m)due to the huge altitude ascent.

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Weather in Namtso Lake: Best Season to Visit Namtso

When it comes to the best season to visit Namtso, it is definitely summer ans autumn or from around May to Oct. Namtso Lake temperature is a crucial factor for a tour. Because during that time it is not too cold and also the road is accessible. You can spend a night over there because weather will be so clear and you can get very good views and pictures, especially during sunrise and sunset. In addition, you can see Nyenchen Thanglha Mountain Range very clearly. Namtso Lake will be so clear and it is very beautiful.

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Manasarovar or Namtso Lake, Which One Should You Visit?

Revered as the two of the Great Three Sacred Lakes of Tibet, Lake Manasarovar and Lake Namtso lie at opposite ends of the Tibetan plateau and are both well worth visiting for different lake views and religious ambiance. However, if you only have limited time and budget to cover only one lake, it can be a tough choice. Yet, no worries! Our Tibetan travel gurus stand ready to help you out. Just follow our experts’ advice below and make the right choice for your upcoming Tibet tour.

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Recommended Tour Itineraries Including Namtso Lake

Other than the sacred Buddhist monasteries and lofty Himalayan peaks, to have a full picture of the visually-pleasing, yet physically-tormenting Tibet, you’ve got to incorporate Namtso Lake into your Tibet travel plan. To save your time, we kindly handpick the top 4 Tibet tours that take you to Namtso Lake and beyond.

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