Rutok County is also known as “Rutog County”. The Karakoram Mountains and Gangdis Mountains traverse the entire territory. The average elevation of this county is 4, 500 meters and the highest elevation is 6,800 meters. The county seat is Rutok town, and with size of 80,300 square kilometers, accounting for about 1/15 of the total land area of the autonomous region. It is a border county dominated by animal husbandry, semi-agricultural and semi-pastoral. The proportion of animal husbandry is relatively large, and agricultural production is very limited.
The old name of Rutok County was Rutok Zong. Rutog in Tibetan, it means “shaped like a gun bracket”. It is located in the northwest of the Ngari region. Local products mainly include butter, leather, wool, cattle and cashmere, schizothoracids, oxygymnocypris stewarti.
Tourism in Rutok County benefited from Pangong Tso Lake and Rutok rock paintings. Immersed in the blue sky and green water, lakes and mountains. In this, which can be called the highest world of bird in the world, enjoying the spectacular scene of birds spreading their wings flying in the high sky, for those, who live in the hustle and bustle of the city, are definitely a rare visual impact and spiritual enjoyment.
Note: A road leads west for about 60 km to Retso town where to access the traditional trade route via Lake Mendong-tso and across the Chugu la and Kamar La pass into Ladakh. This route is also thought to be the extreme west part of the Tea-Horse Trading Route.
Best time to travel July-September
Local climate plateau climate
Most popular sites
Pangong Tso Lake is located about 13 kilometers north of the county seat. It is about 110 kilometers long from east to west, with an average width of about 4 kilometers from north to south. The lake area is 604 square kilometers, of which 413 square kilometers is in China side, the lake is 4241 meters above sea level, and the maximum water depth is 41.3 meters. The scenery on Pangong Tso Lake is fascinating. The plateau bird island is in the lake. From May to September every year, the bird island of Pangong Tso Lake becomes one of the best bird-watching spots in Tibet
Lhundrub Chode Monastery was founded by the Drukpa Kunlek and one Gelug pa master Yonten Gyatso with history of over 500 years. The monastery is built on the top of the hill which is about 12 kilometers away from Rutok County. The monastery has a prominent position in the history of Rutok County, coupled with the elegant environment and beautiful scenery, there are many visitors and pilgrims who go to pilgrimage and visit.
Pangtak Tso Lake is located in the northeast of the county with an altitude of 4902 meters and an area of 103 square kilometers. It is a salt lake. The lake is surrounded by natural pastures.
Rutok rock paintings mainly refer to hard stones or other hard objects carved on the rock surface. The line strokes are deep and shallow, and there are a few painted surfaces. The rock paintings cover various vivid production and life scenes of ancient nomads such as grazing, hunting, religious rituals, and farming, as well as sun, moon, mountains, cows, horses, sheep, and people. These rock paintings have great value for studying prehistoric history.
Recommended Hotels in Rutok county
Add: Ying Bin Road
Contact: +86 897 2664777
Add: No. 37, Heibei Street
Contact: +86 0 15728972666
Add: No. C6-C7, Business Street
Contact: +86 897 2735588
Geography and climate
Rutok County is 1,800 kilometers from Lhasa to the east and 120 kilometers from Shiquanhe to the south. It is the northern gate of Xinjiang to Tibet. It is adjacent to the Hotan area of Xinjiang in the north, Gerze County in the east, Gegyai and Gar County in the south, and Ladakh in the west. The border is 350 kilometers long and there are 3 traditional border trade points.
The landform type of Rutok County belongs to the plateau lake basin. The average elevation is 4300 meters. It is cold and hypoxic. The general terrain is high in the north and south, low in the middle, along Pangong Tso Lake – The Nujiang fault zone forms a huge water catchment depression with the lowest plateau, and a wide valley or beaded lake basin depression along the fault zone between the surrounding mountains.
Rutok County is located in the plateau sub-frigid monsoon and semi-arid climate zone. The climate is characterized by low pressure, strong radiation, cold and dry, and scarce precipitation. As there is no meteorological observation station in this county, according to the meteorological data provided by Shiquanhe Town in the same climate type, the annual average temperature of Rutok County is 0.1℃, the average temperature of the coldest month is -22.1℃, and the average temperature of the hottest month is 13.6℃. , The frost-free period is 95 days, the annual sunshine hours are 3370.9 hours, the sunshine percentage is 76%, the annual precipitation is 73 mm, the annual evaporation is 2456 mm, and the annual average wind speed is 3.2m/s.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2011, the total population of Ritu County is 9485, 98% of whom are Tibetan
Distance from Rutok County to
- To Ali (Shiquanhe) : 126 kilometers, about 3 hours drive
- To Darchen : 380 kilometers, about 7.5 hours drive
- To KunSha (Gunsa) Airport : 180 kilometers, about 4 hours drive
- To Guge Kingdom: 315 kilometers, about 8 hours drive
- To Burang county : 470kilometers, about 9 hours drive
- To Kashigar : 1180 kilometers, about 24 hours drive
- To Lhasa : 1580 kilometers, about 27 hours drive