Qinghai Travel Guides


Qinghai China

Qinghai, also Chinghai or Tsinghai, is located on the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau in northwest China at an average elevation of 3,000m. It has an area of 720,000 sqkm and a population of 3.77 million, of which 1.43 million are from the Tibetan, Mongolian, Hui(Muslims), Tu, Salar, Kazak and other minority nationalities. The central region has the vast, swampy Qaidam basin, and in the northeast there is the large Qinghai Hu or Koko Nor salt lake for which the province is named. In the precipitous mountain gorges of the south rise some of Asia's greatest rivers, such as the Yellow River, the Yangtze River, and the Mekong.

Geographically and culturally a part of the Tibetan plateau, most of Qinghai is part of the traditional provinces of Kham and Amdo of Tibet. It is the birthplace and home to many influential Tibetan figures in history, including Tsongkapa and many of the Dalai Lamas. Qinghai's culture is heavily influenced by Tibet, given the close proximity as well as a shared history. The south is inhabited by Tibetans who live a precarious existence based on stock herding and marginal farming. Qinghai has for centuries been a frontier zone, contested between Chinese immigrants and the Tibetans and Muslims who originally dwelt in its pastures and thin snatches of agricultural land. 

Many tourist attractions center on Xining, the provincial seat of Qinghai.   >> Qinghai Travel Maps

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