Amdo county, not to be confused with the Amdo region found in the far northeastern region of the Tibetan Plateau, is a seldom visited county 465kms north of Lhasa in the traditional Tibetan region of Kham. This is one of the highest and coldest counties in all of Tibet. The town of Amdo sits at just under 4700m. The Tibetans who live in this region live in some of the most extreme conditions that the Tibetan Plateau has to offer. Most of the people in this area are herders who live in yak wool tents in the summer and early fall and in simple mud-brick homes during the winter. Winter temperatures often reach -25C / -13F.
Amdo county ཨ་མདོ་རྫོང་ covers over 43,000km² and has less than 30,000 people. It is one of the least densely populated regions of Tibet. Amdo county lies in Nagchu prefecture, but borders the Dang La/Tang Gu La mountain pass to the north, which serves as the border between the Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai. Amdo receives few tourists, but for the traveler who is looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, Amdo county is worth considering. Most of the people in Amdo are nomads who herd their yaks. This is a great area to see authentic nomad culture and the rolling high altitude grasslands of Tibet.
Amdo now has a train station and can be reached from Lhasa and Xining. From Golmud to Lhasa, Amdo is the first stop the train makes. Tsonak Lake is a freshwater lake that sits at 4600m and is found along the railway to Lhasa. This large lake is frozen for much of the year.
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