If you have not been to Northwest China, you will not know how vast China is. If you have not been to Qinghai, you cannot imagine how spectacular Northwest China is. When coming to Qinghai and ascending the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the roof of the world, you will feel as if you could touch the sky.
Qinghai Province lies in Northwest China and on the northeastern part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. With its vast land, rich resources, magnificent mountains, simple and honest people and time-honored ethnic culture, Qinghai is a place of stunning beauty with distinctive characters.
Qinghai’s charm lies in its dazzling glaciers and numerous rivers and lakes. Known as “China’s Water Tower”, Qinghai is the source of the Yangtze River, Yellow River and Lancang River. Qinghai has the worlds’ largest alpine wetland, alpine grassland, shrub grove and forest. The local eco-system is greatly diversified with a large variety of species. It is one of the centers where China’s species developed and evolved, and is renowned as a unique ecological area in the world. It is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as one of the four most pollution-free regions in the world.
Qinghai’s charm lies in its long history and multiethnic and plural cultures. Human beings began to live in this area more than 30,000 years ago. People of minority ethnic groups, mainly the Tibetan, Hui, Tu, Salar and Mongolian, account for 46 percent of Qinghai’s total population of over 5.5 million. Qinghai is not only one of the important cradles of the Chinese civilization, but also a bridge for cultural exchanges between the Central Plain and its surrounding regions, and between China and foreign countries. It was a commercial hub on the ancient Tang-Tubo Route and the Silk Road. As a melting pot of different cultures, the Qinghai Plateau has nurtured a rich and distinctive civilization.
Qinghai’s charm also lies in its breathtaking natural scenery, which makes it a favorite destination of plateau travelers. Qinghai’s average altitude is more than 3,000 meters. The Kunlun Mountains bisect the province from east to west. To the south and north of the Kunlun Mountains tower the Tanggula Mountains, the Bayan Har Mountains and the qilian Mountains. Qinghai is blessed with snow-capped peaks, boundless grasslands, vast Gobi Deserts as well as the fertile Hehuang region. The beautiful province unfolds a pristine, intact, magnificent and wonderful picture before you.
You must have the impression on the lovely mascots of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Qinghai is the home to the Tibetan antelope – one of the mascots named Ying-ying. Qinghai is also the place of origin of the Kunlun jade which is inlaid on the Olympic medals.