Qinghai

Sights

Top ChoicePark in Guide

Guide National Geological Park

In the stunning multicoloured clay scenery of Danxia Canyon (丹霞峡谷, Dānxiá Xiágǔ), this geopark offers walking trails in among red and orange hills that have eroded into otherworldly shapes. Set against the...

Top ChoiceNational Park in Qinghai

Kanbula National Forest Park

The desert scenery outside of Tongren comes to a pinnacle in this national park where flaming-red mountains meet the turquoise waters of a reservoir created by the damming of the Yellow River. A...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Xining

Tibetan Culture & Medicine Museum

Exhibitions in the north hall focus on Tibetan medicine, astronomy and science. Many visitors come for the 618m-long thangka scroll in the south hall – the world’s longest – which charts most of Tibetan history....

Top ChoiceBuddhist Site in Guide

China Fortune Wheel

This enormous, gold-plated Tibetan prayer wheel is turned with the aid of rushing water from the Yellow River. The prayer wheel is 27m tall, 10m in diameter and weighs 200 tonnes, earning it a spot in the...

Top ChoiceMonastery in Yushu

Jyekundo Dondrubling Monastery

First built in 1398, the Jyekundo Dondrubling Monastery suffered heavy damage from the 2010 earthquake (the main prayer hall was completely destroyed and a number of resident monks were killed). The monastery has...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Yushu

Yushu Museum

This huge and excellent museum is a must-see to put some of the region's history and culture into perspective, including informative and well-presented sections on the geography, rivers, fauna and flora as well...

Top ChoiceMosque in Xining

Nanguan Mosque

This beautiful and recently constructed mosque is really quite an astonishing sight. Built from marble and a variety of other stones and carved tilework, the entire complex is a photogenic opportunity. The main...

Lake in Qinghai Lake

Chaka Salt Lake

Located 25km west of Qinghai Lake past Heimahe, this salt lake is a popular side trip for a stunning optical illusion that occurs between noon and 4pm daily where, on a clear day, you can capture amazing...

Mountain in Qinghai

Mt Amnye Machen

The 6282m peak of Machen Kangri, or Mt Amnye Machen, is Amdo’s most sacred mountain – it’s eastern Tibet’s equivalent to Mt Kailash in western Tibet. Tibetan pilgrims travel for weeks to circumambulate the peak,...

Lake in Qinghai Lake

Erlangjian Scenic Area

The closest Qinghai Lake tourist spot to Xining, this site 150km west of town consists of a Chinese-style sightseeing village backing on to the shores of the lake. A long pier allows you to walk out over the calm...

Buddhist Temple in Yushu

Princess Wencheng Temple

Dedicated to the Tang dynasty Chinese Princess Wencheng, who was instrumental in converting her husband and Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo, to Buddhism in the 7th century, this small, sacred and age-seasoned temple...

Monastery in Qinghai

Youning Monastery

Well known throughout the Tibetan world, this 17th-century hillside monastery in the Huzhu Tuzu (互助土族, Hùzhù Tǔzú) Autonomous County is considered one of the greats of the Gelugpa order. The monastery lies at the...

Monastery in Qinghai

Kumbum Monastery

One of the great monasteries of the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Kumbum Monastery was built in 1577 on hallowed ground – the birthplace of Tsongkhapa, founder of the sect. It’s of enormous...

Lake in Maduo

Zhaling & Eling Lakes

Closed to sightseeing at the time of research, these lakes are the widely accepted source of the Yellow River, and most Chinese tourists drive or hire a vehicle to take them to níutóubēi (牛头碑), an engraved stone...

Monastery in Tongren

Wútún Sì

This two-monastery complex is the place to head if you’re interested in Tibetan art. The Upper (Yango) Monastery (吾屯上寺, Wútún Shàngsì) is closest to Tongren, while the Lower (Mango) Monastery (吾屯下寺, Wútún Xiàsì)...

Buddhist Site in Yushu

Seng-ze Gyanak Mani Wall

Completely rebuilt after suffering extensive damage in the 2010 earthquake, this site is thought to be the world’s largest mani wall (piles of stones with Buddhist mantras carved or painted on them). Founded in...

Island in Qinghai Lake

Bird Island

This island (a peninsula, in fact) on China’s largest lake is the breeding ground for thousands of wild geese, gulls, cormorants, sandpipers, extremely rare black-necked cranes and other bird species. Perhaps the...

Buddhist Monastery in Tongren

Gomar Gompa

Across the Gu-chu river valley from Wútún Sì is the mysterious 400-year-old Gomar Gompa, a charming monastery that resembles a medieval walled village. There are around 30 monks living in whitewashed mud-walled...

National Park in Qinghai

Huzhu Beishan Forest National Park

If you don't have time to explore further into the province, this exhilarating forest park in the foothills of the Qilian Mountains – at an elevation between 2200m to 4000m – will give you a taste of the range of...

Mosque in Xining

Dongguan Grand Mosque

As becomes quickly evident to even the most casual observer, about one-third of Xining’s population is Muslim, and although the city's biggest mosque may not be the prettiest, it’s one of the largest mosques in...