Qinghai Travel Guide
Named after Qinghai Lake, the largest inland saltwater lake in China, Qinghai Province is located in the northeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in western China. The province covers an area of more than 720,000 square kilometers (about 278,000 square miles), making it the fourth largest in China. Its total population is about 5.5 million, among which Han, Tibetan, Hui, Tu, Salar Uygur, Mongolian and Kazak minority ethnic groups are represented. Xining is the capital and also the largest city of the province.
Cities in Qinghai
When to Go
What to See
Whilst the vast Qinghai Lake is like a translucent sapphire sparkling under the sun, Kumbum Monastery (Ta'er Monastery) is considered one of the six great monasteries of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. With both considered as the highlights of the province, they attract people from all over the world who have a fascination with Buddhism as well as nature lovers who enjoy camping, hiking and bird-watching. Other places of interest amongst tourists are the 'Small Imperial Palace in Qinghai' called the Qutan Monastery, snow-capped A'Nyemaqen Mountain, beautiful Chaka Salt Lake, the best-preserved Hoh Xil Nature Reserve and the Highland Xishuangbanna Mengda Nature Reserve.
Others that are worth mentioning here are, firstly, that Qinghai is also the Three-River Source Region where the Yangtze River, Yellow River and Lantsang River originate. Secondly, the cultural Repkong Art shows the creative talents of local people through painting and sculpture. And finally, the Qinghai Lake International Road Cycling Race (UCI 2.HC) is held annually around July, attracting over 20 teams of about 150 participants from all over the world and plenty of media attention.
Nature has endowed Qinghai with both beauty and mystery. Indeed it is a paradise for adventurers.
It is waiting to welcome you with open arms!
We are looking into doing a road trip in Qinghai Province over Golden Week. Planning on renting a car in Xining (I have a Chinese license). We're a family with 2 school age kids interested in natural areas, hiking etc. as well as Tibetan culture. Mostly we want to avoid crowds by visiting the most sparsely populated province :)
I would love to get your advice if you're able:
--What areas would you recommend visiting?
--What would be doable 5-6 day itinerary?
--Do you think a regular car is OK or is 4wd preferable?
Day 1：Xining city—kunbum monastery —Riyue mountain—Qinghai lake
Day 2：Heima lake -Chaka salt lake -Qaidam Basin
Day 3：Yadan Devil city—Yangguan—Dunhuang
Day 4：Mogao Caves—Singing dunes—Jiayuguan city
Day 5：Zhangye colorful Danxia
1. Cixiang Mama Sunrise Hotel Qinghai Lake: 5, Yuanzhe Village, Jiangxigou County
2. Qinghai Lake Resort Hotel: Heimahe County