Lakes in Tibet

1. The stunning Lakes in Tibet. 

Tibet is a nature lover's paradise with over 1000 lakes! The majestic mountains provide fresh and peaceful rivers that create the most breathtaking lakes you'll ever see.


In this discussion, we will be focusing on the top three lakes that are popular in Tibet. Tibet's three most popular lakes consist of:

  1. Manasarovar Lake.
  2. Namtso Lake.
  3. Yamdrok Lake.


2. Mapham Yumtsok / Manasarovar Lake.

མ་ཕམ་གཡུ་མཚོ་།  玛旁雍错湖  Lake Manasarovar is one of the holiest lakes in our world, known as Mapham Yutso in the Tibetan language, meaning invincible turquoise Lake. It is situated at Ngari (30km from Mount Kailash) with an average altitude of 4,590m (15,060 ft). 


After completing the 52 km trek around Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar is an excellent destination to unwind. The ideal time to visit Manasarovar Lake is from May to early October.


Another way to explore the monasteries and take in the breathtaking scenery of Mount Kailash is by driving around the lake on a kora. This option is highly recommended for those who want to see all the sights of the lake while traveling by vehicle.


2. Religion's influence on Lake Manasarovar. 

For Bon, Buddhists, Hindus, and Jain Religions, Manasarovar Lake holds significant importance as a pilgrimage site. There are four monasteries situated in each direction surrounding Manasarovar Lake.


3. Tibet Travel Duration to the Manasarovar Lake.

The distance between Manasarovar Lake and Lhasa is 1100km. Mount Kailash is 30km away. The border town Purang is 150 km from there. Ngari Ali Shiquanhe City is located 270 km away.

Lakes in Tibet, Manasarovar Lake

Photo: Manasarovar Lake.


4. Few of the sightseeing near Manasarovar. 

  1. Mount Kailash.
  2. Guge Kingdom.
  3. Hot Springs.

Near Manasarovar Lake, there are two popular attractions: Mount Kailash and Guge Kingdom. If you've completed the trek around Mount Kailash, the nearby hot springs are a great option for relaxation.


5. Accommodations at Manasarovar Lake.

The Chiu Monastery, also known as the Bird Monastery, is a great place to spend the night. At the Lake, there are some guesthouses available for visitors. The rooms are basic and do not come with a private bathroom.


6. Namtso Lake.

གནམ་མཚོ་ 纳木错湖 The Northern Nakchu grassland in Tibet is where Namtso Lake can be found, situated at an altitude of 4,718 meters (15,479 ft). It is approximately 240 km north of Lhasa and takes around 4-5 hours to drive there.


In the summer, Nomads with Yaks will camp on the grassland surrounding Namtso Lake, which is surrounded by white snow mountains. Namtso Lake is widely regarded as one of the top travel destinations in Tibet.


7. Non-Pollution Eco Bus at Namtso Lake. 

A base for Eco Tour Buses that do not cause pollution was built 40km away from Namtso village in order to safeguard the environment of Namtso Lake National Park. In order to reach the lake, travelers are required to switch from their travel agency vehicle to the Eco Bus in town.

Namtso Lake

Photo: The stunning Namtso Lake


8. Accommodation & Restaurants at Namtso Lake.

There is no lodging available at Namtso Lake. The closest place to stay is a 2-star hotel located in Damxung Town, which is 60km away. Local restaurants can be found in abundance throughout Damxung Town.


9. Trekking route near Namtso Lake

9 Day Tsurphu to Yangpachen trek is the nearest trek to Namtso Lake. Travelers can travel to Namtso Lake after the trek.


10. Yamdrok Lake

ཡར་འབྲོག་གཡུ་མཚོ་ 羊卓雍错湖 In the local language, Yamdrok Lake is referred to as Yamdrok Yutso Lake. The term Yamdrok is associated with Nomads, while Yutso means Turquoise, which links to its color.


Yamdrok is situated at an altitude of 4,440 meters (14,566ft) and is approximately 90 km away from Lhasa and 180 km from Gyantse town. It takes around 2 hours to drive from Lhasa to reach this place.


One of the most popular lakes in Tibet is Yamdrok Lake, as it is passed by all tours heading towards the Mount Everest base camp, western Tibet, and Nepal border.


A great day trip from Lhasa is to Yamdrok Lake. Visitors can depart early in the morning to witness the beautiful sunrise from Gambala Pass, which is located 4,900 meters (16,076 ft) above sea level.

Lakes in Tibet, Yamdrok Lake

Photo: The stunning Yamdrok Lake.


11. Tibet travel sightseeing near Yamdrok Lake. 

1. Samding nunnery

Samding nunnery was founded in the 14th - 15th century, 20 km from Yamdrok Lake.


2. Nagartse town

Nagartse town is a sizable settlement close to Yamdrok Lake, situated at an altitude of 4,450 meters and approximately 30 km away. This location is renowned for being a popular stopover for travelers on their way to Gyantse and Shigatse, specifically during lunchtime.


3. Mount Nojin Kangtsen and Karo La Glacier

Travelers who reach the summit of Gambala Pass will be able to witness the breathtaking sight of Mount Nojin Kangtsen. As they make their way along the highway, they will be able to catch a glimpse of the impressive Glacier. Just a short hike away from the Glacier, there is a small Lake located opposite Nojin Kangtsang Glacier that visitors can explore.

Karo La Glacier

Photo: Karo La Glaciers.


5. Nomads

Nomads call Yamdrok Lake their home, and it is possible that the presence of medicine grass near the lake played a role in the development of their culture.

12. Conclusion

The beauty of Tibet is truly remarkable! The mountains are awe-inspiring, and the lakes are nothing short of magnificent. It's easy to understand why it's referred to as the land of the lakes!


The most significant lake near Mount Kailash is Manasarovar Lake. After visiting the Mount Everest base camp, Namtso Lake is a popular lake. Yamdrok Lake is one of the finest lakes for day trips near Lhasa.


If you would like to see some breathtaking videos of Mount Kailash? We've got you covered on our Instagram and Facebook, with more than 1 million views! Come check them out and enjoy the view!


We appreciate you for reading until the end of this article. If you enjoyed it, we highly recommend that you take a look at Tibet Travelers' breathtaking article on Mount Kailash. Though it's quite lengthy at 2600 words, we assure you that it's worth your time and attention. 😊


We would love to hear your ideas on how we can make this article even better! Please share your thoughts in the comments section, and let's make this a collaborative effort. Wishing you all the happiness in the world as you explore the beautiful lakes of Tibet! And hey, if you're thinking of planning a trip, feel free to shoot us an email. We're always happy to help. info@tibettravelers.com.


Written By :Tenzin

Jul 01, 2023


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