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Ranwu Lake, located in the southwest of Baxoi County, Qamdo region of Tibet, covers an area of 22 square kilometers. It's composed of three lakes: Yangcuo, Bangcuo, and Leng'anjiabucuo. People are used to calling them upper lake, middle lake and lower lake. Ranwu Lake is the largest lake in Eastern Tibet and one of the remotest lakes in Tibet, at an elevation of 3850 meters. Because it’s close to the Sichuan-Tibet highway, Ranwu Lake is well known to many travelers who have ever been to this route. Most travelers stop in Ranwu town in order to see the stunning Ranwu Lake, which has an excellent view and is a great place for a picnic. Whoever visits Ranwu Lake for the first time will have the feeling that it is a perfect combination of the snow-covered mountains, glaciers of the Swiss Alps, and streams of Jiuzhaigou Valley.

The Highlights of Ranwu Lake

Ranwu Lake is famous for its quiet and blue, especially its upper and middle lakes, which are the essence of the lake. It’s rare to see the dead branches and debris in the lake. The sceneries around the lake are diverse in different seasons. In the surrounding landscape, you can forest, meadow, autumn leaves, white waterfowls, and multicolored pebbles by the lakeside, all of those colors get interrelated with each other. On the southwest of the lake, there's Gangrigabu Snow Mountain; On the south, there's Azagonla Glacier; On the northeast, there's Boshula Mountain. The snow-melt water from the nearby snow mountains is not only the water supply of Ranwu Lake but also the main source of the Yarlung Zangbo River. By the Ranwu Lakeside, the vast grassland, blue-sky lake water, and white snow-capped peaks make people feel like a dreamland.  

Best Time to Visit Ranwu Lake

The best season for tourists to visit Ranwu Lake is from March to May when the snow and glaciers have not yet melted and you can see the turquoise lake and the rolling snow-capped mountains. Late autumn and winter is also good time to enjoy the beauty of Ranwu Lake.

In late autumn, from October to November, there are golden forests, red sea buckthorn and yellow grasses, layer by layer, interwoven into a colorful world. The lake water is blue and clear, and the mountains by the lake are riotous with color. In winter, from December to next February, the roads to Tibet are not good due to the heavy snow, but still, this flaw can’t cover its charm. Ranwu Lake in the winter is tranquil and clear like a piece of jade.  You can even get up closer to the Laigu Glacier.

Photography Tips

The best place to take photos of Ranwu Lake is Rancha Road. If you drive or walk from Ranwu town to Chayu town, on Rancha Road or nearby hills, you can capture the panoramic views of Ranwu Lake. There's a peninsula about 3 kilometers away from Ranwu town, from which you can take the reflection of the surrounding snow-capped mountains and the morning view of Ranwu Lake. Continue moving for 10 kilometers, you can see a marshland at the end of the Ranwu Lake with beautiful lines of the lakebed, as well as the sacred Demra Snow Mountain in the distance.

Notice: If you enter the marshlands of Runwu Lake for shooting,  please wear waterproof shoes and do not stray far. When the sun starts to melt ice in the shallow, please quickly get back to the shore. In addition, please be careful if you want to take a picture by climbing the hillside by the lake. It's better to have a local guide to show you the way.

Travel Information

  • Address: Ranwu Town, Baxoi County, Qamdo region of Tibet
  • Type: lake
  • Visit Time: 1 hour
  • Opening hours: all-day
  • Ticket: free

Traffic: Since 318 national highway passes by Ranwu Lake, you can either charter from Baxoi County to Ranwu Lake or take a bus from Zam town, Bome County to the lake.

Food: Besides the traditional food on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, such as Zanba, butter tea, sweet tea, barley wine, beef, and mutton, etc., there are also some Sichuan-style restaurants in Ranwu town. If you don’t like spicy food, you can ask the chef to put less or no spicy. The price of meals is relatively higher because of the remoteness.

Accommodation: Accommodation is available in Bomi Country or Baxoi County. It is suggested to accommodate by Ranwu Lake, therefore, you can see the amazing lake landscape when you get up in the morning. Among the guesthouses around the lake, Ranwu Lake Hotel and Ranwu Lake Peace Hotel are recommended.

Here's a video about Ranwu Lake for watching its amazing scenery.

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