Yamdrok Yumtso

Yamdrok Yumtso Travel Guide, Tibet



Yamdrok Yumtso, one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet, along with Lake Namtso in North Tibet and Lake Manasarovar in Purang of Ngari.

Located at Nhagartse on the north bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, about 100km southwest of Lhasa. With an altitude of 4,441m, Lake Yamdrok Yumtso streches 130km from east to west and 70km from north to south,covering an area of 638sqkm.

Sheep-skin Rafting In Yamdrok Yamtso,Tibet
Yumdrok Yumtso,Tibet

surrounded by Mt. Kampala, Nyinchenkhasa, Chetungsu and Changsamlhamo, the turquoise blue lake offers indescribable scenic beauty, prompting the Tibetans to compare it with the fairyland in heaven.

The lake is also called Coral Lake of the Highlands due to its shape. The charming lake produces abundant aquatic life. On the surrounding pasture, animals and birds flourish in huge numbers. There are dozens of islets in the lake, on which flocks of birds roost. During the herding season, the local herdsmen will ferry their herds of sheep across to these islets since there aren't any predators on these islets, and leave them there until the onset of winter.

The holy lake is also a pilgrimage site for Tibetans. Every summer, gangs of pilgrims trek there to pray and receive blessings. Pilgrims believe that its water can make the old young again, grant the middle-aged a longer life and make the children smarter.

Being a sacred lake, the color of its water may be taken by the devout with spiritual meaning. Tibetans usually visit the lake before making important decisions. On one of the islets, stands a Nyinmapa monastery.

South of the lake, stands the Sangding Monastery, which is famous as the residence of the only female high lama in Tibet.

Getting there & away

No public transportation arriving the site directly , but  you can take a passing by ride from Lhasa and get off at the Great Bridge of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, then visit Yamdrok Yumtso by Taxi. A trip from Lhasa takes about 5 hrs.

It's much more expensive to rent a jeep(Y1500/day) , while taxis can not reach there sometimes. Many travel agencies organize a one-day trip to Yamdrok Yumtso from Lhasa at considerable price.

The lake is situated on the way from Lhasa to Gyangtze which is the old route from Lhasa to Shigatse. The bus travels up to a 4794M high mountain through rugged muddy road before reaching the lake, the journey is really breathtaking since the bus drives right on the edge of the cliff. But all these will be rewarded when you suddenly find yourself on the top of the mountain and the stunningly beautiful blue lake under the other side of the peak.

After arriving, let the yak-skin rafts ferry you to the islets in lake area.


The Liangshiju Hotel (Grain Guesthouse)  and  the Hotel for Foreigners.

Both hotels provide clean and comfortable dorm beds and washing facilities. Prices range from Y15~Y30 /bed.

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