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Xining, Qinghai

Xining, Qinghai

Capital of Qinghai Province; an ancient highland city with a lot of scenic spots and historical sites. Major Attractions: Taoist Tulou (Rammed-earth Pavilion) of Northern Ch’an Monastery, Southern Ch’an Monastery, Dongguan Mosque, and Datong Laoye Mountain Forest Zong.

Taér 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.

Qinghai Lake, Bird Islet
The 4,635-square-km Qinghai Lake in the northeast part of the province is the largest inland saltwater lake in Chin. The 0.8-square-km Bird Islet is a paradise for more than 100,000 migratory birds, including bar-headed geese, brown-headed gulls, swans, and wild ducks. May through October is the best season for bird-watching tours.

Rafting Yangtze and Yellow Rivers
Tuotuo River, the fountainhead of the Yangtze, rises from the 6,621-metre Mount Geladandong glaciers north of Tanggula Mountain, and merges with Tongtian River in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, which empties itself into Jinsha River. The section of the Yellow River which rises in Mount Bayanhar and flows through Qinghai is a limpid river that twists and turns through a series of canyons. With a drop of 860 metres, the 270-km section that starts at Longyang Gorge is ideal for rafters and nature explorers.

Mountaineering Tour
A’nyemaqen, Nianbao and 14 other mountains in Qinghai are opened to mountaineers from overseas. Qinghai International Sports Travel Service organizes mountaineering and exploratory tours of these mountains, Yangtze and Yellow river fountainheads, and the gobi desert of Qaidam Basin.

Qutan Temple
A long corridor with 50 partitions, 28 of which feature huge colourful murals, is the reason why Qutan Temple in Ledu County has been put under state protection as a primary cultural treasure. These murals furnish valuable material for art and archaeological studies.

Qinghai Museum
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.

Four Summons Ceremonies
Venue: Taér Monastery, Huangzhong County
Time: 14th-15th of 3rd lunar month, 14th-15th of 4th lunar month, 7th-8th of 6th lunar month, and 22nd-23rd of 9th lunar month.
What’s On: Large butter sculpture shows; sunning a huge portrait of the Buddha, turning golden prayer wheels, sorcerers’ dances, observing debates on Buddhist philosophy, and paying homage to the Buddha.

Singing Festival on 6th of 6th Lunar Month
Venue: Xining, Tongren, Minhe, Ledu Counties
Time: around 6th of 6th lunar month
What’s On: Folk singers of ethnic Tu, Hui, Sala and Han backgrounds gather in mountain forests for round after round of singing competitions. A lot of boozing, merry-making and sightseeing takes place during the festival.