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China: Ngoring Lake

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Ngoring Lake > China > Asia

[Visited: April 2007]

When I woke up in Mato or Maduo and looked through the window, I saw snowflurries blowing almost horizontally through the street. Outside, a fierce cold awaited me, and even though I saw a vague sun coming through the thick clouds after breakfast, it seemed unwise to visit Ngoring Lake. So I decided to leave the visit for later and continued to Jyekundo in the south. When, almost a week later, I was on my way to the lake, I was very happy with my decision. The sun was shining in a brightly blue sky, and the trip to the shore of Ngoring Tso was amazing. Barren landscapes, in which frosty rivers lay like dead, white snakes.

Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Shore of Ngoring Tso with creeping and breaking ice

I saw herdes of Tibetan gazelles leaving behind small clouds of dust, and when I got out of the car to better enjoy the landscape, the cold surprised me. Despite the sun, the conditions seemed inhospitable; the dead animals, birds and dogs, I saw on the way, reinforced the feeling. Because of the animals, the trip to the lake seemed like a safari, but when I finally reached the shore, I was dumbstruck. In front of my eyes, a solid mass of ice stretched until the eye could see. The wind coming over the ice was bearable even at this altitude of almost 4,500 metres, and I went for a walk on the pebbly beach of the lake.

Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Ngoring Lake seen from above

I tried to walk on the ice; the surface seemed very strong, if not solid. But the ice was old, the surface not smooth at all - after all, it was almost springtime. I could hear the ice working, moaning, cracking, and when I walked to the edgde of the lake, where the very young Yellow River flows into the landscape, I saw a small stretch of water, gratefully used by a lot of birds. I loved just listening to the lake, which did not seem to be silent. As we drove on the dirt road around the lake, up to hills with spectacular views over the enormous ice surface, I wondered how long it would take to actually melt. Apparently, the lake is covered by ice from September to June. It was not easy to imagine that millions of people downstream would use the water coming from this region to survive.

Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Stoney shore of Lake Ngoring, with icy patch
Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Frozen landscape of Lake Ngoring with bird flying over it
Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Edge of Lake Ngoring: a safe heaven for birds
Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): View over Lake Ngoring from above
Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Lake Ngoring seen from the shore
Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): View from the ice of Lake Ngoring
Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Icy horizon: the ice scape of Lake Ngoring
Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Thaw setting in on Lake Ngoring
Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Icy landscape of Lake Ngoring
Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Ice and stones at the shore of Ngoring Tso
Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Ngoring Tso: landscape with ice
Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Looking over icy Ngoring Tso with prayer flags in the foreground
Picture of Ngoring Lake (China): Gravel road and icy shore of Lake Ngoring

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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