→ A is for Xining and B for Qinghai Lake
Qinghai Lake (also known as Koko Nor in Mongolian and Tso Ngonpo in Tibetan) is located about 100 kilometers west of the provincial capital of Xining. It is situated in the northeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, between the Hainan and Haibei Tibetan Autonomous prefectures of Qinghai Province and at the foot of the Sun Moon Mountain. This lake is the largest salt lake in People's Republic of China with an area of 5,694 sq km.
Qinghai Lake is about 130 kilometers or 80 miles from Xining and is about 3,205 meters or 10,515 feet above sea level.
The best way to get to Qinghai Lake from Xining downtown is to catch a Tourist Express at Ba Yi Bus Terminal (located in Yongchang Mansion, 90 Ba Yi Road). The express here usually depart at 7:30, 8:15, 9:15, 9:30, so you’d better take the bus in the morning. The journey takes about 2.5 horus.
Alternatively, visitors can take a bus at Xining Long-distance Bus Station (near to Xining Railway Station). Several long-distance buses leave from Xining station for a little Tibetan town called Heimahe that is on the southwest corner of the lake. These buses depart from 7:30 to 9:00. And upon getting on the bus, you should tell the driver where you want to drop off. Then the driver will stop at your destination. Otherwise he will drive directly to the terminal. The journey takes bout 3 hours. After having a view of the lake, you might find a bus or taxi going north from the lake to Bird Island, which is near to the lake and also a famous scenic spot in this place.
If you do not have a limited budget, renting a car with an experienced driver and a tour guide companying with you would be a better way, but the price is much higher than taking a coach/bus at the normal bus station, but the trip would be more comfortable and flexible. TopChinaTravel can offer this kind of chartering car service for our clients. If you need, just let us know.
The best way to enjoy the lake is probably by camping and hiking around its edge. In fact, there is a special tourist site on the southern shores of the lake that will allow travelers access to boating, horseriding, fishing and other lake related activities.
July and August, when the Rape Flowers bloom, are the best time to view the most beautiful scenery of Qinghai Lake. And April and May is the best time to Bird Island near Qinghai Lake area to see the migratory birds. Generally, April to October is great time to travel around the lake, you can choose a month based on what you want to explore in this place.
7 Days Qinghai-Tibet Train Experience