Yangpachen has famous for its geothermal hot spring and Tibetan-style Yangpachen Monastery storing many precious relics surrounded with beautiful landscapes.
Yangpachen is a town approximately 87 kilometers (54 miles) north-west of Lhasa, halfway to Damxung in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The town lies in an upland lush green valley surrounded by the tents of Nomads with grazing yak and sheep populating the hillside. It is the site Yangpachen Monastery, which was historically the seat of the Shamarpas of Karma Kagyu.
The area is famous for the Yangpachen hot springs, which have been harnessed to produce much of the electricity for the capital Lhasa. There is a thermoelectric power plant on the edge of the Yangpachen hot springs field covering 20–30 square kilometers. The thermoelectric power plant was established in 1976, and the first development of geothermal power not only in Tibet but in the whole of China.
The Yangpachen hot springs field is at an altitude of 4290–4500 meters which entitled as it the highest altitude set of hot springs in China, and possibly the world. The water emerges at 30 degrees C-84 degrees C, which is above the boiling point at that altitude. There is a remarkable Tibetan myth about Yangpachen. Thousands of years ago, before the sky and the earth were separated, the whole world was in total darkness and people living at the foot of Mount Nyainqêntanglha were in despair. However, a golden phoenix flew to Yangpachen in the morning, determined to create brightness by sacrificing itself. It supposedly threw one of its bright eyes into the hands of a fairy which released a blanket of light through a lamp into the air as a blessing to the place. The snow-capped peaks of nearby Mount Nyainqêntanglha appeared; meadows that resembled a giant green carpet emerged, and happiness and prosperity came to the Tibetan people. Unluckily, a wicked man near Yangpachen coveted the lamp. He was possessed by an evil witch man to sharpen his hatred into an arrow to shoot the lamp. The lamp was broken into many different pieces, and as the pieces of the lamp fell onto the ground, they turned into hot springs and burned the wicked man to death. People believed that the hot springs were the angry tears of the fairy.
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