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Getting There & Away

One way to see the sights around Qīnghǎi Lake is by hiring a private car and driver (¥500 to ¥600 per day). Alternately, all-inclusive overnight stays and multiday trips can be organised through travel agencies in Xīníng. Touts abound at every bus station in Xīníng; bargain hard and you could score a great deal on a shared taxi.

Alternatively, you can take a bus from the Xīníng bus station to Xīhǎi Zhèn (西海镇), from where you can rent bikes to tour the lake.

If you want to do the lake via public transport, there's a new daily train service that goes from Xīníng to Chákǎ (¥62.50, 8.25am, five hours). If you take this route, you can work your way back towards Xīníng across two days by taking a bus back and stopping along Heīmǎhé (黑马河), zipping up to Bird Island and then looping back down to Èrlángjiàn Scenic Area and then back to Xīníng.