Day 1 → Drive 2 hours from Xining to Qinghai Lake.
Qinghai Lake is the largest lake in China and as such is a great way to find the very middle of China’s huge land mass because it appears readily from space on every modern map. It is a high altitude salt lake seated at 3,205 m (10,515 feet) and is home to nomads who herd yaks and sheep in the windswept barren grasslands arounds its icy banks. It is a brilliant turquoise color - especially against the dry, brown mountains that surround its southern edge. From there we will continue to the lake’s windy edge to view the span across the 120km chasm of open water under the colorful flapping of holy Tibetan prayer flags.
We will eat a Tibetan style lunch at a nearby restaurant (or we might just have a picnic on the shores of the lake) and then explore the lake shore and issues on desertification and salinization the lake faces.
As we depart the lake back to Xining we will come to some sand dunes on it’s eastern side and stop there to walk over the ridges of the dunes.
Return to Xining by dinner time
Note: If you would like to make this a 2 day/ 1 night trip OR a 3 day/ 2 night trip that can be easily arranged. Accommodation can be provided in a small guesthouse at near Qinghai Lake. It's very nice place to enjoy the sunrise over the lake. There are also excellent day hiking possibilities to peaks at 4,000 meters that surround the lake’s shore.
Please inquire about possibilities to include Qinghai Lake into other itineraries.