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Xining is a fascinating city located on the eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the upper reaches of Huangshui River and with a population of around 1million. Xining has a long history of more than 2000 years, was the key point of the silk-road and was even the capitol of China during the Nan Liang dynasty. With a population of around one million, it continues to play an important part in the cultural and economic development of Western China.

Xining has an average altitude of over 2200 meters (about 7217 feet), which makes for a stunning landscape and puts you never far away from mountains, lakes and deserts. But don’t let this fool you, the City itself is blossoming and developing, and is a meeting point for the different minorities in the area and also for those travelling on into the hinterland of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In fact, 23 percent of the population consists of Tibetans, Mongolians, Manchu, Tus and the Salar. As you can imagine, this makes for wonderful displays of culture and religion, and gastronomic delights from many parts of China.

A few of the sights:

Situated in downtown Xining on Dongguan Boulevard is the Dinguan Mosque, one of the four largest mosques in Northwest China. It is 1102 square meters in area and every Friday 10000 local Muslims come to worship.

Qinghai Lake is the largest inland salt lake in China and among the most beautiful natural wonders in Asia. It sits in a basin with an otherworldly landscape with nomadic Tibetan herdsman inhabiting the region. Every year it is host to an international cycling competition drawing cyclists from all over the world.

Bird Island, which lies northwest of Qinghai Lake, and is actually two islands, is famous for the birds that congregate there. In spring and summer come, many birds fly from faraway mountains and deserts to breed there. In the noisiest months of April and May, their numbers can amount to ten thousand, 80% to 90% of which stop on the Haixi Shan and lay eggs there. With eggs interspersed all over the island, Haixi Shan is also called 'Egg Island'.

Ta'er Monastery is nearby, one of the largest monasteries of the Ge-lug-pa sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

To the north of Xining is the Beichan Temple, cited on top of a mountain, climbing the temple will reward you with a view of the city and the awesome local landscape from the mountaintop.

The mountains you can see from out your window! Xining air is very clear and you can see the mountains all around you. In fact, Xining is referred to by many as the ‘summer city’ because of its mild and bright summer weather and low humidity.



 
 
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