Lake Rawok Tso Tibet
The Rawok-Tso, Ranwu Lake in Chinese, is the largest lake in eastern Tibet, located in the Pasho County in Chamdo prefecture. It is in Ranwu village about 130 km from Pomi. With an altitude of 3,800 meters, it has a water area of 22 square kilometers. It is a perfect blending of the Swiss Alps snow peaks/glaciers and the streams in Jiuzhaigou. Just as depicted in the diary of Mr. Zhang Qingsong (a known professor from the School of Geography, Chinese Academy of Science): 'in my first journey to Tibet in 1975, I took a bus down the Sichuan-Tibet Highway from Chengdu to Lhasa. After passing the Hengduan Mountain Range, the valleys of the Rivers of Jinsha, Lancang, and Lu, I stayed in the Ranwu Garrison overnight, the poetic scenery of the Ranwu Lake drove away all my fatigue. How amazing are those upright high peaks, white glaciers, blue lake water, green grassland, floating white clouds, lush forest!’
It is surrounded by the snow mountains in the southwest, the Azhagongla Glacier in the south and the Bosula Peak in the northeast, many of those peaks are over 5,000 meters high. The melted snow and ice supply the lake with sufficient water and are also the source of many rivers such as the Yarlung Tsangpo. The green grassland around the lake, the sky-blue lake water, and the white snow mountains constitute a very pretty watercolor. The Amucuo Lake shrinks westwards and finally became a river valley. Its water takes on different colors in different seasons of a year and the water surface is dotted with isles or reefs.
Best time to travel and best place to photograph
Best season - From the end of April to mid-October is the best time to travel to Ranwu Lake, especially from May and September to October, as the winter surface of Ranwu Lake will freeze from the end of October. From September to October, the plants around the lake become colorful, and the reflection against the blue sky, white clouds, and snowy mountains is also a rare beauty and magnificent.
Morning light - To shoot the morning light of Ranwu Lake, you need to get up at 6:00 am and then walk around 3 kilometers along the Rancha Highway to photograph the snowy mountains and the lake’s opposite on a prominent peninsula. There is a house ruin on the road, as the morning light here is the sidelight, facing the snow-capped mountains of the lake.
Sunset - The best shooting position of sunset should continue along the Rancha road to 10 km. To reach the marsh at the end of the lake, you will see the dry lake bed with a series of channels, the pattern is very beautiful, and the opposite is the sacred Demla snow mountain.
Tibetan house - Along the Parlung Zangbo River all the way west for about 10km, there is a village named "Wa Village". The houses in the village are typical of buildings in the forest area of southeast Tibet. They are made of wood, including the roof. In the morning and evening, the dark wooden roof reflects the light under oblique sunlight, and the village is full of rich Tibetan charm.
Useful Travel Tips
- It’s free to visit this beautiful lake, and the opening time is 24 hours.
- To visit this lake, the shortest way is to travel from Lhasa ⇀ Bayi ⇀ Pomi ⇀ Ranwu, to Nyingchi, Draksum Tso Lake, as well as the snow-capped peaks, virgin forests, and glaciers. You can also take the overland trip from Chengdu or Shangri-La via the G318 highway.
- There are many Tibetan-style and Sichuan cuisine restaurants in the lake area and Ranwu village. The accommodations here also range from basic guesthouses with dorm beds to decent hotels with private rooms (private bathroom), some rooms even offer a lake view.
- There are several small streams on the grass beach of the Ranwu Lake. You’d better wear the waterproof shoes to walk around the lakeside.
- Even in summer, the temperature difference between morning and evening is large, please be careful and keep yourself warm.