Qinghai Province, abbreviated as "Qing", is situated in northwestern China, and adjacent to Gansu, Sichuan, Tibet and Xinjiang. Covering an area of more than 72 million square kilometers, Qinghai has a population of 5.1 million, and it is home to compact communities of varying ethnic backgrounds such as Han, Tibetan, Mongol, Hui, Tu, Salar and Kazak. Xining is the capital of Qinghai.
In ancient times Qinghai was the territory of the Western Rong Tribe Tribe. It was not until the Western Han that the Qiang people took control. During the Tang and Song, Qinghai was part of territory of the Tubo Kingdom. In 1928, it was incorporated as a province.
Situated in the northeast part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which knew as the "Roof of the World", Qinghai has an average altitude of 3000 meters above sea level. The province is high on the relief map in the west but low in the east. In its territory, there are many famous mountains—Tanggula, Aljin, Qilian and Kunlun. Many noted rivers, such as the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang, rise here.
Its awesome mountains, mighty rivers and venerated history have bestowed an abundance of tourist resources on Qinghai. Main tourist attractions include Tar Monastery, Qinghai Lake, and Grand Mosque of Xining.
Located southeast to the Qinghai Lake, the Riyue (Sun and Moon) Mountain was formerly called Red Ridge because of its bald reddish rocky top. It stands at 3489 meters in elevation and belongs to the Qilian Mountains. Legend has it the Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty mounted the mountain on way to Tibet, and put "the Precious Mirror of Sun and Moon", a gift from the Tang emperor, down the mountain to show her determination, hence the name. on the northwest side of the mountain, flow the Reverse River.
Built in 1560, the Tar Monastery is one of six major sanctuaries of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism, to be situated in Lusha'er, a town in Huangzhong County, because it was the birthplace of the sect's father, Tsong Kha-pa. The monastery covers an area of more than 40 hectares. Its 9000 rooms, including the Greater and Lesser Golden-Tiled Temples, Grand Sutra Hall, are laid out on a well-conceived plan to perfectly hug the contours of a mountain, forming a phenomenal combination of Han and Tibetan architectures.
Qinghai Lake and Bird Isle
Qinghai Lake in northeast Qinghai Provicne, 4573 square kilometers in area and 3200 meters in elevation, is the largest landlocked saltwater lake in China. The Mongolian calls it "Koco Nur", which means blue lake. Bird Isle, a 0.8-square-kilometer peninsular in northwestern of the lake, is reputed as a "Bird Paradise". It is a habitat for more than 100000 migratory birds, including bald-headed geese, geese, brown-headed gulls, cormorants, and ducks, Pakistan and South China birds nest and dwell on the island.