At 4441m above sea level, Yamdrok Lake is one of the three sacred lakes in Tibet. This was where Tibetans came to search for the reincarnated soul of the Dalai Lama through chatting, praying, and throwing holy items into the water to get a reflecting hint on the location of Dalai Lama’s soul. Devoted Tibetans come to do the kora around the lake to pray for good luck and happiness in the following year. For tourists, Yamdrok is famous for its stunning scenery with its coiling scorpion shape, pristine turquoise water and surrounding snow-capped mountains. Located in Shannan along Road S307, between Lhasa and Shigatse, Yamdrok Lake is pretty much on everyone’s travel itinerary who ventures beyond Lhasa.
We knew this would be a long day on the road. We needed to travel for about 380km from Samye Town to Shigatse via Yamdrok and Gyantse.
We left Samye at about 9am and reached Yamdrok Lake slightly after noontime. We first stopped by a lookout along Road S307 to enjoy the overview of Yamdrok Lake from a high level.
Some travelers would just stop by the road to take in the scenery.
If the sky was clear, we would see the distant snow-capped mountains.
Along the balustrade visitors crowded at the best spots to photograph the turquoise lake.
Eateries and souvenir vendors surrounded the parking lot.
Dozens unfortunate Tibetan mastiffs dressed in funny outfits or had their hair dyed in vivid colours stood by the balustrade for everyone who was willing to spend 10 yuan for a souvenir photo.
Partly due to the strong and chilly wind at the 4441m altitude, and partly due to the noisy and overly energetic tourist crowds, we didn’t stay for long at the upper lookout.
Next Sangzhu drove us down to another lookout by the water, where we final got a close encounter with the sacred turquoise water of Yamdrok. Souvenir vendors set up their stalls along the steps down to the shore. By the waterfront, Tibetan mastiffs were replaced with Tibetan yaks posing for souvenir photos.
By the time we reached the water, the sky seemed to a little clearer than when we were on the upper lookout.
Local tourists gathered at the signage that said “Yamdrok, Three Great Sacred Lakes, 4441m.”
After Yamdrok, our journey continued to head west. The blue sky was well hidden.
Soon we saw an open area along the highway with a lookout to the Korola Glacier (卡若拉冰川). The sky was grey and we were a little behind schedule, so we chose to stay in the car and take photos of the glacier from the road.
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More blog posts on Tibet 2017:
JOURNEY ABOVE THE CLOUDS, Tibet 2017 (西藏之旅2017)
DAY 1: TOUCHDOWN ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD, Lhasa
DAY 1: TRICHANG LABRANG HOTEL (赤江拉讓藏式賓館), Lhasa
DAY 1: KORA AT BARKHOR STREET (八廓街), Lhasa
DAY 2: FIRST GLIMPSE OF POTALA (布達拉宮), Lhasa
DAY 2: KORA OF DREPUNG MONASTERY (哲蚌寺), Lhasa
DAY 2: DREPUNG MONASTERY (哲蚌寺), Lhasa
DAY 2: JOKHANG MONASTERY (大昭寺), Lhasa
DAY 2 : SPINN CAFE (風轉咖啡館), Lhasa
DAY 2: NIGHT VIEW OF POTALA (布達拉宮), Lhasa
DAY 3: POTALA PALACE (布達拉宮), Lhasa
DAY 3: SERA MONASTERY (色拉寺), Lhasa
Day 4: KORA OF GANDEN MONASTERY (甘丹寺), Lhasa
Day 4: GANDEN MONASTERY (甘丹寺), Lhasa
DAY 4: TEA HOUSE AND FAMILY RESTAURANT, Lhasa
DAY 5: ON THE ROAD IN TIBET
DAY 5: MORNING IN SHANNAN (山南)
DAY 5: SAMYE MONASTERY (桑耶寺), Shannan
DAY 5: SAMYE TOWN (桑耶鎮), Shannan
DAY 6: YAMDROK LAKE (羊卓雍錯)
DAY 6: PALCHO MONASTERY (白居寺), Gyantse
DAY 6: WORDO COURTYARD (吾爾朵大宅院), Shigatse
DAY 7: ROAD TO EVEREST BASE CAMP (珠峰大本營)
DAY 7: EVEREST BASE CAMP (珠峰大本營)
DAY 7: STARRY NIGHT, Everest Base Camp
DAY 8: PANG LA PASS (加烏拉山口), Mount Everest Road
DAY 8: SAKYA MONASTERY (薩迦寺)
DAY 9: TASHI LHUNPO MONASTERY, (扎什倫布寺) Shigatse
DAY 9: ROAD TO NAMTSO LAKE (納木錯)
DAY 9: EVENING AT NAMTSO LAKE (納木錯)
DAY 10: SUNRISE AT NAMTSO LAKE (納木錯)
DAY 10: LAST DAY IN LHASA, Tibet
EPILOGUE: FACES OF LHASA, Tibet