A spring of which the temperature is higher than the annual average of the local area, and lower than 45℃ can be classified as a hot spring. According to the records of Tibet Hot Springs, published in 1999 by Beijing Science Publisher, the hot springs in Tibet Autonomous Region amount to 677, consisting nearly one third of China’s total figure. Many of them are rich in geothermal resources and have been developed as power stations, among which Yangpachen is the first experimental power station established in 1975, that uses geothermal energy in China. But in the long history, for Tibetans, these hot springs are more of medicinal and therapeutic use and some are serving as religious ritual sites. Tibet has most hot springs in China. While in Tibet, the second city Shigatse contributes the dominant proportion of hot springs, and those in and around the capital city Lhasa are within easiest reach which leads to boosting hot spring tourism.
Other name: Yang Ba Jing Geothermal Tourism Area
Location: 90 km northeast of Lhasa, in Damxung County
Introduction: Travel from Lhasa to Namtso is one of the most popular tour routes, the latter is sacred lake for Tibetan and of most magnificent view attracting enormous domestic and international tourists. Yangpachen Hot Spring is located right between Lhasa and Lake Namtso. But it is often arranged as an optional scenic spot for a few seasons: firstly, it may increase the rate of encountering altitude sickness because the bath in the warm water accelerates the oxygen consumption and can wear out the body after the relaxation and enjoyment; most group tour options arranged by local agencies are one-day or two-day tour. The road trip from Lhasa to Namtso takes about 5 hours, leaving not much time for Yangpachen. Thus, usually this is an option for tour with itinerary over 2 days. Yangpachen Hot Spring is reputed as the highest geothermal spring worldly. Dipping in the pool, gazing the mountain view, is relaxing. But it is not suitable for everybody. Smell of Sulphur prevails in the air. The temperature of spring water here is 47 ℃, so high that has to merge into two pools to cool down a bit first and then the water will be acceptable for human body.
Yangpachen Hot Spring
Other name: Tidrum Hot Spring
Location: 132km northeast of Lhasa，in Dezong Village, Menba District, Medo Gongkar County
Nearby attraction: Drigung Til Monastery, Tidrum Nunnery
Introduction: Dezong Hot Spring is in a deep valley surrounded by mountains of forests. It is an important medicinal spring and believed by Tibetan people with multiple therapeutic benefits. Some Tibetan people even come here with sufficient luggage and live nearby for months long to have their ailments treated. Another feature that makes Dezong Hot Spring a novelty among some people is that it is a spring only for nude bathing. The spring is divided into two sections, each for one gender. Nuns from Tidrum Nunnery also occasionally take a bath here. Dezong Hot Spring is also revered because of the relation with the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, Master of Guru Rinpoche. The old tale says when he passed by, the beautiful scenery had impressed him and he decided to stay and practice Buddhism here. There was no place for a bath. He then threw the copper mirror in the dry valley which turned into a hot spring. The handle of the mirror became a cave in the hill. And he took the cave as the hermitage. From Lhasa to Dezong Hot Spring, it’s only 132km, taking about 6 hours due to the ill conditioned roads. En route, you’ll pass by Drigung Til Monastery, a reputed spot worth a visit especially for history and culture fanatic. It is the main monastery of Drigung Kargyu Sect. of Tibet Buddhism, and a very important place to hold sky burial for the most respectable decreased.
Tidrum Hot Spring
Location: 125 km east of Lhasa, in Riduo District, Medo Gongkar County
Nearby attraction: Ganden Monastery
Introduction: Thanks to the shield by Mila Mountain, the climate in Riduo Hot Spring area is warm and moist. 98% of the area is forested, with cypress, birch, willow, shrubs, and alpine meadows living together. Riduo Hot Spring, is being a unique nature reserve in Lhasa’s jurisdiction. The residents in Riduo District mainly live on husbandry, manufacturing considerable products of milk, oil, and meat. It is a good place to try authentic local delicacies and please your appetite. And this is also an important home of Tibetan medicinal herbs such as caterpillar fungus, gentian and snow lotus. Tibet’s indigenous wild animals black-necked cranes, bears, roes, and a special local hot spring snake are living here.
Riduo Hot Spring
Other name: Khambu Hot Spring
Location: Kangbu District, Yadong County, Shigatse City
Introduction: Kangbu Hot Spring is in Tibet’s Southern border area with Sikkim and Bhutan. Its great fame has spread into the neighboring countries because of being the second largest hermitage as written in Tibetan Buddhism scriptures. There are 14 spring mouths and 12 individual bathrooms separated from each other. It’s said waters in different mouths have medicinal effects aiming at various illnesses. As Kangbu Hot Spring attracts increasing tourist population, supermarkets, restaurants, and rows of blue-roof Family-run Hotels are open.
Besides these famous and easily accessible hot springs, many are remote and hidden from out comers. To extend the exploration of hot springs into the less developed and untouched areas is possible now. We are happy to provide free information of more details of Tibet’s hot springs along the travel routes. Just a click to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our trip advisor will get back to you shortly.