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“Stunning & Beautiful”

Yamdrok Yumtso Lake
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4-Day Tibet Tour With Everest Base Camp
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5-Day Private Tour: Lhasa, Gyangtse, and Shigatse
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 May 2014

This lake, one of the 3 largest sacred lakes in Tibet, is 72 kms long and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Tibet's largest power station is at the western end of the lake. The depth of this beautiful turquoise coloured lake is really unknown. It lies around half-way between Lhasa and Gyantse on the "old road" ... not the newer Friendship Highway which goes directly to Shigatse from Lhasa. The "old" route", that is Lhasa-Gyantse-Shigatse is much more scenic and most tours up to the Everest Base Camp tend to take this route because of its attractions and stunning scenery. The lake is reached by first climbing up to the Kambala Pass (4,794m) one of the high passes in Tibet, via a steep and winding road but very scenic. At the Pass itself, there is great opportunity to take photos of the Yamdrok Lake ... plus other attractions (for a fee) such as a photo on the back of a yak and with large local Tibetan dogs. Certainly worth the stop for the stunning views of the lake but be wary of the high altitude.

1  Thank Indy215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 May 2014

The beautiful turquoise water of the lake is simply stunning! There are many viewing points along the way. I simply prefer the view from the mountain pass as you wind your way down to the lake. Do note there are also many yak and mastiff dog touts hoping to make a quick buck off tourists to take photos with the animals. When you're there...take your time to savour the whole scenery ..it's simply gorgeous!

Thank ShirrenLim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2014

I agree that this lake is best seen from a distance, as you come round the corner of the hill approaching from Lhasa. But unfortunately for us, no turquoise water! It was a dill grey day, and the whole area was covered in snow! But it was magical, none the less.
The large parking area above is a bit of a nightmare with pushy, obnoxious vendors, and the owners of the decorated yaks are also abrasive. The loo in the parking area is awful - I refused to pay as clearly the money is not put towards its upkeep. Close-up, there is nothing special about the lake; in fact it isn't all that clean. Rather walk about on the hillside or along the road to get some good shots.

Thank angtravel18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2013

Although the lake up close is also quite beautiful, to me, it was really the view of the lake from the mountain pass on the way there that got my full attention. And if you enjoy taking pictures that show deep blue water surrounded by mountains, you might agree. So my advice is to take your time when you make a stop at the mountain pass. Now prepare yourself for the vendors - there will be local people with animals for you to take your picture with. Do, don't, it's up to you. But also just passed the vendors at the start of the road heading down towards the lake is a good location for unobstructed photos. There are also some bathrooms there which you may have to pay to use (a couple of Yuan), but from what my wife told me - since I didn't actually enter - is that they were terrible, and that might be an understatement. Lastly, when you follow the road down towards the lake, you might notice a small building just off the road midway down. Although we didn't stop there ourselves, other visitors had pulled off to stop there. I imagine the view from that location must also have been quite good, so perhaps see if that's possible for you.

3  Thank Phil J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2013

The gorgeous, gem-like colors of Yamdrok Lake are truly a sight to behold.

From up above, when the sun is out, the lake is a rich, bold turquoise color which almost looks like it has been Photoshopped. When you go lower and get closer to its surface it is an enchanting, sapphire blue. And when the sun is obscured by clouds its surface is a steely gray, almost obsidian, which is complimented by the greens and browns of the surrounding hillsides.

It is stunningly beautiful in every case.

At the vantage point from above you will be accosted by locals wanting to sell you necklaces or take your picture with a yak, a Tibetan mastiff or, in my case, and adorable baby goat. (I couldn't resist the latter -- I am a sucker for goats, and baby goats in particular; I paid 10 kuai to hold an adorable little wooly guy who kept trying to eat my jacket and seemed to love being cuddled while my husband snapped a few shots of us. I smelled like a goat for the rest of the day, but it was worth it.)

Yamdrok is the longest lake in Tibet and it is considered very sacred, which is why you will find no one fishing or bathing on its shores. It is pristine and beautiful, and so worth the trip to see it.

2  Thank Shanghyper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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