Literary means heavenly lake. It is located between Damxung county, of Lhasa prefecture and Baingoin county of Nagqu prefecture. The lake lies at an elevation of 4718 meters above sea level and has surface area of 1920 square kilometer. It is largest salt lake in Tibet Autonomous region and the second largest after Qinghai lake on Qinghai plateau.
Namtso Lake has five uninhabited island and two rocky outcrops. These island has been used as spiritual retreat for many centuries. People would walk to the island in winter when water is frozen, carrying their food. They spend their summer there and would return back to the shore again in the coming winter when the water is frozen again.
It is often misinformed that Namtso Lake is the highest lake in the world or national level. There are lots of small lake in Tibet which are located higher altitude than Namtso Lake.
Over the years Namtso Lake has become very popular destination for Domestic tourist after popularize in some popular movies and TV series, and with Qinghai-tibet railway that helps providing efficient transportation. Most of the Tibet tour itinerary has Namtso as the main place for visiting.