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Qinghai Lake

How to Get There

1)Bus: Several long-distance buses leave from Xining station for a little Tibetan town called Heimahe that is on the southwest corner of the lake. These buses leave from 7:30 to 9:00. It costs 20 RMB and takes 5 hours. If you want to go to bird island, you might find a bus or taxi going north from there. Instead of going to the southwest side of the lake, you can also get off at other towns around the lake.
2)Train: A train leaves at 09:40 for a town called Haergai that is on the northern side of the lake. It arrives at about 14:30. Taxis and private vehicles probably wait there for passengers.


As the largest saline lake in China, Qinghai Lake, historically known as Koko Nor or Kuku Nor, is situated in the Qinghai Province. The names Qinghai and Kokonor both mean "Blue/Teal Sea" in Standard Mandarin and Mongolian. Twenty-three rivers and streams empty into Qinghai Lake, most of them seasonal. Five permanent streams provide 80% of total influx.

People considered Qinghai Lake as "green lake" or "fairyland" because of the marvelous and natural beautiful reflected on it. Qinghai Lake is an important place in history which has been the traditional meeting place between Mongolian and Tibetan societies. Despite its salinity, Qinghai Lake has an abundance of fish. Sadly the lake is shrinking at a rate of 10 cm a year. Most of the rivers and lakes that used to feed into the lake are drying up due to a combination of over grazing, farming downstream and damming. There are many famous scenic spots in Qinghai Lake, and Haixin Shan (Hill of the Sea Heart) is one of them. Haixin Shan is an isle shaped like a spiral shell located in the middle south of the lake, covering an area of 1 square kilometre. The body of the isle is made up of ivory white granite and gneiss. With the coverage of green vegetation over 50%, the isle is a good place for horse-raising. What's more, temples and other subsidiary buildings well suit the lake and the hill, and on the peak of the hill the panorama of the Qinghai Lake can be overlooked.

The lake has a number of attractions that draw travellers in this region in. Ornithologists, campers, hikers, botanists, swimmers, sailors, fishermen, loners and nomads all find areas of interest around the lake. The beauty here lies in its salty vastness and the remote peace that it instills. The colours that can be found around the lake are of purity and contrasts, from the deep yellows of oil seed rape against the cold blues of the lake to the dark greens of distant mountains against the fluffy white of bilious clouds.

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