Namtso Lake is a mountain lake approximately 112 kilometres northwest of Lhasa.
Namtso was created in the Paleogene age, as a result of Himalayan tectonic plate movements. The lake lies at an elevation of 4,718 metres, and has a surface area of 1,920 square kilometres. This salt lake is the largest lake in the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
Namtso has five uninhabited islands of reasonable size, in addition to one or two rocky outcrops. The islands have been used for spiritual retreat by pilgrims who walk over the lake's frozen surface at the end of winter, carrying their food with them. They spend the summer there, unable to return to shore again until the water freezes the following winter. This practice is no longer permitted by the Chinese Government.
You can walk around the lake or next to the small village. There are plenty of yaks, horses, goats, tibetan flags and nomad families.
The weather at Namtso is subject to abrupt sudden change and snowstorms are very common. As Tibet is at the high plateau, temperature differences at a single day can be extreme. During summer, temperatures can reach 20 °C.
There are buses from Lhasa you can take. Be prepared for some police control on the way.
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