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Camp at Namtso Lake

Lasa Shi, China


Added by Chalet Chan

Camp at 4700m elevation near the world's highest saltwater lake, which is one of the three sacred lakes of Tibet.

Namtso is to the north of Lhasa, ~190 kilometers away. You could hitch hike or rent a car from Lhasa to Zhaxi peninsula (扎西半岛) 

It will take you about 4 hours from Lhasa to the Zhaxi peninsula and a ticket is required for 120 RMB per person. When you arrive at the Zhaxi peninsula, you will see several shacks. 

You will walk about 10 minutes from those shacks to the lake shore where you can find a campsite near the lake to set up camp. To the NW of the shacks, there is also a big hill on the Zhaxi peninsula only 400 meters away. You can climb up for about 30 minutes and 100m elevation gain and camp on top of the hill.

I labeled it intermediate because of the 4700m elevation gain and changeable weather and also because of altitude sickness. Drink hot water frequently and it may ease your discomfort and obviously keep you warm. If you get a cold, you'd better go back to Lhasa because it easily leads to a pneumonia at such altitude. Bring some cold pills with you.

You will be provided with hot water and food in those shacks and hot water is free. The water of lake is salty and cannot be drank directly. But actually there could be nobody in the shacks sometimes, especially in winter, so you'd better bring food and water with you for one day or more. Self-heating food is perfect or you could bring a gas canister to cook with or to boil water.

There is no place for you to take a bath, so you'd better take a bath before you come here. The electricity supply is limited, so bring battery and charger for your cellphone and camera or you may miss the chance to take great photos.

The weather is extremely changeable on the plateau and has big temperature swings between day and night. So be prepared for sudden snowfalls or hail. Your tent should be windproof and snowproof. 

By the way, never try to swim in the lake, or you will offend the local Tibetans.

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