Qinghai Travel Guide, How to Plan a Trip

Nora Zheng
957 Words/4 Minutes, By Nora Zheng, Updated March 04, 2023

Located in the northwest region of China, Qinghai is bordered by Tibet Autonomous Region to the south, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to the northwest, Gansu province to the northeast, and Sichuan province to the southeast, featuring diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage in its adjacent areas.

Why Qinghai

Stunning natural scenery: Qinghai is home to many natural wonders, including Qinghai Lake (China's largest saltwater lake), Kekexili Nature Reserve (a vast area of untouched wilderness), and the Qilian Mountains (a range of stunning peaks).

Cultural diversity: Qinghai is home to a diverse mix of ethnic groups, including Tibetans, Mongols, Hui Muslims, and Han Chinese. Visitors can experience unique local cultures, customs, and traditions.

Adventure activities: Qinghai offers a range of adventure activities, such as hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Visitors can also go on guided tours to explore the wilderness and learn about the region's wildlife.

Spiritual experiences: Qinghai is home to many significant Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, including the Kumbum Monastery and Ta'er Monastery. Visitors can immerse themselves in the region's rich spiritual culture and witness the monks' daily routines and rituals.

Authentic local cuisine: Qinghai is known for its delicious cuisine, which combines Tibetan, Muslim, and Han Chinese influences. Visitors can try local specialties, such as yak meat, butter tea, and tsampa (roasted barley flour).a diverse range of activities and attractions that cater to every traveler.

Qinghai Brief History

Prehistoric Times: Qinghai was inhabited by different ethnic groups from prehistoric times. Archaeological findings suggest that the earliest humans in Qinghai were nomadic hunters who lived in the region around 15,000 years ago.

Ancient Times: The region of Qinghai played an important role in the early history of China. It was part of the ancient Silk Road trade route that connected China to the West. The region was also an important center of the Tibetan Buddhist culture.

In the 7th century, the Tang Dynasty established a military garrison in Qinghai, which helped to stabilize the region and promote trade.

Modern Times: During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), Qinghai was part of the Tibetan region and was governed by the Dalai Lamas. In 1912, the Republic of China was established, and Qinghai became a province of the country.

Today, Qinghai is a diverse province with a rich cultural heritage. Its landscapes include vast grasslands, snow-capped mountains, and salt lakes. The region is also known for its unique cuisine, music, and festivals.

Attractions in Qinghai

Qinghai, offers a variety of breathtaking attractions including the crystal clear Qinghai Lake, the awe-inspiring Kumbum Monastery, the stunning Ta'er Monastery, the picturesque Chaka Salt Lake, the magnificent Dongguan Mosque, the mysterious Qutan Temple, the charming Shachun Ancient Town, and the unique Tu Minority Culture Park, all of which provide visitors with an unforgettable experience of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and ethnic diversity.

Top attractions in Qinghai >>

Food, what and where to eat

Qinghai is a province located in the northwest region, known for its diverse and unique culinary traditions. The cuisine of Qinghai is influenced by its Tibetan, Han, and Muslim population, and features hearty, warming dishes that reflect the province's high altitude and cold climate.

One of the most popular dishes in Qinghai is yak meat, which is commonly used in stews and soups. Other popular ingredients include potatoes, barley, wheat, and various types of mushrooms. Dairy products such as yak butter, yak yogurt, and Tibetan cheese are also widely consumed.

A famous Qinghai dish is "Kangding Love Song," a hotpot made with lamb, beef, and vegetables. Another popular dish is "Hand-Pulled Noodles," made from hand-stretched wheat flour noodles served in a flavorful broth with beef or lamb.

Qinghai is also known for its butter tea, a traditional Tibetan beverage made from tea leaves, yak butter, and salt. This rich and creamy tea is a staple of Tibetan culture and is often served as a welcoming drink to guests.

Qing food and restaurants >>

Weather, the best time to visit

The best time to visit Qinghai is from May to October, when the weather is warm and dry. This is the perfect time to explore the natural beauty of the region, including the Qinghai Lake, the Koko Nor, and the many other lakes and mountains that the province has to offer.

During the summer, the temperature ranges from 20-30 degree Celsius (68-86 degree Fahrenheit), making it comfortable for outdoor activities and sightseeing. However, it can get quite crowded during this time, so it's best to plan your trip in advance.

If you prefer to avoid the crowds, spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) are also good times to visit Qinghai. The weather is mild and the scenery is just as beautiful.

Qinghai Weather >>

Travel itineraries for Qinghai

If you're planning a trip to Qinghai, consider visiting the stunning Chaka Salt Lake, taking a ride on the high-elevation Qinghai-Tibet Railway to experience the breathtaking scenery, exploring the historic and culturally rich Rongwo Monastery, hiking through the unique geological formations of Mount Kunlun Geopark, and learning about the traditional medicine practices and cultural heritage of Tibet at the Tibetan Medicine & Tibet Culture Museum in Xining.

Qinghai travel itineraries >>

Nora Zheng

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