6 Days Qinghai Lake – Zhangye Circle Line Trip

Xining, Zhangye, Qilian, Gangcha, Qinghai Lake

Traveler Reviews

Tour Code: TCT-Scenice-12

Tour Type: Private Tour

Tour Highlights:

 Fine-designed tour route, avoid tourists crowds

 Enjoy the stunning view of the best nature wonders in Northwestern China

 One of the best photography tour route in China for you shutterbugs

Best Travel Time: May to October

Price from on request

Free Inquiry

Day 1Arrival Xining
Transfer service to hotel, Ta'er Temple, Free time

Meals: No meals
Accommodation: In Xining


In the morning, arriving in Xining airport, you will be met and transferred to hotel. In the afternoon, visit Ta’er Temple; a wonderful architectural complex contains 9,300 structures, including Buddha halls, scripture halls, Buddhist pagodas and lamas residences.

Enjoy your free time for the rest of the day. If time is enough, you could visit Dongguan Mosque by yourself. It is one of the largest mosques in northwest China with a history more than 600 years. Architecture of the mosque combines traditional Chinese style and the local features, with grand appearance and delicate, dazzlingly inside ornaments.

Enjoy your dinner with authentic local food, such as local yak yogurt, copper hot pot, hand-grabbed mutton, etc.

Ta'er Monastery
Ta'er Monastery

Day 2Xining – Zhangye
Menyuan rapeseed flower fields, Qilian Grassland, Zhangye Danxia Landform Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Zhangye


After breakfast and hotel check out in the morning, your local guide will pick you up and start this yearning trip. After 2.5 hours driving, we will arrive at Menyuan, who is well-known for its rapeseed flower fields, integrating with the mountains. The flowering phase is in July every year. For other season, we will drive and overlook the Ganska Snow-capped Peak, crossing this gateway of Hexi Corridor. Then avoid the tourist crowds, enjoy the amazing view of Qilian Grassland, Snow Mountains in distance as well as the flocks and herds scattering on the grassland. 

Lunch will be arranged at a local restaurant to enjoy the authentic local food. 

In the afternoon, we will visit Zhangye Danxia Landform Park; enjoy the beauty of the enchanting Rainbow Mountains by avoiding crowded tourists successfully. It is recognized as the surface of Mars and a mecca for countless photographers. 

After a long-drive trip, check in a comfortable hotel in Zhangye and have a good rest.

Zhangye Danxia Landform
Zhangye Danxia Landform

Day 3Zhangye – Qilian
Mati Temple Grottoes, Zhuoer Mountain

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Qilian


Set off for Mati Temple after a leisure breakfast, which is about 60km from Zhangye. Mati Temple is also called Puguang Temple or Horse’s Hoof Temple in Chinese definition. The whole Buddhist temple complex is composed of Shenguo Temple, Puguang Temple, Qianfo Cave (Thousand Buddha temple), Jinta Temple, Upper Guanyin Cave, Middle Guanyin Cave and Lower Guanyin Cave. It is known as a fairyland on earth, as a national AAAA-level scenic area, integrating grotto art, religious culture, ethnic customs, and natural scenery. 

After a local lunch, we will move to Zhuoer Mountain. It belongs to a branch of the Qilian Mountains, and it is also a Danxia landform. The Zhuoer Mountain Observation Deck has an excellent location with a wide view of the mountaion. Looking directly across the mountain, you will see the Niuxin Mountain, which has a panoramic view of the four seasons. The white snow is clearly visible, with Ladong Gorge and Baiyanggou scenic spots on the left and right sides, leaning against the rolling Qilian Mountains.

Zhouer Mountain
Zhouer Mountain

Day 4Qilian – Gangcha
Dadongshu Mountain Pass, Tibetan Food Experience, Huangyu Fish Migration (Jul-Aug)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Gangcha


Wake up naturally and have a leisure breakfast, we will set off for Gangcha. Enroute, we will drive through Dadongshu Mountain Pass, which is an important pass connecting Qilian. It is also the highest place in this trip, with an altitude of 4120 meters above the sea level. 

In the afternoon, a wonderful Tibetan food culture experience is arranged at a local Tibetan restaurant. Sitting around, drink authentic Tibetan butter tea and have Zanba(fired highland barley powder). You may also try to put on a traditional Tibetan costume and pretend you a local Tibetan. 
Note: The Tibetan food culture experience can only be arranged from June to October. 

Then we will have a chance to see Huangyu Fish Migration, which can only be seen in the period of July and August. "Huangyu" (Gymnocypris przewalskii) is a special fish in Qinghai Lake. It belongs to the family Cyprinidae. Its scientific name is "Qinghai Lake Naked Carp". It is a national second-level protected animal and a rare species unique to Qinghai Lake. We will stay overnight in Gangcha tonight. 

Qilian Mountain
Qilian Mountain

Day 5 Gangcha – Qinghai Lake
Huanhu West Lake, Erlangjian Scenic Area, Chaka Salt Lake, Qinghai Lake sunset

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: at Qinghai Lake


Check out and set out for Qingjhai Lake along Huanhu West Road, which is regarded as the most beautiful section of the road around Qinghai Lake. Enjoy the beauty of this sea-to-sky road. Stop at a lake cliff, to enjoy the panoramic view Qinghai Lake from a different angle. You may have chance to come across some rare birds, such as black-necked crane, Larus ichthyaetus, etc.

We will arrive at Chaka Salt Lake in the afternoon. It is a new online celebrity destination for northwest tour. When it is a fine day, it is a mirror of the sky; when the weather is bad, it is a lake of salt water. But it is said that only 25% of the tourists are lucky enough to meet a bad weather.

Check in a hotel at Qinghai Lake, then Finish today’s trip by the amazing Qinghai Lake sunset. 

Chaka Salt Lake
Chaka Salt Lake

Day 6Qinghai Lake – Xining, Departure
Qinghai Lake, Huanhu East Road, Transfer to airport/railway station

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


In the morning, you may enjoy a natural wake-up or get up early and enjoy the quiet but beautiful sunrise at Qinghai Lake. Then we will experience a horse ride along the lake bank, which will make your Qinghai trip more impressive. 

Then drive back to Xining, we will come across the Huanhu East Lake, where fewer tourists visit, but it is one of the highlights of Qingdao Lake. 

Transfer to Xining airport or railway station, finishing your memorable Qinghai Lake-Zhangye Rainbow Mountains trip. 

Qinghai Lake
Qinghai Lake


Service ends

Tour Price (US$ per person)

Due to the uncertainties of this tour, such as special local conditions , the changes of accommodation rate, etc, the tour has to be tailor-made and its price is on request. Please tell us in advance your group information inclusive of departure date, number of pax, and other individual needs, which will be helpful to work out a fit program and the right price.

Traveler Reviews Feedbacks & Photos >>




We finished our trip to China (2.5 weeks) before one week, and from then we have not stopped thinking and talking about it. Undoubtly was one of the best trips we have ever had. The trip was organized for 2 couples by TCT's agent Janet Chan who did a PERFECT planning and organization. Everything worked so well, starting with the scheduled plan, the outstanding guides, the proffesional drivers, the vans we had, the excellent hotels we stayed on. Everything was well planned and perfect delivered. We will not forget our guides, Alice in Shanghai, Linda in Beijing, Sue in Xian and Juli in Guilin and Yangshou, everything supervised and controled by Janet Chan. Thanks to all the team for enabling us to know China and its great People. Benny Stein.
Natasha J


I can't recommend this company enough!! I started talking to Yocky via the chat system on their website, as we wanted to do a 2.5 week trip around China. Our itinerary was: Shenzhen-Beijing-Xian-Kunming-Dongchuan-Chengdu-Guilin-Sanya Here's how things went: 1) She was instant in her replies and responded to subsequent emails within the hour (and trust me, I sent A LOT of emails). She was always so thorough and efficient. 2) She made us a tailor made trip that covered everything we wanted, including some slightly more off the beaten track attractions. 3) She helped us keep to our budget and suggested reasonable things we could cut out when things were too expensive (not something many companies would do as they are trying to make a quick buck). 4) She listened to all of our requests for things such as early morning flights, vegetarian food, and readjusting itineraries. 5) All our drivers and guides were EXCELLENT; they were prompt, kind, spoke excellent English and had a wealth of knowledge about all the sites we saw. All the cars on our private tours were nice and comfortable and had water. 6) Despite asking for 3* hotels, all 7 hotels we stayed in seemed like 4* to us and all included breakfast. 7) With such a large and complicated trip there were bound to be a few hiccups (e.g. there was a marathon in Xian one day which meant a lot of roads were closed, so we couldn't access sites). Yocky was in touch with us the entire time and helped us rearrange our plans quickly and ordered complimentary tickets to a show to make up for the inconvenience. We were so nervous about our first trip to China as we speak no mandarin and are strict vegetarian but honestly this was one of the best trips of our life; this company made it so easy for us and I really can't imagine having been able to do it myself any better!


Great Hotel stay Very Nice Tour guides Convenient planned daily trips Average selection of restaurant for food though


Our guide picked us up on time despite all the traffic of National Holiday Week and explained to us early on that her English was not great (however still enough to communicate some history of the village and the region) but she was very friendly and helpful. We were told we would go to another village rather than Ping'an because of the crowds which we much preferred because it meant we could explore this one (however we did not see a long hair show).


Tour developer Yocky and tour guide Leo did a great job introducing me to these 2 cities. I loved the Acrobatic Show and also the night boat ride on the Huangpu. The skyline of Shanghai is a riot of color and movement at night! And the gardens! Leo's English was very clear and easy to understand. I also appreciated his willingness to "open up" and tell me a little bit about his family, his life,his history, his routine. I would recommend a private tour with a guide and driver and if you're in Shanghai ask for Leo to be your guide!


I had such a wonderful time on this very well scheduled and prepared tour! I got to see so many amazing sights and I loved every minute of it. The friendly and helpful guides has made this trip most memorable for me. They was the best tour guides I could have imagined. They made me feel save, guided, comfortable, informed, and interested in our daily scheduled tours. They are professionals who is in tune with his clients interests at all times and could introduce all the places of interest and various landmarks to me at the same time. I will remember this trip forever, thanks a lot! Being in a private tour I could spend more time in the places that I liked and did not feel me rushed. Thanks for the well-planned hotel where I slept were lovely and at breakfast the food were freshly made and delicious. This is a very professional and well-organised tour, it made me feel like I am having friends bring me around to show me the sights, history and culture of your wonderful Country. It was such a wonderful experience and I would definitely recommend Top China Travel Tour Operator to anyone who wants to explore China. I came back to Brazil already missing my Chinese friends and guides. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you for the welcome, professionalism and friendship during my journey through China. I intend to visit China again and no doubt the next time will request your services again. Thanks & Regards Claudio Graziani Romaris São Paulo, BRAZIL
Ms Masha B


My husband and I booked a two week private tour of China with Top China Travel. It was an excellent experience. Vicky, a tour consultant, offered us a very good program visiting Beijing, Xian, Zhangjiajie, Shanghai and Nanjing. We really enjoyed every location. The tour guides were knowledgeable and helpful. In Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing me made our own hotel reservation and in Xian an Zhangjiajie TCT made the reservations for us. Lunch was included in the tour and the selection of the restaurants was excellent in most locations (except Xian). Overall great tour!


We took the private 21 day Panorama tour for two, and it was above an beyond any expectations. We've got absolutely impeccable service - the guides / drivers were never late, even for a second - they were expecting us at the airports, train stations, hotel lobbies, always ready to take care of us. All the hotels were great, with very ample buffet breakfast included. Cars were nice and comfortable, equipped with A/C, and bottled water was always there for us. Great itineraries too, with Tibet included - a lot of incredible sightseeing - never were disappointed. Couple tips: 1.Tibet was a bit tough due to high altitude - if we knew, we'd ask for the room with oxygen - they are about $40-50 more per night, but totally worth it. 2.There is optional ERA show in Shanghai, but if you want to see it, you need to book it at least 2 months in advance. We didn't know, so we had to miss it. 3.I'd recommend you take some toilet paper with you, when you head for excursions.


My teenage daughter and I had the most wonderful experience visiting China for 15 days during the month of June. It was our first trip to China and it was absolutely one of the best trips that we have ever done! We visited Shanghai-Beijing-Xian-Guilin-Yangshuo and also the Longji Rice Terraced Fields and a couple of small towns to experience the everyday chinese life. This was a private tour, so we had a few requests when it came to hotels and other choices and what made this tour SIMPLY PERFECT was the help of Joyce from TCT -A wonderful, extremely professional tour coordinator, Joyce was in permanent contact with us regarding every matter of our tour, also providing us with train and flight information, options of tours and giving us the absolutely best suggestions when it came to choose our itinerary and even if for personal reasons we had to completely change the itinerary at the last minute, she was really accommodating and helpful. Her customer service was impeccable and her willingness to help had no limits! Once we arrived there,we never felt alone as all tours guides were just wonderful (Johnny, Linda, and Annie are simply the best!!), they were always on time waiting for us on our arrival at the train station or airport, always on time to pick us up at the hotels, always willing to answer questions and giving us the best suggestions in each of the cities we visited. Not only they provide us with tour explanations, history and interesting facts of each of the places we visited, what we really appreciated is that all the tour guides helped us during our check in at the hotels and stayed with us during our departure from each of the cities, at the train station and airports, which made us feel really safe and cared for. On a scale of 1 to 10 if I have to rate TCT I will definitely give them a perfect 10!! This was a very special trip for me and my daughter and TCT made this the absolutely perfect experience. I will have not one bit of a doubt to recommend them and to use them again on a future trip to China!


I highly recommend Top China Travel (TCT) in particular Janet Chan for her excellent professional services in organising our recent tour in China. My wife and I did not want a group tour because we wanted greater flexibility so Janet put together a tour that took in all the major sight seeing cities. It was very well organised, the accommodation was great e.g. excellent locations, English speaking and delicious buffet breakfasts and close to all the major sights that will leave us with lasting memories. Her choice of guides was very good, they also spoke excellent English and had good personalities and were all very knowledgeable, the drivers were also very good and drove safely. In summary we believe that TCT provided a quality value added service and would recommend TCT to anyone looking for a reliable Chinese agency for organising their travels. Ralph Arbon Brisbane, Australia


As a partner for few events in China in a different localisation and with different programs, the TCT represented by Mrs Janet Chan, showed unexpected involvement on all details. Helpful hints, flexibility and many other features ( relations with local subcontractors ) made our business on highest leavel with uncommon feedback....


wonderful visit and wonderful guide Li. Li showed us all the charms of this great city together with our Li river tour. We fell in love with this place and Yangshou. Great place to visit and it was a favourite city in all the cities we visited. great guide


Tom was an amazing tour guide during our stay in Beijing, he was helpful, thoughtful, always on time, very knowledgeable and very flexible when we wanted to make adjustments on our schedule... thanks to him we had an amazing experience in China :-) We never had a better guide than Tom We definitely recommend him and TCT to anybody coming to Beijing and to China Thank you Tom!!!!
Judit I


We were travelling in China for 2 weeks (we're a couple on our 60's), through TCT company organized by Janett Chan. The trip that was booked in advance, and designed to our requests and her brilliant reccomendationes. Every planned activity was sucessfull- the private driver, private guide, flights, hotels and few group tours as per our request. We higly recommend Janett's services.


TCT made up a fantastic week tour for us starting with Guilin. We were met at the airport by Warren who could speak good English and we were transferred to Guilin Bravo Hotel which is a nice hotel.In the evening Warren asked if we would like to goon a river trip which proved fantastic,not only for the nice bridges and illuminated fine buildings but also for the cormorant fishing and music playing among others.Warren timed the boat tour so that after 8pm we would be near the Waterfall hotel to enjoy the water cascade from the 16th floor. Next morning we were taken on a day cruise that included lunch among the beautiful scenery upto Yangshue. Warren suggested that we go and see the beautiful spectacular show given every day with some 300 participants.We enjoyed this immensely though it was a bit rainy, but if it wasn't for Warren, we would have stayed all night looking for a taxi to take us to the hotel....Next day we first explored the village to see the old Banyan tree and other interesting sights and then we were taken by car back to Guilin airport. This trip was awful as the road is all broken but the driver was good at avoiding pot-holes! From Guilin we flew to Hangzhou where we found Vicky waiting for us. She took spoke good English and spent some time explaining to us the fantasy stories of lovers, serpents and dragons to be able to appreciate Chinese culture while we visited West Lake, Lingyin Temple. |After lunch at local restaurant we were taken to Meijiawu GreenTea plantation. The next day we we took the train to Shanghai. The waiting room was so crowded but Vicky got the tickets for us and stayed with us until we went on the train. At Shanghai train station we were met by Ryan. He could speak good English and had some jokes for us too! The same evening, we asked to go on a river cruise by night which proved breath-taking.The next day we were taken around Shanghai visiting Yuyuan garden TheBund among others. The highlight was the Oriental Pearl TV tower with its glass floors! The next day the driver picked us up from the hotel early in the morning so as to take the flight to Beijing. I can really say that TCT made a good job providing with a good varied programme and good tour guides, especially Warren at Guilin.

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