After spending 3 days of acclimating to the altitude and exploring the best monasteries in Lhasa, we headed out into the countryside on the Friendship Highway headed for Western Tibet. The day was rainy and so foggy we could hardly see the road, yet we carried on in pursuit of better weather and rarely visited scenery.
When we reached the Gampa La Pass, at a mere 4794m of altitude, we had a chance to take a break, stretch our legs, use the bathroom (or what they call a bathroom- meaning a hole in the ground) and check out an aerial view of the great Yamdrok Lake.
Despite the rain and fog that had greeted us at 5am that morning, the day was starting to clear off, leaving us a cloudy, yet bright sky to view one of Tibet’s three sacred lakes.
Now, we all love a clear day when taking photos, but I love the sultry look the darker clouds gave my photos and consider us lucky to have witnessed such a unique look to this scenery.
I wanted to put together a collection of photos from Yamdrok Lake that not only show you the beauty of the land, but communicates the feeling of the sacredness. The entire area is adorned with prayer flags that exhibit the passion of the people.
They love their land and hold true to their beliefs. Beneath the subtle facade of a stop that is becoming commercialized with hawkers, men luring you over for photos with their large Tibetan Mastiffs or colorfully decorated Yaks, is a rich culture and stunning land. We consider ourselves lucky to have had the chance to visit this part of the World.
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Tibet (Travel Guide).
~Yamdrok Lake viewed from Gampa La Pass with prayer flags. ~
~Tibetan women selling trinkets on the Gampa La Pass ~
~ Gampa La Pass view over Yamdrok Lake ~
~Yak on the shoreline ~
~ Local crossing Yamdrok Lake ~
~Road weaving around Yamdrok Lake in Western Tibet ~
Our Travels in Tibet
If you’re interested in reading more about our time in Tibet, check out our other articles including great photography of the people and landscapes.
We made all of our arrangements for travel to Tibet after we landed in Beijing and in order to maximize our time and money spent, booked a tour that was 8 days in duration. At the time, this was the longest available tour that involved travel to Mount Everest.
I can’t say enough good things about Tibet Vista, the company that arranged our travel to Tibet. They have taken the lead in setting the standard for Tibet travel and we highly recommend them.
They are based in Chengdu and their website is a wealth of information for all the regions that you can visit while in Tibet. If you book with them, tell them we sent you.
Top Tours we Recommend to Tibet
We have put together a list of top tours we recommend for Tibet. These are tour ran by top tour companies in the world like G Adventures, National Geographic Journeys and TourRadar. Discover amazing tours through Tibet visiting places like Lhasa and Gyantse. Most travelers enjoy exploring our Tibet trips in April, making it the most popular time of the year.
- Explore China & Tibet 15 days, Beijing to Shanghai. Get over the wall for a life-changing adventure through China’s awe-inspiring interior. Explore the unforgettable city of Beijing and meet pandas at a breeding center in Sichuan. Discover daily life in Tibet and cruise the incredible Yangtze River on a riverboat. Cycle atop the city walls of Xi’an, and face its standing army of terracotta warriors before eating lunch with a local family. Get into China’s very heart and it will most certainly get into yours.
- Lhasa Highlights. Start and end in Lhasa! With the in-depth cultural tour Lhasa Highlights, you have a 4 day tour package taking you through Lhasa, China. Lhasa Highlights includes more.
- Tibet Adventure 15 days, Beijing to Kathmandu. Take part in rituals and haggle for a bargain in the markets. From modern Beijing, travel back in time across scenic countryside to Tibet on this well-packed overland adventure. Witness the splendor of the Potala Palace and the majesty of remote monasteries and then celebrate the journey to Kathmandu. Wake up to views of Everest and enjoy a window into the heart of this remote land. A local guide and CEO will show you the region’s hidden gems and make sure your trip burns brightly in your memory long after you’ve climbed down from the roof of the world.
More on Tibet:
- How to Travel Tibet: Everything You Need to Know
- RTW Recap: 8 Days in Tibet
- Tibet’s Potala Palace In 15 Photos
- Best Monasteries in Lhasa Tibet
- Overlanding in Tibet: Lhasa to Shigatse
- People of Tibet in 25 Photos
- Visiting Qomolangma- The Mighty Mount Everest