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Rawu & Lhagu, Tibet

Rawok town sits on the shore of Ngan-Tso at about 3,720m. The small town of maybe 15-20 shops and hotels stretched out on both sides of the street is built beside the original Tibetan village of the same name. The lake which is 26km long and 2km wide is dramatically girded by forests and snow peaks along its shores. It has two main body of pristine blue water connected by a small stream. There are villages on both its shores including the small charming Waba village.

The houses in these villages are slightly different from the typical Tibetan houses; there are no decorations or paintings on their doors and windows. The houses are smaller and shorter as the winter wind her is very strong. Furthermore the short/smaller structure allows heat to be maintained within more effectively. As a result of the short structure, the villagers keep their livestock outside the house as opposed to underneath it, as is the norm elsewhere.

Lhagu village and Glacier

About 35 km from Rawok at 4060m. is the amazingly beautiful Lhagu village. This village is not well visited yet and in fact many of the locals do not know of its existence; or if they do, they have not been there themselves. There are absolutely no transport to this place and the only means is by chartering a vehicle. Be prepared to pay at least Y200 for the return trip. To get to the village, follow the road along the western shore of Ngan Tso (towards Zayul) for about 12 km where a small dirt road along the shore joins the main road. Travel for another 22 km along this dirt road along the shore of the lake then onto an open glacial silt plain, passing a few small friendly villages on the way until a new entrance gate to Lhagu village. The gate was erected on the day we visited and the local county is starting to collect Y50 per head to continue on.

There are 3-4 small villages in this area and collectively we shall call them Lhagu village. The villages are located beside a crystal blue lake which is damned on the other side by a frozen lake; which it turn backs into the ice blocks (of various shapes and heights) at the terminal of the Lhagu Glacier. The glacier itself tumbled down from the snowy Kangri Garpo range. There is a splendid panoramic view of the Lhagu Glacier and the surrounding snow peaks from the village. The panorama is postcard-perfect, framed by the blue lake, emerald green of the village dotted with the golden of drying wheat.

Getting there and away:

To go to Rawok from Lhasa or Bayi, you have to take a Chamdo bus. The journey takes 2 to 3 days. Getting away from Rawok can be a challenge. There are no transport originating from the town- all of them are passing-through. The most frequent transport are buses and trucks that head towards Chamdo, passing Rawok on the way.


Peace Hostel 平安旅社 : Double room for Y60.
Post Hostel: 邮政招待所 : Dormitory bed : Y20
We stayed at Peace Hostel and visited Post Hostel. Both offer clean rooms and shared hot showers.


Written by CBP in July 2005

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