Approximately 4500 metres above sea level, 87 kilometres north-west of Tibet's capital, Lhasa, in a lush green valley, lies the town of Yampachen or Yangbajing. This is rural Tibet, home to the tents of nomads with their grazing yak and sheep populating the hillside.

But the town is important. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, it lies at the heart of the world's highest hot springs. Up here in the Himalayas, on the roof of the world, is some of the hottest water you will find anywhere.

The water bubbles up at a temperature of 30 degrees C which at this altitude is above boiling point. Much of the electricity in Lhasa comes from the engineers having harnessed this natural power and there is a huge thermoelectric power plant on the edge of the Yangbajain plain.

Because of its altitude, it is also the site for the Yangbajing International Cosmic Ray Observatory an important international scientific institute.

Yangbajain Scenic Site is open to the public and offers an amazing view of a side of Tibet which no one expects – and a chance to swim in hot water on top of the world!

Interested in this site? Just take a Tibet tour with Access Tibet Tour to see it!

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