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Qinghai Travel Guide

Qinghai Overview

Qinghai is one of the important province on China's Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is famous for the country's largest inland saltwater lake - Qinghai Lake in its territory. Located in the northwest region in China, Qinghai borders on Gansu, Sichuan, Tibet and Xinjiang provinces. It is the source of Chinese two largest rivers Yangtze River and Yellow River; and it is also the birthplace of the Lancang River. It is known as the "source of rivers" and "Chinese water tower".

Qinghai is a multi-ethnic province; there are about 43 ethnic groups working and living here including Han, Tibetan, Hui, Monguor, Salar, and Moggol nationalities. The world's three major religions Buddhism, Islam and Christianity have spread in the whole province. The Tibetan, Tu and Moggol nationalities believe in Tibetan Buddhism (Lamaism); the Hui and Salar nationalities believe in Islam.

Qinghai Facts

Chinese Name: 青海

Location: Qinghai is located in the northeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Provincial capital: Xining

Area: Qinghai has the total area of 722300 square kilometers.

Population: a popuQinghai location maplation of almost 5.63 millions

Geography: Qinghai is located in the northeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, longitude 89 ° 35 'to 103 ° 04' and north latitude 31 ° 40 'to 39 ° 19'. It is 1200 km long from east to west, and 800 kilometers wide from north to south. It has towering mountains, diverse terrain, rivers and lakes spread all over the province. It has the towering Kunlun Mountains traverse in the middle, the Mt. Tanggulashan stand on the the south, Mt. Qilian stand tall and upright on the north. The source of the Yellow River and Yangtze River is in Qinghai. No matter you go to Xinjiang or Tibet, Dunhuang or Lhasa, Qinghai is the only way which must be passed for the west traveling.

Administrative Division: Qinghai is divided into one prefecture-level city, one district and six autonomous prefectures.

History: Qinghai has a long history, and is located in the cradle of the Chinese nation - the source of the Yellow River, the Yangtze River. As early as the late Paleolithic age, dating back 20,000 or 30,000 years ago, Qinghai's ancestors had lived in today's Qaidam Basin and Kunlun Mountains area. According to archaeological excavations, many ancient cultural relics prove that the development of Qinghai has at least five or six thousand years of history. It has brilliant Neolithic culture and its Qinghai painted pottery is world famous.

Minorities: Indigenous minorities in Qinghai are Tibetan, Hui, Monguor, Salar and Mongolian, and Monguor and Salar ethnic group is unique in Qinghai. Five indigenous ethnic concentrated areas are regional autonomies, successively set up 6 autonomous prefectures and 7 autonomous counties. Among them, there are five Tibetan autonomous prefectures (Yushu, Guoluo, Hainan, Haibei, Huangnan Tibetan autonomous prefecture), a Mongolian Tibetan autonomous prefecture (Xunhuan Salar Mongolian Tibetan autonomous prefecture), a Hui minority autonomous counties (Hualong, Menyuan Hui minority autonomous county), 2 Hui and Monguor autonomous counties (Minhe and Datong the Hui minority autonomous counties), a Mongolian autonomous county (Henan Mongolian autonomous county). Autonomous areas area of 98% of the total area of 72 square kilometers, the autonomous areas of minority population accounts for 81.55% of the province's minority population. In addition, there are 28 nationality townships in the province.

Qinghai Transportation

Qinghai has convenient transportation, aviation, railways, and highways. The prospect of 21st century, the western development will become the strong voice of China's economic development, and Qinghai will also speed up the economic development.

Bus: By the end of 2007, the provincial highway traffic mileage reached 53000 kilometers, basically completed the province "two horizontal three vertical and three road” the main skeleton of highway network. Inter-province highway sections in Qinghai province to western province was completed; Besides the secondary roads to Guoluo state are being rebuilt, the remaining 5 states has been connected by the second class and above highway.

Railway: Existing Railway: Qinghai-Tibet Railway (Xining, Qinghai - Lhasa, Tibet), Lan Qing Railway (Lanzhou - Xining, Qinghai)

Waterway: Navigable waters mainly in Qinghai Lake, Lijiaxia Gorge, Longyangxia Gorge, Gongboxia Gorge, the upper reaches of the Yellow River, Clive Crook Lake and other regions.

Aviation: Existing airports: Xining Caojiabu Airport, Golmud Airport, Yushu Batang Airport
The Qinghai Civil Aviation has opened flights from Xining to Beijing, Xi'an, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Lhasa, Nanjing, Shenyang, Hohhot, Qingdao, Golmud, Chengdu, Wuhan, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Urumqi and other places.

Qinghai civil aviation has opened flights in Qinghai Xining to Beijing, Xian, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Lhasa, Nanjing, Shenyang, Hohhot, Golmud, Qingdao, Chengdu, Wuhan, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Urumqi, etc. The existing airports in Qinghai are Xining Caojiabu Airport, Golmud Airport, Yushu Batang Airport and so on, where can take off and land large or medium-sized passenger plane. The civil aviation navigation mileage up to 32149 km in 2008; the civil aviation passenger traffic up to 468700 at the end of 2008.

Qinghai Climate & Weather

Qinghai's high altitudes, vast mountains region and deserts, thin air, form Qinghai's unique plateau climate characteristics, namely: low temperature, dry and windy climate, oxygen deficit. The average temperature around the year in Qinghai is 5.8°C-8.6°C. The temperature differs from the elevations. Dry climate is another significant characteristic in Qinghai; the average annual rainfall here is about 300 mm.

Tips for Qinghai Weather

Best season to visit Qinghai:
The best time to travel in Qinghai is in summer, especially from May to October. Across the province the average temperature in spring is about 5°C~ 11°C. On mid-May, the grasslands in Qinghai gradually become green. The average temperature in summer is around 4°C to 20.8 °C, seeming a little cool. Qinghai is a good summer resort. On July, on the lakeside of Qinghai Lake, there are vast blooming rape flowers. The yellow flower sea and the vast blue lake are so beautiful. Autumn in Qinghai is a little cold. Its average temperature is about 3°C~10°C. Winter is so cold and lasts for a long time in Qinghai. The average minimum temperature can reach -20°C, while the average minimum temperature can only reach -7°C.

Clothes for travelling:
Spring and autumn in Qinghai have lots of fine sand flying up in the air, you need to put on your wind coat and mouth-muffle. The temperature of summer in Qinghai has large difference between day and night, especially to the Kunlun Mountains and Qilian Mountains areas, you need to prepare the outdoor warm clothes. Winter is too cold in Qinghai, you should bring your thick coat and thick sweaters.

Avoid Peak Holidays:
It is not a good idea to travel in China during Chinese holidays when huge numbers of Chinese people are travelling around. The busiest three national holidays in China are Chinese Spring Festival (usually in late Jan or early Feb.), International Labor Day (May 01 to 03) and National Day (Oct 01-07). Spring Festival is an especially crowded time to travel. The advantage of being in China at this time is that you will get the opportunity to experience "first hand" the significance of these celebrations in Chinese culture.

Others Tips:
1. The summer in Qinghai is mostly sunny day with thin air, tourists should have some ultraviolet prevention measures, and prepare some drugs to prevent altitude reaction.
2. Tourists who are interested in mountaineering need to prepare your suitable shoes.

Qinghai Tours & Tings to Do