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Nam-tso Lake
2006-03-21 13:32:07    China Pictorial

Text by Yi Ran Photographs by Dong Feng'an

Namtso is a compound Tibetan term that means "Heavenly (nam) Lake (tso)." Sitting at 4,718 meters above sea level between Damxung and Bruagn counties in northern Tibet, Namtso is the highest lake in the world. It covers an area of 1,920 square kilometers, measuring 70 kilometers long from east to west and up to 33 meters deep.

Visitors to Namtso usually pass Damxung, a county 170 kilometers from Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Located by the Qinghai-Tibet Highway, Damxung enjoys convenient transportation. A 60-kilometer earth road links Damxung to the Holy Lake, and visitors need to climb over Nyagche Mountain, about 5,200 meters above sea level.

Looking into the distance from the mountain pass of Nyagche, a vast expanse of sapphire-blue water lies ahead. This is Namtso.

Lake Namtso is one of the three major holy lakes in Tibet. The other two are Yamdroktso in Langkazi County and Mapamyumtso in Ngari Prefecture.

As our car approached the lake, small ponds and herds of grazing sheep and cattle came into view. Seeing the snow-white sheep and ribbon-decorated yaks playing, running, and chasing each other freely, we suddenly realized that enjoyment was actually an easy thing.

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