Xining Travel Guide

Xining Travel Guide

Xining Facts

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Chinese Name: 西宁市 (xī níng shì)
Location: Referred to as China's Summer Resort Capital, Xining, the capictal of Qinghai Province, is located on the eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the upper reaches of Huangshui River. 

Population: 2,333,700
Area: 7,649 square kilometers (2,953 square miles)
Nationalities: Han, HuiTibetan

Administrative Division: At present, this city has four districts (Chengzhong, Chengdong, Chengxi, Chengbei and Haihu), three counties (Huangyuan, Huangzhong, Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County)


Xining is also called the Summer Resort Capital of China for its cool summer. The region also provides a number of attractions making a visit to the area well worth considering. The scenery of the Qinghai Lake, provides an escape from fervent cities and allows you to experience beautiful natural sceneries. The lake itself is quite amazing. The Birds Island, situated on the northwest of Qinghai Lake, is waiting to present you with an extensive array of birds. To the city's southwest, is the birthplace of the founder of the Gelugpa Sect. The gem of the Tibetan culture- Kumbum Monastery was built here. To the north of Xining is the Northern Buddhist Temple. Climbing the temple will reward you with a view of the city from the mountaintop. A site not to be missed is the Dongguan Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in northern China.

Recommended Tours:

Silk Road Safari: 13 days to Xining, Lanzhou and other cities.
Bicycle Route        Qinghai Lake Cycling Race Route

The popularity of the region has been enhanced by convenient transportation and accommodation. Xining Caojiabao Airport, located around 28 kilometers (17 miles) from city center, is one of high-altitude airports in western China.  Xining Railway Station operates trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Qingdao, Urumqi and other provinces.
 Airport           Xining Railway Station

Sutra Debating, Ta'er Monastery
Sutra Debating, Kumbum Monastery
Qinghai Lake
Qinghai Lake

 History: It is the political, economic, scientific and technological, cultural and traffic center of Qinghai Province. The activities of human beings in this region can be traced to 2,100 years ago. During the Western and Eastern Han Dynasties, owing to its developing agriculture, the city was paid more attention due to its economic and martial significance. 

 Physical Features: As well as being the important hinge between the central plains and the western part of China in ancient time, Xining was the most common passing channel of the famous Silk Road. Until now, it is still the only road by which to enter the hinterland of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

 Local Highlights: With a population of more than two million, Xining is the first city on the upper reaches of the Yellow River to achieve a population into the millions. There are about 37 nationalities living here, including Han, Hui, Tu and Tibetan. The local traditions and customs are influenced by these distinctive nationalities, in particular the Tibetan group.

 Local Foods: For most visitors from both home and abroad, Xining provides a variety of delicious food and snacks. You can find some special meat products easily here for this is also a pasturing area. However, at the same time, don't forget that your health should be put on the first position.

Further Reading:

 Dining        Nightlife        Shopping        Festivals

- Last modified on Aug. 28, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Xining Travel
Asked by Chin from MALAYSIA | Sep. 19, 2019 08:28Reply
Hi, I want to travel in the morning by train from Lanzhou to visit Xining
And return to Lanzhou in the evening. Just want to see the city, people and some places in the city. Dont plan to travel far from Xining.

Can you give me some advice on what places to visit other than the famous Dongguan mosque. I am interested in food, markets, and Buddhist temples. Much appreciate any feedback.
Answers (1)
Answered by Astrid from USA | Sep. 22, 2019 20:45

Well, you can visit Kumbum Monastery, Nine Grottos & Eighteen Cavities, etc. And you can go to Mojia street to taste local food.
Asked by Ellie from SINGAPORE | Aug. 26, 2019 07:09Reply
Travel Restrictions in XIning
Hi, I will like to ask if there are any travel restrictions travelling solo in Xining and going to tourist attractions such as Qinghai Lake and the Rainbow Mountains?

I am a little confused because there are websites saying that travelers are not allowed to travel solo but there are vlogs with solo travellers going to the places i mentioned. Please advise. Thank you! :)
Answers (1)
Answered by Ansty from USA | Aug. 28, 2019 21:00

I haven't heard about travel restrictions and related news. Actually, most people choose to hire a car to travel around these places. I guess the place travelers are not allowed to go is nature reservation.
Asked by Kartika from INDONESIA | Jul. 10, 2019 01:43Reply
Hello, I plan to visit Xining in Sept'19 for 2days .
Is it possible if I rent car with driver for 1day tour to Caka Salt Lake, Qinghai Lake, Sun Moon Mountain & Menyuan Rapesseed Flower? and the next day I still rent car and go to Kanbulu National Forest Park & Ta'er Temple. If it possible, am I need to consider hotel at Xining or any other city around attraction that i mentioned. Thank you
Answers (3)
Answered by Sally from USA | Jul. 10, 2019 19:26

Yes, most visitors will rent a car with a driver to travel around these places. It is better to book a hotel near your attractions.
Answered by Robi from SWITZERLAND | Aug. 20, 2019 22:16

If you rent a taxi, make sure it's not a blue one, These are Electric powered and there is only one recharging station on the way. This station is near the Qinghai lake.
Make sure it's a gas or gasoline powered car, there enough station everywhere.
The distance from Xining to the saltlake is 300km you can do lake Qinghai on one way and take the direct highway on the other way.
The moonlake is just outside the Xining 20minutes by taxi. The sunset is amazing! The Camels don't go to the lake but the small 'buses' do- they are on the left on the big place after the entrance - 10RMB on way.
This will be one day - I'm not sure about the other sites you want to go.
Answered by Robi from SWITZERLAND | Aug. 21, 2019 15:58

Sorry Forget the Moonlake, it's outside Dunchung not Xining.
Asked by LS from CHINA/US | Apr. 30, 2019 19:03Reply
Hi! I am thinking about traveling to Xining in a few weeks with a friend.
I am a foreigner living in Wuhan, and I have a Chinese residence visa. My friend is visiting China and has a general Chinese tourist visa, I think. Are there any special visa requirements for visiting Xining that we need?

Thank you!
Answers (1)
Answered by Ben from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 05, 2019 01:16

Hi, no special visa requirement is need. Have a nice trip!
Asked by Aline from CHINA | Apr. 23, 2019 23:06Reply
I am trying to find a Hostel or a Yurt to sleep at near Qinghai lake.
Any recommendations?

Thank You.
Answers (1)
Answered by Alice from USA | Apr. 25, 2019 17:57

Gesang Haiyun Hotel is recommended and it is near the Qinghai Lake Scenic Area. The Chinese name is 青海湖格桑海韵假日饭店.
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