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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Karenkatz,
Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Xining Travel Guide
Xining Travel Guide
Location:
Xining is located on the eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the upper reaches of Huangshui River. It is on the traditional Silk Road.

History:
Xining has a history of over 2100 years and was a chief commercial hub on the Hexi Corridor caravan route to Tibet, handling especially timber, wool and salt in ancient times.
The trade along the Hexi Corridor was part of a larger trade corridor along the Northern Silk Road, whose use was intensified in the first century BC after efforts by the Han Dynasty to control this route.
Tibetans and while under Tibetan control was known to the Chinese as Qingtangcheng. Recovered by the Song dynasty in 1104, it received the name Xining (meaning "peace in the west") and has been the seat of a prefecture or superior prefecture under that name since that time.
Xining was the extraterritorial capital of the Koko Nor territory and remained in Gansu until 1928, when it became the provincial capital of the newly established independent province of Qinghai. Xining was given municipal status in 1945.
Construction of a highway to the mineral-rich Qaidam basin and completion in 1959 of a link to the Chinese rail network via Lanzhou in Gansu province has spurred industrial development. This effort was part of a plan of the central government to rapidly exploit oil and pasturage in the Xining area beginning in the 1950s.

Transportation:
Xining is the capital city of Qinghai, and is considered as the “Gateway to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau”. The transportation system, including planes, trains, long-distance buses, is relatively convenient.
Xining Caojiabao Airport is a very important transitional center in the Northwest of China.
Since 1959 Xining has been connected by rail to the main Chinese system at Lanzhou; this railway extends into the Qaidam area via Haiyan near Qinghai Lake to Golmud.

Hotels:

Hostels
The Lete Youth Hostel (16th floor, bld 5, International Village Apartment) is well-liked for its clean, spacious rooms, many of which feature views of the city, modern public area amenities, proximity to a travel agency and the general mix of the travelers that sojourn there. Shared rooms with shared bathrooms start at RMB25, but private dorms with bathrooms are RMB 140.
Just a block away from the Daxin Jie night market, the equally popular Sunshine Pagoda International Youth Hostel (Wenhua Jie) is set in plaza housing bars, cafés and teahouses, great if you don't want to go far to socialize. Shared rooms start at RMB 35, private singles RMB 95.

Mid-range hotels
The Qinghai Jingjiang Unique Hotel (218 Xiushui Lu) offers rooms starting at about RMB 350 while the Xining Yuandong Hotel (195 Kunlun Dong Lu), five minutes from the train station, starts at about RMB 280.

Luxury hotels
The Sanwant Hotel (79 Changjiang Road) is situated downtown and offers comfortable rooms with all the trimmings and Western while the more luxurious Huitong Jiangguo Hotel (1 Qiyi Road), right beside the train station, offers a larger variety of in-house dining with seafood, Sichuan and Cantonese on the menu.

Dining:
Thanks to the medley of cultures in residence, Xining offers a delightful variety of cuisines for the traveler to sample. You can get started as soon as you step off the train, there are plenty of Tibetan spots in the Tibetan district. 
For more authentic local food at ridiculously affordable prices head down to the Daxin Jie night market where you'll find everything from Liangfen; a bean jelly dish served with a tangy vinegar, mustard, garlic, chili and salt combination; to Niangpi; a simple pastry snack; to Muslim yoghurt (RMB 1); to terrine, beef, mutton, bean curd and vermicelli hot pot; to mutton barbequed, fried and baked in countelss ways.
Other areas where you'll find good eats and great deals include the Mo Jia Jie market (Mojia alley) and the Qingzhen Sanfen food street on Gonghe Lu near Kunlun Dong Lu (East Kunlun Road).

Nightlife:
Xining's bar district centers on a central square just off of Wenhua Jie, where you'll find three floors of bars, cafés and Tibetan teahouses.
If you are a movie fan and you do not want to miss the latest films on your trip, the cinemas in Xining will certainly satisfy your interests.

Weather:
The climate in Xining is characterized as having an arid climate with little rain and has plenty of sunshine; it is dry and windy in spring, and has a short summer season and a long and cold winter.
The annual average temperature of Xining is about 6.5C (43.7F) while in January the temperature drops to only -8.9C (16F) and in July it reaches the high of 17.2C (63F) on average.

Attractions:

Ta'er Monastery
Situated in Lusha'er Town, Huangzhong County, where the father of the Gelug Sect of Lamaism, Tsongkhapa, was born.
The monastery mingles perfectly with the contours of a mountain slope, and its greater and lesser Golden-tiled Halls and Grand Summons Hall form a sumptuous architecture complex on a well-conceived plan. Butter sculptures, frescoes and padded embroidery are the three treasures of the monastery.

Xining Travel Guide

Qinghai Lake
Qinghai Lake or mTsho sngon po (in Tibetan language), historically known as Koko Nor or Kuku Nor (from the Mongolian name, literally meaning "Blue Lake"), is a saline lake situated in the province of Qinghai, and is the largest lake in China.
The names Qinghai and Kokonor both mean "Blue/Teal Sea" in Standard Mandarin and Mongolian. It is located about 100 kilometres west of the provincial capital of Xining at 3,205 m (10,515 feet) above sea level in a depression of the Tibetan Plateau in the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo.
Twenty-three rivers and streams empty into Qinghai Lake, most of them seasonal. Five permanent streams provide 80% of total influx.
The lake has fluctuated in size, shrinking over much of the 20th century, but increasing since 2004. Despite its salinity, it has an abundance of fish, such as the edible naked carp.

Xining Travel Guide

Bird Island
Bird Island, which lies northwest of Qinghai Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in China, is connected to the bank on one side whilst the others are surrounded by water.
It encompasses two islands, one is Haixi Pi in the east, and in the west is the Haixi Shan, which is four times smaller than the former island but is where most of the birds of the lake congregate.
With the enticing natural scenery and so many beautiful wildfowl, Bird Island has been a must for many tourists traveling in Qinghai.

Xining Travel Guide


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