|Sutra Debating, Ta'er Monastery|
Located in the southwest part of Xining City, the Ta'er Monastery is one of six famous monasteries in the Gelugpa Sect (also called Yellow Hat Sect) of Tibetan Buddhism. There are convenient ways to get there, e.g., take the No. 1 bus from the Xining Railway Station to Xi Men. From there you can take a half-hour taxi ride (up to four people can share a cab) to the monastery. Additionally, regular buses are available and take about an hour from the railway station. The cost of each bus ride is CNY5 per person.
Having a history of over 600 years, the Dongguan Mosque, located in the Xining City Zone, is one of the most famous mosques in the northwest region of China. Many visitors are fascinated by the splendid and diversiform towers, walls and halls in the mosque. The spacious and bright mosque can admit three hundred Muslims to make worship simultaneously. The Nos. 1, 2, and 23 buses will take you directly there. Please note that visitors are allowed during Moslem prayer sessions.
Sun and Moon Mountain
Another unique religious structure with intoxicating views is the Northern Buddhist Temple. Southern Buddhist (Nanchan) Temple, together with the Northern Buddhist (Beichan) Temple, is also a perfect place to overlook Xining's cityscape. It costs about CNY4 to get there from Xining by taxi. The Nos. 19, 21, 80, 84 and 107 buses can also take you to the temple.
The region is also replete with natural scenic attractions. One is the Riyue (Sun and Moon) Mountain which divides Qinghai Province into two parts - the stock-raising area and the farming area, and it is also the watershed of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and loess Plateau. Another not-to-be-missed destination is the Bird Island in northwest of Qinghai Lake. This alluring body of water is home to hundreds of thousands of birds. About 35 kilometers west of Xining City in Datong County, you can experience the magical power of Laoye Mountain. Every year on the 6th day of the 6th lunar month, the traditional singing festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors.