Banggong Tso Lake, which means “the long, narrow enchanting lake” in the Tibetan language, is located on the way from Shiquanhe to Doima Township. It is also known as the “swan lake” of the border (it is the place where China borders the Indian Kashmir).
It has an altitude of 4,241 meters, with a total length of 150 km from west to east and it is narrower from south to north, with the narrowest point being 40 meters. Approximately the lake has an area of 604 sq. km. The deepest point of the lake is 41.3 meters. The eastern part of the lake belongs to China, while the western part belongs to Indian Kashmir. Ice period of the lake is 6 months every year.
The Birds’ Islet is located in the lake, where thousands of gulls inhabit. The islet is small, about 300 meters in length and 200 meters in width, with red willows clustering along the lake bank, forming a beautiful view.
Gulls and their eggs can be seen everywhere, between rocks, in the grass, on the lake, and on the bank. There are also a small number of other birds and fowls, such as gray ducks that live on fish in the lake. When spring comes and warm air from the Bay of Bengal blows into the Ngari Plateau, groups of birds that have migrated from the cold plateau to the warm Southern Asian Continent the previous winter fly back to the islet. The months of May through September are the best season for observing birds. Herdsmen living on the lakefront often tell the story of dragons and monsters in the lake, which adds to the mysterious color of the lake.
Banggong Tso Lake is located 10 km north of the county town of Rutog County and 136 km northwest of Shiquanhe Town. Tourists can rent a vehicle to go to the lake and it takes 3 to 4 hours to get there from Shiquanhe Town. Tourists can hire the small boats berthed at the lakeside to go to the Bird Islet.
1. The restaurant offers “fish feast” and charges 50 RMB per person, but it is not so clean. If the weather is good, tourists can put up tents on the lakeside.
2. Tourists cannot take any of the eggs away because they are under protection.
3. What is the most interesting thing about Banggong Co Lake is that water in the Chinese part is fresh, teeming with fish; however, in the Kashmir part, water becomes salty.