Namtso Lake


Sam's Exotic Travel Photos - Yamdrok Yumtse Lake and the Road from Lhasa to Gyantse

The Kampala Road from Lhasa used to be the most treacherous in Tibet climbing 1,700 meters to the Kampala Pass, and its scenic view of the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake (or Yamdrok-tso) lying on the other side.  Fortunately for us, a new paved road twisting up the mountain was completed in 2003 and the ride allowed us the luxury of enjoying the scenery as we climbed up the 4,800 meter peak, instead of gripping on for dear life.

Sam's Exotic Tibet Photo - Serene Yamdrok Yuntso Lake viewed from Kampala Peak (4800 meters)   Sam's Exotic Tibet Photo - Yamdrok Yuntso Lake viewed from lakeside  Sam's Exotic Tibet Photo - Prayer Flags at Semela Peak

From the summit, the turquoise blue lake spreads out like a fan below, wide toward the south, narrowing to the north.  Snow capped mountains are to the north and west and the lake’s Coral Lake of the Highlands nickname is due to the fact that it follows the contour of the hills surrounding the lake.  Pastureland surrounding this picturesque lake is a favorite pasture site during the summer months for nomadic shepherds.  A few homes also dot its shoreline.

One of the three holiest lakes in Tibet, it is a favorite pilgrimage site for Tibetans. Many believe that its water can make the old young again, grant the middle-aged a longer life and make the children smarter.

The route to Gyantse follows the far shoreline of Yamdrok Yumtso Lake over two other mountain passes: Karola Peak at 5,050 meters and Semela Peak, at 4,330 meters.

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Please note that all photographs and text appearing on this site are the exclusive intellectual property of Sam Stearman. No images are within the Public Domain, and no image use is permitted without the written prior authorization of the copyright owner.  If you see any pictures you would like to buy, all the thousands of pictures on this site are available in high resolution digital format, suitable for framing, use in magazines or advertising.  Email me if you would like to know more.