Location: Northeast of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau
Suggested Duration: 4-10 days
Attractions:Qinghai Lake, Chaka Salt Lake, Kumbum Monastery
Qinghai Province is a sparking jewel set on the northwest plateau of China, wherein the Yangtze River, the Yellow River as well as the Mekong River take their source. The scenic quality of Qinghai's widely varying landscape is superb and enticing, offering from the ranges of gleaming mountains with glacier-capped peaks over 6000 meters high to the gobi desert dunes of Qaidam, from lush ranchland to the sapphire-like lakes of vast area, all this has created a land of marvel, mystery and diversity.
Qinghai Lake is a photographer and artist's paradise of mirrored pastel sunrises, azure beauty in midday and the indigo blues of sunset. The Bird Island on the western tip hosts hundreds of thousand migrate birds, hovering over the sky or diving into the water. Great Lamasery of Kumbum (Taer Lamasery), still one of the living and the most important for believers, was built in 1560. With Tsongkhapa, who found the Yellow sect of lamas and was born in here, all solemn religious celebrations observed here to his honor. The excellent collection in Kumbum are an eyeful of classic Chinese-Tibetan architecture which has been preserved in best condition for centuries and its three typical Tibetan Supreme Arts developed by Kumbum's lama artists, that is evident in Yak Butter Sculpture, Frescoes and Embossed Embroidery.
The Qaidam, once been prosperous as the ancient Silk Road stretching across much of its length, is an idea place for expedition. You can explore the 'end of the World', mystic 'Lost City' of which had been described by Peter Fleming in his news from Tartary and discover the beauty of dazzling salt lakes.
The Mengda Botanical Reserve in Qinghai present a unique combination of plants and natural stone sculpture. A wide variety of trees, shrubs and flowers from native to sub-tropical blazes a rich exuberance of color. With its famed pond-Heavenly Lake, waterfalls and visible wildlife, it is an idea for rambling and camping.
Along the Yellow River down to the southeast of Qinghai, Tongren has been familiarized as the Home of Tibetan Culture and Art. "Regong Art", originated in this place, mainly reflect Tibetan Buddhist culture. This unique Tibetan culture legacy include painting, frescoes, thangkas, sculpture and architecture. Handing down from generation to generation, almost every man here inherits the occupation as an artisan. These are just a few of the diamond attractions of Qinghai Province, the Qutan monastery, Bichan Daoist Temple, Great Donguan Mosque, and other scenic spots and historical sites still await you to explore.