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Qinghai Lake Day Tour

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Qinghai Tour Itinerary

Qinghai Tour & Qinghai Travel Guide: Kumbum Monastery- Qinghai Lake

Qinghai Tour time: take a bus or take a taxi to Kumbum Monastery( about 50 minutes), and get there at around 09:00. Then have a two hours tour in Kumbum Monastery(09:00-11:00). Next set off to Qinghai Lake and the driving would take about 2.5 hours. Last have a tour in Qinghai Lake for about 3 hours(14:00-17:00), and back to Xining.

Flexible itinerary. If you do not prefer to visit Kumbum Monastery, you could have a day tour around Qinghai Lake which has many attractions for you.

About transport:  bus or taxi to Kumbum Monastery and charter a car to  Qinghai Lake, cause there is almost no bus from Qing Lake to Xining in the night.

Food. Locals in Qinghai eat noodles and mutton, if it doesn’t suit you, please prepare some packaged food or something else  by your own.

Qinghai Location: Qinghai is in the northwestern China, close to Dunhuang, Lanzhou, Tibet and Xinjiang. Qinghai is a part of Qinghai-tibet Plateau, and Qinghai altitude is around 4000 meters, therefore, tourists and visitors should prepare drugs in case of  Qinghai altitude sickness

Kumbum Monastery(09:00-11:00)

Kumbum Monastery Facts

Ta’er Temple or Kumbum Monastery(塔尔寺)  is a well-known Lama temple, and the center of Buddhism in northwestern China. It is an ancient complex combining the Tibetan style and the Han style, with a history of hundreds of years. It occupies an area of 450,000 square meters and consists of  lots of buildings like halls, and towers. Big Jinwa Hall(大金瓦殿) is the center of the temple, first built in 1560, with a gold top.

Kumbum Monastery has great values in Buddhism and art. It is marked as the one of the top 6 Lama temples, collects enormous Buddhist relics, like copper Buddha sculptures, Buddhist scriptures and has great significance to its believers. As for artistic value, it has three wonders, Suyouhua(酥油花), Duixiu(堆绣) and wall painting. Suyouhua is oil sculpture made of Suyou, a kind of oil, and flower is the most common sculpture. Duixiu is handcraft, and it is in various shapes made of silks and satins and stuffed with cotton or wool.

Kumbum Monastery Travel Tips

Kumbum Monastery opening hours: 08:00-17:00.

Kumbum Monastery Entrance Fee / Ticket: 80 yuan.

Tour Guide: 160 yuan for a group under 5 persons. Still, you could rent an audio guide, 30 yuan with a deposit of 200 yuan.

No photo inside halls and scripture houses. Pay respect to this temple and please don’t take photo at places forbidden.

Wears: clothes covering you well, and clothes with long sleeves and long trousers.

How to get to Ta'er Temple

  • Ta’er Temple is located in Huangzhong county(湟中县), in the southwest of Xining downtown, and about 28 kilometers away.
  • Bus. Go to the tourist center in the east side of Xining Railway Station, and take a bus. The bus leaves every half an hour, and takes 50 minutes and costs 5 yuan to Ta’er Temple.
  • Taxi or car rental. By taxi, a distance of 28 kilometers takes about 60 yuan.

What to see & what to do in Kumbum Monastery

  • Watch those wonderful buildings, and listen its legendary stories.

  • Browse its wall paintings, and  sculptures, and see Suyouhua and Duixiu.
  • See how pious believers do their worship and feel its holiness.

Qinghai Lake(14:00-17:00)

Qinghai Lake Facts

Qinghai Lake or Kokonor Lake(青海湖), with a literal meaning of blue lake, is located in the northeast of Qinghai province, and in the west of Xining. It is about 145 kilometers away from Xining, and driving to Qinghai Lake from Xining takes about 2. 5 hours. Qinghai Lake is an inland lake and  salt lake, covering an area of over 4,456 square kilometers, and measured with a circumference of over 360 kilometers. It is 3,200 meters above sea level, with a long, cold winter and a short, cool summer. Around the Lake, there are several attractions, such as Erlangjian scenic spot, Jinsha Bay scenic spot, Bird Island scenic spot, and Fairy Bay scenic spot. Half day is not enough for you to visit them all, so today I recommend you go to Erlangjian scenic spot.

Erlangjian scenic spot is the most popular one with the best scenery, in the south of Qinghai Lake. It opens from 08:30-17:30, with a ticket of 100 yuan in the peak season and 50 yuan in the off season, and a ticket of 20 yuan for sightseeing car. In here, you can see 29 sculptures of great poets in the Poetic Square, and the benevolent and cultural giant sculpture designed with lotus, elephant, monkey, rabbit and bird elements, etc. Still it has convenient facilities for tourists to watch birds and lakes.

Qinghai Lake Attractions

Fairy Bay scenic spot(仙女湾景区) is in the north of Qinghai Lake, a wetland and home to swans, reputed with highlights of the wetland, Sansheng Laze(三牲拉则), and Buddhist corridor. It opens from 08:30-19:00, with a ticket of 60 yuan in the peak season and 30 yuan in the off season. Qinghai Lake Bird Island scenic spot(鸟岛景区) is in the west of Qinghai Lake, and it is reputed as a paradise to birds. From April to June, tens of thousands of birds come to here. Shadao scenic spot(沙岛景区) is in the northeast of Qinghai Lake, reputed with a picture-like scenery formed by desert, wetland and lake, and it has entertainment activities like water boating, sand sliding and horse riding.

How to Get to Qinghai Lake

  • Bus. Tourists might go to Xining Bus Station, or Xining Bayi Bus Station to take a bus. From Xining to Qinghai Lake, the bus fare is about 40 yuan.
  • Car rental. Book a transfer service from a travel agency like Topchinatravel, or rent a car at a hotel with the help of its staff.

What to see & what to do in Qinghai Lake

  • Watch picture-like lake scenery and free birds, and take photos of them.
  • See those significant sculptures at the Poetic Square.

  • Visit its cultural and national sculpture and sites, like the folk museum.
  • Have a horse-riding, have a boat tour on the lake, or take a hot-air balloon.


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