Namtso Lake is one of the four most sacred lakes in Tibet.
Namtso Lake is defined as 'Holy Lake'. This lake is located
in Nagqu and is an important pilgrim destination. The
lake is situated at a height of 4720 meters and covers an
area of 1900 sq. km. This lake is the highest and largest
salt lake in the world.
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 young. The best
time for photos is dawn or dusk when you can capture the
reflections of the mountains on the water. There is no
shortage of decked out yaks and yak canoes for photographic
diversity. Dozens of men and women in colorful garb mosey on
down to the lake after breakfast, ready and willing to
help you jump on on their finely combed yak for a few coins.
But after all the touristy photo opportunities, take a nice
long walk along the shore, climbs the stones, go to the top
of the monastery on the hill overlooking the water, check
out the old monastery built cleverly into the rocks. Check
out the huge pile of mani stones and make friends with a
local. This place will be one of your favorite memories of
The Nakchu (Nagqu) area is at an altitude of 4,500 meters.
The Qinghai-Tibet highway winds through the region providing
easy passage amidst picturesque landscape. The ancient
Shengshong culture ruins, Bonnist monastery, the Heavenly
Namtso Lake and folklore of highland herders and farmers are
all exceptional attractions to foreign visitors.
The Town of Nakchu by
the Qinghai-Tibetan Highway is a political, business,
cultural center of northern Tibet accessible by a network of
highways. Nagqu has
established itself as one of the most important economic
centers of Tibet. It is famous for trading and export of
various commodities like animal products, mineral ores, and
a myriad of agricultural products. The city is quite
different from other parts of Tibet. The city has a
population of around 331,000 and most of them belong to
The annual Horse-race Festival, the most
lavishly celebrated in northern Tibet, is held in town. If
you're looking for folklore activities and highland culture
you will love this festival.
is held in August, which is the best time of the year (visit anytime
between May and September for best weather, but bring woolen
clothing just the same). It is attended by tens of thousands of
herders coming on horseback from as far as hundreds of kilometers
away. A white tent city springs like summer blooms overnight.
Horsemanship, archery on horseback and yak races are held along with
local performances by itinerant balladeers and dancers. The swap
market may be the highlight of your experience with every
conceivable Tibetan gadget, blade and wear you can imagine.The
specialty of Nagqu is jak, dried meet and Aweto, which is a creature
found only here and is considered to be a great medicine to many
diseases. Book ahead. There are few guest houses or hotels right on
the lake and a travelers' resort village has been completed outside
Nakchu. Other festivals include The Ghost Exorcising Festival,
Tibetan New Year,and The Herb Festival.
Ask your guide for more
Lake, trekkers may be interested in checking out Meimo Lava
Caves located at a higher altitude, Shodain Monastery, Zhoima
Canyon and Purugangri Glacier. Make your guide aware of your
Shodain Monastery is to be found in the heart of Nagqu city.
Shodain Monastery is the most famous Yellow sect in Northern
Tibet. The monastery dates back 200 years and was once the pride
of Tibet. It used to be a home of 350 monks or more but
now only around 60 monks reside here. It is still a very
important holy place for Tibetan Buddhists. It is the location
of the Grand Summons ceremony is recurrently held in the month
of January. In the month of August the Changmo dance is
performed here and is an absolute thrill to watch.