Yushu Travel Guide

Yushu Travel Guide

Yushu Facts

Chinese Name: 玉树藏族自治州 (yù shù zàng zú zì zhì zhōu)
Population: 416,600
Area: 267,000 square kilometers (10,309 square miles)
Location: in the southwest of Qinghai Province, northwest China
Administrative Division: 5 counties: (Zaduo, Chengduo, Zhiduo, Nangqian, Qumalai); 1 county-level city (Yushu)
 Area Code: 0976
Zip Code: 815000
GDP (2018): CNY 5.361 billion (USD 0.810 billion)
Nationalities: Han, Tibetan

Famous for Permanent Tibetan Culture & Hoh Xil Nature Reserve

It is situated in the southwest region of Qinghai Province, neighboring Sichuan to the southeast, Xinjiang to the northwest corner and Tibet to the south and southeast. Within Qinghai, it is bounded on the north by Haixi and neighbors the Golog to the east. Yushu treats visitors beautiful scenery. Three Rivers Source (Sanjiangyuan) National Natural Reserve and Hoh Xil Nature Reserve are the best venues to embrace nature as both of them show various landscapes from swamps to rivers, meadows and snow mountains. Groups of Tibetan antelopes and wild donkeys are often seen in Hoh Xil Nature Reserve. You can also learn about Tibetan Buddhism culture in the ancient temples. At the same time, many visitors are attracted by various tent cultures, Yushu songs, religious dances, charming and unique Gesar rap, elegant and luxurious clothing culture. The grand and famous Yushu Horse Race Festival is held on July 25 every year.

Yushu Attractions - Things to Do

The Southern Qinghai Plateau is the fountainhead of three great rivers in China: the Yangtze River, the Yellow River and the Lanchang River. A stone column inscribed with the name of the nature reserve and dedicated by the former president, Jiang Zemin, stands beside the Tongtian River Bridge on the highway from Zhiduo County to Qumalai County. 

In the severe and harsh environment, Hoh Xil is a paradise of wildlife and one of the world's best-preserved nature reserves. There are more than 200 species of rare wild animal living in the cold, high land. This sacred and magical land is perfect for scientific research, travel and exploration.

Temple of Princess Wencheng

It is a historical and cultural relic left by the Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) on her way to Tibet in the year of 641. In the hall, there is the earliest large scale relief Buddha groups on cliff in Qinghai. 

Gyanak (Jiana) Mani Stone Field

As a commonly known as Gyanak Mani is a large praying stone pile with more than two billion praying stone engraved with Buddha sculptures and pictures. It can be regarded as the largest in Tibetan areas.

How to Get to Yushu

Yushu Batang Airport is located in Batang Town and is about 18 kilometers (11 miles) to central Yushu. Now, it has opened direct flights to/from Beijing, Chengdu, Xi'an, Lhasa and Xining.

Having Jiegu Town as a center, a transportation network has gradually been created, with national highways as the main framework, supported by developing country roads. From these roads, visitors can get directly to Xining, Lanzhou or places in Sichuan Province. The bus station in Jiegu Town is situated in Shengli Lu and regular buses to Jiegu Town can be found in Xining's long-distance bus station in Jianguo Lu.

Yushu Prefecture is vast. Renting a vehicle to travel around may be a better choice if visitors travel by themselves. Private jeeps and minibuses are available in the central square of Jiegu Town.



The prefecture enjoys a continental plateau climate with high altitude and cold climate as its most outstanding features. Yushu weather has distinct warm and cold seasons, respectively lasting four to five and seven to eight months. The annual average temperature of this region is below zero (32℉). June to October is much warmer and more favorable to visit this prefecture.

Yushu Travel Tips

 History: Yushu was inhabited by the Qiang, an ancient tribe in northwest China. In its history, it was governed successively by several Tibetan regimes. Yushu Special District was established in 1949 and changed to Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Region two years later, then changed to an autonomous prefecture in 1955.  

 Physical Features: The prefecture is situated on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with most of the region 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) above the sea level. It is the fountainhead of the Yangtze River, the Yellow River and the Lancang River. Ravines and valleys have been cut by the rivers in its southeastern part.

 Special Local Products: Tibetan medical herbs and ornaments

 Religion: Tibetans make up ninety-seven percent of the prefecture's total population. It is an area with its entire population believing in Tibetan Buddhism. There are 192 Tibetan Buddhist temples here, nearly thirty percent of the total in Qinghai. 

 Festivals: Horse racing festivals are the most popular sport game in the grasslands. The grandest one is held annually on 25th, July, lasting one week. The site is in Zhaxigou, which is only three kilometers from Jiegu Town. Apart from the delightful horse racing, colorful tents, beautiful traditional costumes and ornaments of the Kangba Tibetan people as well as the folk songs and dance are some of the wonderful sights during the horse racing festival.
 Traditional ethnic costumes: The climax of the horse racing festival happens on the last day. Men's robes usually have bands made of tiger or panther skins, while the women's are striped with otter skin. The women's costumes, especially, are made more luxurious by wearing ornaments. They wear ornaments made of turquoise, pearl, coral, carnelian and silver or golden amulets. So, a set of ornamented garments is very expensive.
- Last updated on Jan. 24, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Yushu Travel
Asked by Jack Lankhorst from AMERICA | Jan. 15, 2021 10:26Reply
We have traveled to Lhasa numerous times. Is it possible to travel to Yushu/Xining this year?
Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Daley | Jan. 24, 2021 21:58

Yes, as I know, you can. But you need to show some certificates, such as healthy green code.
Asked by Laura from GREECE | Sep. 29, 2018 08:35Reply
Hello, could you please tell me if there is a night bus from xining and how long it takes ?
I am going there in October and i would like to ask you, if there is a night bus from xining and how long it takes and also to visit the nearby gompas, is there public transport?
Also, if you happen to know any traditional Tibetan doctors in the area? Thank you for everything
Answers (1)
Answered by Nathan from USA | Sep. 29, 2018 23:52

Yes, there is. You can take the long-distance bus in Xining Passenger Transportation Center (Xining Bus Station), departing at 14:30, 17:00, 18:00 and 18:30. The duration is about 23.5 hours and the ticket price is about CNY191. The final stop is at Yushu Bus Station.I'm afraid the bus won't stop for you to visit the gompas. I'm sorry I don't know any Tibetan doctors and may be you can ask the locals.
Asked by Linda from USA | Jul. 03, 2017 00:56Reply
Are flights between Xining and Yushu? If yes, can we stay overnight in a hotel there?
Answers (4)
Answered by Selina from AUSTRALIA | Jul. 05, 2017 03:02

There are only a few direct flights that operate between these two cities. And the schedules change frequently. Would you mind providing the date of departure? Then I can check the flight schedule for you.

In addition, which city do you wanna stay overnight?
Answered by Linda from USA | Jul. 05, 2017 23:07

Thank you Sellina. We are planing flying from Xining on 08/26/2017 and stay overnight in YS.
Answered by Lily from USA | Jul. 06, 2017 01:04

1. Hi, Linda. There are three flights on August 26th from xining to YS, the first departs at 10:14, then second 11:05, and the last 14:10. You can book it from Travel China Guide from: bookingtravelchinaguide.com
2. No hotel is near the airport, you can book a room from Sun lake holiday inn at 4009-333-333 or 0976-5961376, they provide pick-up service.
Answered by Youngkha from UK | Sep. 09, 2018 00:52

Yes you can.
Asked by JAJABO | Aug. 20, 2016 22:23Reply
Accommodation, guide in Yushu / Nangqin

I will arrive in the city in the beginning September and can't seem to find accommodation with English speaking staff. Do you have any recommendations for a guesthouse?

Also do you have recommendations for a local driver and / or guide to take us to Gaden monastery and Jiangxi forest? We will bring a tent.


Answers (1)
Answered by Lydia from USA | Aug. 23, 2016 01:19

For accommodation, you can consider Himalaya Hotel on Jiegu Avenue. It receives foreign visitors. It costs CNY 200-500 per night. Their phone number is 86-0976-8811100.

As I know, China Auto Rental could provide such service. Consult the staff for detailed information by dialing 86-10-58209555. :)
Asked by lhamo from MALAYSIA | Aug. 07, 2014 09:23Reply
please help. how do i purchase tickets from chengdu to .xining to yushu. i do not speak mandarin wel
Can tickets be purchased from chengdu airport . Any travel agents there.
Answers (1)
Answered by WOOD from HUNGARY | Aug. 07, 2014 22:03

At the Gate 1 of the Terminal 1 you can buy tickets there. For the travel agency, I saw some in the airport, but I am not very clear about their detail information, so you may need to look for in the airport on your own.
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