Namtso

Address: Namtso, Tibet Autonomous Region, China

Namtso is the second largest lake in Tibet. It is on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and roughly a four-hour drive away from Lhasa. There are many travel agents in Lhasa that provide day-return and two-day-one-night tour bus services to Namtso.


The lake is crystal clear. Surrounded by snow mountains, the view of Namtso is spectacular. Many visitors do not mind spending a bit to ride yaks along the lake. “Namtso” is Tibetan, meaning the “heavenly lake”. The lake was named after folklore and Buddhist legends. There are five islands in the lake and they are believed to be the incarnation of the Five Tathagatas. According to folklore, Buddhas and Bodhisattva gather in Namtso for ceremonies in every Year of the Sheep in the Tibetan calendar. If Buddhists circle the lake while praying and reciting Buddist texts at that time, the effect would be a lot greater than praying on other days. In this way, the kindness and merits are beyond bounds.