Top 10 Xining Attractions, Top 10 Things to Do in Xining

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Plan your Qinghai Tour? Definitely, its capital city of Xining is your springboard to explore the mesmerizing province in the western region in China.  The city of Xining itself is worth your visit for a 2-3 day trip. Below is the top 10 list of the highlights in Xining for you to prepare your short trip to Xining.

No. 01: Ta’er Monastery (塔尔寺)
The Ta’er Monastery, or Kumbum Monastery, is located in Huangzhong County, 
Qinghai Province, 25 kilometers (about 16 miles) away from Xining. Now the Ta’er Monastery is considered a sacred place in China. 

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.

Entrance Fee: CNY 80
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
How to get there: take a bus to Zhifang Lane, then transfer to the minibus from Xining to Huangzhong

Ta'er Monastery

Ta’er Monastery

No. 02: Qinghai Lake
Qihai Lake, historically known as Koko Nor or Kuku Nor, 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.

Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:30
How to get there: There are minibuses from Xining Long-distance Bus Station every morning, you can take the minibus to Qinghai Lake.

Qinghai Lake

Qinghai Lake

No. 03: 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.
Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: the whole day
How to get there: There are minibuses from Xining Long-distance Bus Station every morning, you can take the minibus to the Bird Iskand.

 Bird Island

Bird Island


No. 04: Dongguan Mosque
The Dongguan Mosque, which is located in eastern Xining
 City, is the largest mosque in Qinghai Province and one of the four greatest mosques in Northwest China.Dongguan Mosque was established during the Ming Dynasty.There is a complex of traditional Chinese palace-style buildings in the mosque. The gate of the mosque is actually a decorated archway with the name of the mosque on it. Dongguan Mosque is the most well preserved ancient building, as well as the center and the highest-level institution of Islamic learning in Northwest China.

Entrance Fee: CNY 10
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
How to get there: take Buses No. 1, 2 or 23 to get there

Dongguan Mosque

Dongguan Mosque

No. 05: Qinghai Museum
Qinghai Provincial Museum, located at Xining City, is a provincial-level comprehensive museum of China. The Museum building used to be residence of Ma Bufang, a local warlord of Qinghai. 

At present the Museum, covering an area of 30,000 square meters with a floor space of 6,000 square meters, is one of the historical sites under the protection of the province. At 4 Weimin Alleyway, Xining, with 10,000 exhibits, Qinghai  Museum is a nice place for those curious about Qinghai’s history and ethnic relationships.

Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00
How to get there: take Buses No. 9, 22, 25, 2 or 40 to Qinghai Museum

Qinghai Museum

Qinghai Museum

No. 06: Sun and Moon Mountain & Daotang River
Located in Huangyuan Prefecture in the east of Qinghai Province to the northeast of Qinghai
 Lake, Sun and Moon Mountain lies on the boundary of the central agricultural area of Qinghai and the Qinghai-Tibet pastoral area.The beautiful Daotang River springs from the west of Sun and Moon Mountain and flows west to Qinghai Lake, the largest inland salt lake in China.

The Sun Pavilion and the Moon Pavilion were built on each side of the mountain pass to remember Princess Wencheng.Of the twin pavilions, the Moon Pavilion in particular depicts the great cultural communication Princess Wencheng brought to Tibet, including crop seeds, technology, medicine and Buddhism. It is said that she helped bring civilization to Tibet.

Entrance Fee: CNY 40
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
How to get there: There is no direct bus to this area. You’d better join in the One-day Qinghai Tour organized by the local travel agency.

 Sun and Moon Mountain & Daotang River

Sun and Moon Mountain & Daotang River

No. 07: Northern Buddhist Temple

Northern Buddhist Temple covers an area of 28,000 square meters and it leans against Northern Mountain in a northern suburb of Xining, hence the name Northern Mountain Temple. 

Northern Buddhist Temple was constructed in Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) and it is the earliest example of religious architecture in Qinghai Province. It was built based on a natural faultage on the mountainside according to Danxia landscape featuring stone alternating between softness and hardness. It is the second largest Xuankong Temple in China.

Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: 08:30-18:00
How to get there: The Northern Buddhist Temple is about 4 kilometers away from the downtown area, you can take a taxi to get there

Northern Buddhist Temple

Northern Buddhist Temple

No. 08: Kanbula Forest Park
Located in northwestern of Jianzha County  尖扎县), 131 kms from Xining, Kanbula forest park covers an area of 4,776 hectares. The park is formed by the magnificent Danxia landscape, amazing forest, the Yellow River grand valley, Sacred Buddhist Nanzonggou ravine and the highland pearl the Lijiaxia reservoir.In 2003, it is named as state geographic park.Nanzonggou ravine is 5000 meters long, it is narrow and deep with startling beautiful sceneries. It is famous in the world as one of the Tibetan Buddhism late expansion place and also the only place where Red, Yellow, Xian, Mi, monks and nuns of Tibetan Buddhism live together.

Entrance Fee: CNY 40
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
How to get there: take the long-distance bus from Xining
Train Station to Li Jia Xia, then rent a car to Kanbula Forest Park

 Kanbula Forest Park

Kanbula Forest Park

No. 09: Laoye Mountain
Laoye Mountain is located at Qiaotou town of the Datong County, 35 kilometers south of Qinghai Xining city. The mountains are all high and steep and the scenery is beautiful.

Laoye Mountain acquires its fame because the Duke Guan temple was constructed on the mountain and there is the Duke Guan sculpture in the temple. The Limestone forms high peak grotto and canyon, the hills are steep and the cliff are precipitous.

It has different scenery during the four seasons, and the vegetation growth are luxuriant; mainly consists of the spruce, willow tree, Chinese white poplar, Chinese tamarisk and many other types of bushes.

Entrance Fee: CNY 15
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
How to get there: take the minibus from Zhifang Street to Datong County

 Laoye Mountain

Laoye Mountain

No. 10: Niangniang Mountain
Niangniang Mountain, also called Jin E Mountain, is located at the Datong County of Xining. It starts from Heilin and ends at Jinyangchuan. The Niangniang Mountain covers an area of 100 square kilometers. It is the branch of Qianlian Mountains.

There is a lake on the peak of the mountain which is one of the eight ancient views of Xining. Niangniang Mountain doesn’t only have beautiful scenery, but also a mountain with treasures, including coal and quartz stone.

Entrance Fee: CNY10
Opening Hours: the whole day
How to get there: There are Tourist Buses in the city to get to the Niangniang Mountain

Niangniang Mountain

Niangniang Mountain

Any questions, just drop a line.

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