Top 5 Alpine Lakes to Visit in Tibet

The Himalayan Lakes of Tibet - Most Beautiful Places to Visit

Are you currently planning a trip to Tibet?

Tibet offers a myriad of unforgettable sights and experiences. The unique culture, deep religious practices, and amazing architecture form a major part of every Tibet tour.

However, the Roof of the World is a great destination for nature lovers, too. People know about the Everest Base Camp and mountainous landscapes when planning their trip to Tibet. Not too many people know about the breathtaking alpine lakes in the region, though. Tibet is home to a variety of beautiful lakes. These natural sights provide material for mesmerizing memories and great photo opportunities.

In this article, we’ll go over the basic information you need to know about the alpine lakes in Tibet. After reading this, you’ll know what are the top Tibetan lakes to visit on your trip.

How many lakes are there to visit in Tibet?

Tibet has over a thousand lakes. In terms of travel interest, some of these lakes are more important than others. That’s because not all of the bodies of water are equal when you consider these questions:

  • Is the lake a major point of pilgrimage?
  • What is the size of the lake?
  • Does the lake have a stunning backdrop?
Tibet Basumtso Lake with Rainbow

No worries. Read on to find out which lakes we recommend visiting!

Which lakes are sacred in Tibet?

A lot of lakes are regarded as sacred in Tibet. The local people believe that these lakes harbor protective deities. But there are three lakes in Tibet that are especially holy to Tibetan Buddhists. These are:

  • Manasarovar Lake
  • Namtso Lake
  • Yamdrok Lake

Pilgrims respect the three lakes and consider these beautiful bodies of water especially holy.

What are the best lakes to visit in Tibet?

#1: Yamdrok Lake

One of the three Holy Lakes of Tibet, Yamdrok is accessible throughout the year. When you plan to visit this gem of a lake, factor in 2-3 hours driving from Lhasa. There are many tours that will take you there.

The turquoise waters and stunning mountain scape background make Yamdrok a magnificent Tibetan wonder. All the water enters the lake from the surrounding mountains that see regular snow formation.

A long Yamdrok Lake in TIbet
Gorgeous view over crystal clear freshwater lake

#2: Lhamo La-Tso Lake

Can you see your past and future in Lhamo La-Tso Lake? This is a question that you can only answer then visiting this mysterious lake in Tibet. Note that currently the sight is closed for tourists. We’ll update the article when there are any developments about the situation.

Even if you can’t visit this lake at the moment, it’s certainly a sight that you should research before visiting Tibet. Lhamo La-Tso is important because Dalai Lamas have visited this place to acquire vision and guidance from its deity.

#3: Manasarovar Lake

Manasarovar, a Holy Lake of Tibet, is located at the foot of Mount Kailash. This is the largest freshwater lake in the region. Visiting this lake allows you to take in the beautiful scenery. It’s best to combine visiting Manasarovar Lake and Mount Kailash as part of a single tour.

#4: Tangra Yum Tso Lake

Tangra Yum Tso is a spectacular destination in Tibet. While this lake isn’t a typical tourist sight, we still want to showcase it on the list of important lakes. The reason for its relative unpopularity is seclusion. It’s far away from the tourist hot spots.

But this 3rd largest alpine lake in Tibet is simply spectacular. The deep blue water is surrounded by majestic mountains and brown pastoral landscapes. A perfect place for photography and meditation!

#5: Namtso Lake

Located at an altitude of whopping 4,718 meters, Namtso Lake is the highest saltwater lake on Earth. In translation, Namtso means Heavenly Lake. This lake is a proud member of the Tibet Holy Lake trio.

Namtso is frequented by many tourists and for a good reason. If you want to see the natural beauty of Tibet alpine lakes, you just can’t miss Namtso! Many tours cover the jaw-dropping scenery of this destination.

In a nutshell: Breathtaking Alpine Lakes to Visit in Tibet

Numerous alpine lakes are tucked away in the Tibetan Plateau. While there are thousands of lakes in this highland region, some of the natural wonders hold more significance than others.

The three Holy Lakes of Tibet are Namtso Lake, Manasarovar Lake, and Yamdrok Lake. However, make sure to research Lhamo La-Tso as well. You can’t visit the lake right now, but understanding its history offers an educating glimpse into Tibetan Buddhism.

Additionally, you could visit Tangra Yum Tso Lake. It’s definitely more off the beaten path compared to the Holy Lakes of Tibet. But it’s surely worth it because the views and atmosphere are simply amazing.

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