Archive for the ‘Qinghai Travel’ Category

Sunrise Over Qinghai Lake

Friday, July 10th, 2015
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When you are planning your Qinghai Tour either for sightseeing or on business, Qinghai Lake will definitely linger in your mind, a gem 151 km west of Xining City – the capital city of Qinghai Province. Qinghai Lake is the largest inland saline lake in China with a perimeter of 360 km and an average depth of 21 meters.

Every year Qinghai Lake entices a consistent flow of tourists home and abroad, attracted by its azure sky, limpid water, white clouds, green grassland and yellow sea of rape flower. For how to visit Qinghai Lake, you check out the link – How to Visit Qinghai Lake from Xining.

If you are a sunrise photography enthusiast, Qinghai Lake will offer you a delightful photography experience. The best place to see the sunrise over Qinghai Lake is Hei Ma He Township (黑马河乡) , 220 km to the west of Xining City. Hei Ma He Township is on the west edge of Qinghai Lake, a perfect place to view the sunrise over the lake.

You’d better off first visiting Qinghai Lake during the daytime. Before you go to Hei Ma He Township for taking pictures of sunrise over Qinghai Lake, you should check out the weather condition and the sunrise time. Then drive to Hei Ma He Town for overnight stay . There are some family inns, hostels in the township.

It is not a bad idea to put up in a tent or an inn near the west bank of Qinghai Lake in Hei Ma He Township.

Get up early to catch the rising sun. Wear warmly for it still feels chilly in an early morning even you may come here in summer. Get your camera and tripod, trying to locating a place to clearly see the sunrise. It is not surprising that you will see a”human wall” on the west lake shore for many people like you flock here shooting pictures of sunrise over the lake.

The Sun is appearing above the lake.

The Sun is appearing above the lake.

The Sun is appearing above the lake.

The rising Sun is up under clouds.

The rising Sun is up under clouds.

The rising Sun is up under clouds.

 

The sky and the lake are all blanketed by the new and fresh “Red Sun”.

The sky and the lake are all blanketed by the new and fresh "Red Sun".

The sky and the lake are all blanketed by the new and fresh “Red Sun”.

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How to visit Qinghai Lake from Xining.

Any questions,  just drop line.

How to Visit Qinghai Lake from Xining

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
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No matter you are in Xining for sightseeing or on business,  having a day trip to Qinghai Lake is a delightful must if you come to Xining for the first time on your Qinghai Tour.

Qinghai Lake is located 151 km west of Xining’s city center. It is the largest inland lake and saline lake as well in China with a circumference of 360 km and average depth of 21 meters. Qinghai Lake is formed by Datong Mountain and Riyue Mountain of Qilian Mountain Ranges, and South Mountain in Qinghai and fed by over dozens of rivers and streams.

Qinghai Lake has long been one of the biggest draws in Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province which lies on the northeast of Tibetan Plateau. At the altitude of 3200 meters, Qinghai Lake boasts great charms – Blue sky and water, white clouds and green grassland, and amazing rape flowers, a wonderful summer resort and mesmerizing landscape.

Summer ( July-August ) is the best time to visit Qinghai Lake. September and early October is also a good time to have a glimpse of the lake though most of the grasslands have turned brown.

Then how to go to Qinghai Lake from Xining’s city center? Basically you have three ways of transport – taking a public bus, hiring an exclusive car or van, and take a shared car or van.

Bayi Passenger Transport Station ( 八一客运站) has regular buses going to Qinghai Lake – first bus leaves at 6:00am and the last bus  back at 3:30pm. You can easily reach Bayi Bus Station by taking the public buses no.2, 22 and 25.  The bus fare for the single ride from downtown costs RMB 35 and RMB 45 for the return bus ride.

You can hire a taxi or private car at the price of RMB 600. Or you may look for a shared car or van at Bayi Bus Station. Usually you pay RMB 100 for a shared van or RMB 150 for a shared car for a return trip to Qinghai Lake from Xining’s city center.

Private or shared car or van gives you much freedom in terms of getting off on the way to Qinghai Lake or back to Xining downtown. There are quite a  few scenic attractions and historical sites on route. You can ask your driver to stop for the site you are interested in, making your day trip more interesting and value-added.

Generally the 151 km overland ride is a scenic drive, passing by massive valleys, alpine meadows, limpid rivers, historical sites and remote towns. Well, follow me to drive into the wonderland of Qinghai Lake in late September.

The 151km ride is mainly composed of three parts: Xining Downtown to Huangyuan County (湟源) 50km; Huangyuan – Daotanghe Town (倒淌河) 50 km and Daotanghe – Qinghai Lake 50 km.

This is Bayi Passenger Transport Station which is located at Kangle (康乐) on East Avenue (东大街), many public bus lines reach the bus station. You should get off at the station of Kangle (康乐) for Bayi Passenger Bus Station.

Bayi Passenger Transport Staton

Bayi Passenger Transport Staton

It is a comfortable drive from Xining to Huangyuan (湟源), along an enclosed expressway. This the toll gate for the expressway.

Duoba Toll Gate and Start your day trip.

Duba Toll Gate

 

Driving along the expressway, accompanied by the mountains and Huangshui River.On route and accompanied by the mountains and Huangshui River

On route and accompanied by the mountains and Huangshui River

We finish the first 50 km drive and get to the downtown of Huangyuan County (湟源县). Your driver will stop at the entrance to the ancient Dan Gaer Ancient City (丹噶尔古城) for a brief visit.

Dan Gaer Old Town used to be a commercial center, a hub of the Tangbo Ancient Route ( a minor Silkroad), starting from Tang Dynasty and it reached its prime in Qing Dynasty. Many of the old city’s building are still well kept or have been restored.

The entrance to Dan Gaer Ancient Town.  The former Confucian Temple and Primary School in the ancient town. Free  entrance for the old town itself, but there are a few inside pay attractions.

The former Confucian Temple and Primary School

The former Confucian Temple and Primary School

After Dan Gaer Old Town, we continue to start our second leg of the trip from Dan Gaer to Daotanghe Town ( 倒淌河) ( a National Highway). It is an exciting scenic drive! It is a deluxe experience for people living in Beijing pestered by the annoying haze.

We stop by the side of the highway, surrounded by brown meadows, blue sky and white clouds for a while. I ask my driver to take a stereotyped picture by his van.

Take a stereotyped picture on route

Take a stereotyped picture on route

Snow capped mountains, brown grasslands and glazing sheep

Snow shrouded mountains, brown grasslands and glazing sheep

Snow shrouded mountains, brown grasslands and glazing sheep

We soon reach Daotanghe Town (倒淌河). We pass by the most essential pay attraction in Daotanghe – a wetland with beautiful landscape.

Daotanghe Wetland with beautiful landscape.

Daotanghe Wetland with beautiful landscape.

We drive through Daotanghe Town and start our last leg of our day trip from Daotanghe to Qinghai Lake, the last 50 km drive.

Daotanghe Town

Daotanghe Town

Before we get to the edge of Qinghai Lake, we get off at the rape flower fields by the highway. Grape flowers are cash crops for the local farmers. The rape flower seeds are essential eating oils. The best time to see the rape flowers falls on July through August. Today we are lucky to catch the last hues of the rape flowers.

Qinghai Lake is a well developed scenic area rated as AAAAA attraction, the highest grade by China National Tourism Administration. Several areas by the lake are open to visitors: Erlangjian Area, Sand Island, Bird Island and Fishing Harbor. We visit the lake at  Fishing Harbor (entrance fee: RMB 40) instead of the most commercial and well developed Erlangjian Area9 ( Entrance fee: RMB 100 + RMB 140 for cruise on the lake).

 

The Snow capped mountains with reflections on the lake

Snow capped mountains with reflections on the lake

Our driver gives us a pleasant surprise by driving up to the hilltop south of Qinghai Lake, easy for us to have a panoramic view of the mesmerizing lake.

The hill dotted with glazing sheep with the backdrop of Qinghai Lake

Qinghai Lake 2

Qinghai Lake 2

A bird-eye’s view of the commercial area – Erlangjian (二郎剑) with numerous restaurants and hotels and the distant view of Qignhai Lake.

Qinghai lake 3

Qinghai lake 3

After two-hour sightseeing around the lake,  we are on our way back satisfied and changed.

Qinghai Lake 4

Qinghai Lake 4

Further Readings


Top 10 Things to Do in Xining
Kumbum Monastery, Xining
Best Place to See Autumn Leaves in Qinghai

Any questions, just drop a line.

Best Place to See Autumn Leaves in Qinghai

Saturday, August 16th, 2014
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Plan your Qinghai Tour in Autumn? With Xining as its capital city, Qinghai Province is situated on the northeastern part of Qingha –Tibetan Plateau, in the northwest of China, adjacent to Xinjiang on the northwest and Tibet on the south.

Qinghai has a varied landscapes  and diversity of ethic minorities such as Tibetans, Mogols, Hui, Tu, and Goloks with great religious life. This vast Qinghai is home to myriad Tibetan monasteries,  magic grasslands, also  the headwaters of the three of Asia largest rivers – the Yellow River, the Yangtze River and Mekong River.

The best time to visit Qinghai are summer and autumn. If you are looking for the best places for fall foliage in Qinghai, we are going to reveal you the best places to see the autumn leaves in Qinghai.  The best time to visit autumn leaves in Qinghai falls on October each year.

1. Autumn Color at Dalong Valley in Menyuan County 门源达隆沟秋景
Dalong Valley is located in Xianmi National Forest Park  in the east of Menyuan Hui Autonomous County under the administration of Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province. Haomen Township is the seat of Menyuan Hui Autonomous County. You drive along Minmen Road to the east direction for about 60 km, you will get to Dalong Valley. Haomen Township is about 108 km to the north of Xining City, the capital city of Qinghai.

The Dalong Valley is ringed by the mountains all sides with the valley sprawling from east to west. Over 20 households live in the valley. It is a laid back  and idyllic place, beautiful mountains and water, and soul-recharge fresh air.  The valley has a myriad species of plants  and flowers. This is an anachronistic hamlet. When autumn comes,  Dalong turns itself into a fairyland of colors.

Autumn Color at Dalong Valley in Menyuan County

Autumn Color at Dalong Valley in Menyuan County

2. Fall Foliage at the  Guide National Geopark  in Guide 贵德黄河青秋色
Guide County is is located in the east of  Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, about 114 km southwest of Xining, the capital city of Qinghai.  Guide County, 90.6 km long  (south – north ) and 63.4 wide (east – west), sprawls on the transitional belt between Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and Loess Plateau with the Yellow River passing through its north park ( 76.8km long within the county).

Guide is well known for the Guide National Geopark ( or Huangheqing National Geopark) within the county. The national geopark features  a varied splendor of landscapes – low  basins and hills, cascades of rivers, loess, high mountains and a spider web of valleys, a magnificent wetland in the northwest China. When autumn comes, Guide change  its colors and becomes a wonderful land.

3. Autumn Leaves at Zhalong Valley in Beishan National Forest Park at Huzhu 互助北山扎龙沟秋景
Huzhu is the only Tuzu ethnic minority autonomous county in China with the largest Tuzu population residing in the county. Huzhu is under the administration of Haidong city of Qinghai Province. Huzu is located in the east of Qinghai with its seat of county government about 50 km north of Xining.

Huzhu Beishan National Forest Geopark is located in the northeast of Huzu, about 11o km to the northeast of Xining. The park covers an area of 1127 square km at the altitude of 2100 m – 4300 m with 64.3% forest coverage, one of the perfect natural eco-systems in Qinghai. The park features a varied vertical spread of plants including alpine meadows, high mountain bushes, and coniferous forest.

Huzhu Beishan National Forest Geopark comprises  5 major scenic areas including Yuanpudaban, Langshidang, Kasuo Gorge, Zhalong Valley and Xiahe. The park also boasts the highest volcanic relics, creating a magical landscapes in the park – volcanic lava, glaciers, and Danxia landform. Zhalong Valley in the park is the best place to experience the autumn leaves when falls arrives at the park.

Autumn Leaves at Zhalong Valley in Beishan National Forest Park at Huzhu

Autumn Leaves at Zhalong Valley in Beishan National Forest Park at Huzhu

4. Shangwuzhuang Water Gorge at Huangzhong County 湟中上吾庄水峡秋色
Shangwuzhuang Water Gorge is located at the same name Shangwuzhuang Village in the northwest of Huangzhong County, about 50km west of Xining. The picturesque Shangwuzhuang Water Gorge Forest Park covers an area of 63331 hectares. A running river named Xinan River winds through the valley.

The forest park is a natural forest farm with a magnificent landscape, a long and deep water gorge flanked by the densely forested slopes with a varied species of plants and flowers. Autumn entices a consistent flow of visitors to comfort their eyes with the colorful autumn leaves.

 

Autumn Color at Shangwuzhuang Water Gorge at Huangzhong County

Autumn Color at Shangwuzhuang Water Gorge at Huangzhong County

5.  Diversifolius Poplar Forest Autumn View at Goldmud 格尔木胡杨林秋景
The Golmud diversifolius poplar forest is located in the Tuolahai Animal Husbandry Communiy of Guolemude Township, about 50 km west of Golmud city. The diversifoliu poplar forests spread on the Tuolahai shallow beaches and the low hills on the west river bank, 7 km north to south and 6 km east to west at the altitude of 2730m – 2813 m with a protection area  of 4200 hectares.

Golmud diversifoliu poplar forest was authorized as a provincial natural reserve in Qinghai. It is said that the diversifoliu poplar trees have unusual vitality that enable them to survive for 3,000 years by “living for one thousand years, standing still for another one thousand years after death, and remaining not rotten for one thousand years”.  The spectacular view of the autumn diversifoliu trees are stunning!

 Diversifolius Poplar Forest Autumn View at Goldmud

Diversifolius Poplar Forest Autumn View at Goldmud

6. The FallFoliage at Xining Botanical Garden 西宁植物园秋色
Xining Botanical Garden is a natural park on the Xishan Bay in the west of Xining. Previously a nursery garden, it was expanded into a botanical garden in  1980.

The garden is divided into two parts – Upper the  Mountain and Down the Mountain. It is a modern park featuring sightseeing, scientific research, education, landscaping and endangered species protection. It is definitely a wonderful place for leaf peeping in autumn.

The FallFoliage at Xining Botanical Garden

The FallFoliage at Xining Botanical Garden

Any questions, just drop  a line.