Discover one of western China’s off the beaten path destinations and come explore Qinghai Province for clean air, open skies, and unclimbed mountains as far as the eye can see.
By area, Qinghai is the largest province in the People’s Republic of China (excluding the autonomous regions). Qinghai is most famous for the turquoise brilliant waters of Qinghai Lake, the largest salt water lake in China and the 2nd largest salt water lake in the word, at 3,200 meters in elevation. But there is so much more to Qinghai than just its namesake lake. The Qaidam basin lies in the northwest part of the province. About a third of this resource rich basin is high altitude desert. The basin has an altitude between 3000 and 3500 meters.
Qinghai is located on the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau and is often called “the water tower of China”. The Yellow River originates in the southern part of the province, while the Yangtze and Mekong have their sources in the southwestern part. Qinghai offers diverse cultures from nomads in pastoral lands to farmers in lower lying agricultural zones.
Most people have never heard of Qinghai Province. Located on the northeastern corner of the Tibetan Plateau and with a total population of only 5.6 million people, Qinghai is a wide open, high altitude land of nomads and snow leopards, Tibetan cowboys and wild yaks. Qinghai also holds a wide array of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and mosques to dazzle the eye. Despite its relatively small population, this is a massive land area with 722,000 square kilometers in total area, making it bigger than the individual countries of France, Afghanistan, Thailand, or the whole of the United Kingdom.
Qinghai Province is the source of China’s two largest rivers, the Yangtze River and the Yellow River. This unique Montana-like Plateau offers towering mountains, red rock canyons, and is full of meandering rivers and alpine lakes.
Want to know where to travel in Qinghai?
Check out our trip locations all over wild Qinghai:
I absolutely loved the trip to Qinghai Lake. It was supposed to be me, my wife and our 15mth old son but was wife was ill so I ended up going without her. It was my first time going out all day with my son without my wife and I was a little unsure how it would go. It ended up being an amazing day and Ben was amazing, happy to ‘go with the flow’ and spend the day in a way that best suited my son. My little boy absolutely loved playing in the wide-open spaces, playing with the locals and we even went on a fun speed boat. We had a great little picnic on the beach, with a breathtaking view of the lake. Although I can speak some Chinese, it was super relaxing not having to worry about anything as Ben did all the hard work and I simply got to relax and enjoy the day with my son. I cannot recommend Elevated Trips enough!