Top choice lake

in Nyingtri Prefecture

Eastern Tibet is blessed with many beautiful lakes but this is arguably the best of the lot. Draksum-tso, and particularly its monastery island, is a photographer’s dream. Apart from the sheer beauty of the lake and its surrounding 6000m peaks, the site has strong connections to Gesar of Ling, the semi-mythical ruler of eastern Tibet, and Guru Rinpoche, the Indian sage, both of whom are said to have resided at the lake.

The entrance fee to the lake is payable at a toll gate 33km past the Hwy 318 turn-off at Bahel, and 4km before the lake. PSB officers here will want to see your travel permits. A paid shuttle bus takes visitors from the gate to the lake, although it’s also fine to walk. Six- to 10-person motorboats leave from beside Tsodzong Monastery for boat tours on the lake.

If possible, try to arrive in the evening to avoid the masses of Chinese tourists.