Basum-Tso Travel Guide, Tibet



Basum-Tso ( Basongcuo, 巴松错 ) - a Heaven on the Ridge of the World

A stunning highland lake resting in the deep valley of the upper reaches of the Ba River, 50km northeast of Kongpo Gymdo[工布江达] in Nyingchi, 370km east of Lhasa.

Basum-Tso was also named as Tsokou Lake[错高湖], which means "green water" in Tibetan. It’s like a moon set in the high valley with an area of 26sqkm, snow-capped peaks surrounding the lake are inversely reflected in the crystal-clear water.

On the south bank of the lake, there is a hole in a gigantic stone, which looks like a genitalia. Legend has it that,if a woman prays for being pregnant with a son, it will work! as the hole was blessed by Buddha Padmasambhava[莲花生大师]. Besides, there are lots of other legends around this holy lake.

Enchanting views aside, Basu-Tso is also a notable holy lake of Nyingmapa[宁玛派] of Tibetan Buddhism. A small Nyingmapa monastery of 1500 years' history is seated on the Zhaxi Islet, where Buddha Padmasambhava has been worshiped for centuries.

It's a place interlaced with beauty, religion and winning legends. The lake was listed as a world tourist site by World Tourism Organization in 1997.

Ticket: Y50 (Nov.1~Mar. 30), Y100 (Apr.1- Oct. 31)


Though no direct bus to the lake, it's only 40km away from G318, you can get a ride either from Lhasa in the west or from Bayi in the east. Get off at the Bahe Bridge/巴河桥 and then charter a taxi or hitchhike a truck for about Y20 to the Basum-Tso. The trip from Lhasa to the bridge costs around Y250, 4hrs.

Chartering a jeep from Bayi to Basum-Tso(128km) is around Y400 for a one-day trip, Y500 for overnight stay,but you may need to cover the accommodation for the driver.


To enjoy the tranquil dusk and dawn in  the area, an overnight stay is highly recommended.

Camping beside the lake is very  ideal , but not all backpackers are equipped for. The Busum-Tso Resort  ashore provides more than 70 beds, ranging Y30~Y120.

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