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QINGHAI
青海

Q inghai Province, also called Qing for short, is located in the northeastern part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and lying between the longitude of 89°35’E-103°04’E and latitude of 31°40’N -39°19’N, spanning 1,200 km from east to west, and 800 km from north to south with an area of 72.12 km2. Qinghai has a diverse terrain with high towering mountains, crossing rivers and lakes here and there. Read More Below.


OVERVIEW

Q inghai Province, also called Qing for short, is located in the northeastern part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and lying between the longitude of 89°35’E-103°04’E and latitude of 31°40’N -39°19’N, spanning 1,200 km from east to west, and 800 km from north to south with an area of 72.12 km2. Qinghai has a diverse terrain with high towering mountains, crossing rivers and lakes here and there.

W ith vast undulating grasslands cropping up one after another and the grand Qaidam Basin in the northwest, Qinghai borders Tanggula Mountain in the south and Qilian Mountain in the north as the magnificent Kunlun Mountain runs across it. Both the Yangtze River and the Yellow River originate from Qinghai, where there is China’s largest inland plateau lagoon-Qinghai Lake, hence its name “Qinghai Province.” For visitors traveling to West China including cities in Xinjiang, Tibet, Dunhuang or Lhasa, Qinghai is always a must-see place. Though most of the lands in Qinghai are deserts and snow mountains, which are not suitable for human habitation, Qinghai still remains a paradise for hikers and brave challengers with abundant humanistic and geographical resources.

GEOGRAPHY

GEOGRAPHY

A s one of the most important provinces on the Chinese Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Qinghai Province stretches across an area of 1,200 kilometers long from the east to the west, and 800 kilometers wide from the north to the south, which measures about 720,000 square kilometers. With vast undulating grasslands cropping up one after another and the grand Qaidam Basin in the northwest, Qinghai borders Tanggula Mountain in the south and Qilian Mountain in the north as the magnificent Kunlun Mountain runs across it. The geographical significance of eastern Qinghai is showcased by its names of the Celestial River Zone, the Throat of the Tibetan Region, the Protective Screen of Lanzhou, the Guardian of the Western Regions, and the Throat of the Western Frontier. It is also the source of the Yellow River, the Yangtze River and the Lancang River, and known as the Source of the Rivers and the Watertank of China. Qinghai Province is located at the northeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, with most of its regions lying on the plateau. The province is also marked by complex terrain and geographical features.

OVERVIEWCLIMATE

CLIMATE

Q inghai has a plateau continental climate, characterized by low temperature, huge temperature difference between day and night, little but centered rainfall, longtime sunshine and strong solar radiation. Moreover, it has long and cold winters and short and cool summers. There are significant differences in the climate of different regions. The rainy seasons of eastern Huangshui Valley are mainly concentrated in July, August and September with an annual average rainfall of 250 mm-550 mm.

M oreover, with an annual average temperature of 2℃-9℃ and 100~200 days’ frost-free period, the eastern Huangshui Valley is endowed with excellent climate meeting the requirements of ripe crop with considerable heat and moisture. Comparatively, the annual average temperature and the annual average rainfall of Qaidam Basin are respectively 2℃-5℃ and nearly 200 mm respectively. And Qaidam Basin enjoys over 3,000 hours’ sunshine annually. High mountainous regions in the northeast and the Southern Qinghai Plateau are of low temperature and the annual rainfall of these places is generally 100 mm to 500 mm, except Qilian Mountains, Altun Mountains and the west of the sources of rivers.

Q inghai is located in the middle latitudes, with intensive solar radiation and long-time sunlight. The total annual amount of solar radiation of Qinghai can be up to 690.8 KJ/cm2 to 753.6 KJ/cm2, more than 60% of which belongs to direct solar radiation. In terms of the amount of solar radiation, Qinghai ranks second after Tibet in China with its annual absolute value of that over 418.68 KJ.

GEOGRAPHYCULTURE

CULTURE

A s far as back to ancient times, there were human activities in Qinghai Province. The earliest people who lived on the land were the ancient peoples of western China ethnic groups Di and Qiang. Numerous ancient cultural relics show that Qinghai has had at least 6,000 years’ history with human activities. In the period of Xia and Shang dynasties, some Qiang people gradually settled in the eastern part of Qinghai and began to do farm work there. With the introduction of advanced production technology developed in the Central Plain of China, agriculture and animal husbandry industries had made great progress and the population was gradually increasing in Qinghai. These Qiang people gradually joined Huaxia people, who became the later Han people together.

CLIMATETOURIST SEASON

TOURIST SEASON

D ue to weather conditions, the summer period from May to October is the best time to visit Qinghai. Grasslands in Qinghai start to grow after May, when migratory birds also begin to fly towards the region, bringing life and vigor to the land. Though July is the hottest month in Qinghai, and the highest temperature at the Qarham Lake of the Qaidam Basin could reach 36℃, passengers may need to bring warm clothes traveling to places in south Qinghai, such as Wudaoliang. The Qinghai Lake is virtually surrounded by a sea of yellow rape flowers in July. The yellow blossoms and the azure blue water match perfectly with each other, forming the fantastic picturesque scenery. The lakefront serves as an ideal camping place for travelers, who will enjoy the cozy stay by the lake where the highest temperature is only 18℃. Summer traveling in Qinghai features sound highway transportation condition. However, occasional strong rains may lead to the landslide and torrential flood. Travelers coming to Qinghai during the period from May to September will be embraced by the grasslands, flowers, lake, as well as the snow mountains. Besides, various folk cultural activities, especially the local Qinghai dialectical folk ballad festival, will also feast the tourists. Travelers are suggested to prepare themselves well both physically and mentally before traveling to Qinghai, whose peculiar geographical and climate conditions may affect the travelers and pose challenges during the journey. Any detailed preparation is necessary for travelers who want to savor Qinghai to its nuances. Self-driving passengers are suggested to watch out for the road conditions in case the wheels were absorbed into the ground when driving through permafrost regions like the Hoh Xil Nature Reserve, where the solum gets softer during the summer.

I ndividual vehicles should be equipped with hoisting machines when driving through the region without a companion SUV. Such vehicles should be able to get themselves out from emergencies with a vertical stake. Qinghai Province is home to numerous ethnic minorities, with each having its own festivals throughout the year. Major ethnic festivals in Qinghai include: 1. The Bobo Festival of the Tu minority, held on February 2, March 3, and April 8 on the lunar calendar. 2. The Dialectical Folk Ballad Festival of the Hui minority, held during June on the lunar calendar. 3. The June Festival of the Tibetan and Tu minority at the Regong region, held from June 15 to June 28 on the lunar calendar. 4. The Nadam Fair of the Mongolian minority, held between July and August on the lunar calendar. 5. The Nadun Festival of the Tu minority, held from July 12 to September 15 on the lunar calendar. 6. Celebration of Muhammed’s birthday of the Hui minority, held on March 12 on the Islamic calendar. 7. The Hari Raya Festival of the Hui minority, held on October 1 on the Islamic calendar. 8. The Corban Festival of the Hui minority, held on December 10 on the Islamic calendar.

CULTURE