Welcome to Xining (altitude: 2,261 m), the capital city of Qinghai Province in northwestern China. Upon arriving at Xining Caojiabao Airport (or Xining Railway Station), your tour guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel in the downtown by a private vehicle. After checking in, the rest of today is on your own to acclimate to the elevation and explore this historical city of China.
Arrival Ideas: You can take a flight to Xining from Beijing (about 2hrs), Shanghai (about 3hrs), Xian (about 1.5hrs), Chengdu (about 2hrs), Guangzhou (about 3.5hrs), Dunhuang (about 1.5hrs), etc., or get to Xining by high speed bullet train from Xian (about 4hrs), Lanzhou (about 1.5hrs), Zhangye (about 2hrs), Jiayuguan (about 3~3.5hrs) and other connected cities in China.
Nightlife idea: go to enjoy a great dinner and stunning night view of Xining city on Pearl of Puning which is a 188 meters tall TV & Sightseeing tower alike Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai.
After breakfast, drive around 150 km (2.5 hours) to see the picturesque Qinghai Lake from Xining via Huangyuan, Riyue Mountain, etc. You won't feel bored along the driving since the fascinating scenery of green grassland, blue sky, white clouds and clustered herds unfold like a photo gallery. As the largest inland lake, as well as the largest salt water lake in China, Qinghai Lake (3200 m) stretches 105 km in length, 63 km in width and occupies a water area of over 4,500 square kilometers. It was elected as the Most Beautiful Lake in China by China’s National Geographic, attracting thousands of photographers to take photos every year.
You will spend a wonderful time appreciating the beauty of Qinghai Lake in Erlangjian Scenic Area - the essence of the whole scenic area of Qinghai Lake. It shapes like a long and narrow sword inserting into the lake. Walking on the plank road, you will be delivered a far-reaching panorama of the sea-like lake. Due to the different salt content of different parts of the lake, the water presents different colors in the refraction of sunlight. More than the lake view, the scenic surrounding - endless grassland and rapeseed flower lands, soft sand beaches as well as flocks of grazing sheep, horses and yaks also make you enjoy yourself to the fullest. On a clear day, you will feast your eyes on a charming vista of the snow-capped mountains in the distance as well as the huge sand dunes of Sand Island on the far shore. At the same time, Qinghai Lake is a sacred Tibetan Buddhist site. There are many devoted Buddhist coming from afar to worship to Qinghai Lake each year.
Optional Qinghai Lake Cruise: Taking a cruise allows you to admire Qinghai Lake from a different perspective. There are two kinds of cruises available in Erlangjian Scenic Area: High Speed Cruise and catamaran. The former offers a 25 minutes’ single trip from Erlangjian Wharf to Erlangjian Peninsula at the cost of CNY140. The latter offers a 50 minutes’ round trip at the cost of CNY180. This price doesn't include your personal expense on the ship, such as drinking, food, etc. This cruise is only available during the period from May to October.
After sightseeing, drive back to Xining for accommodation.
Warm Tips: 1. It is available to visit Qinghai Lake all the year around, but May to October is the best time because of the most comfortable weather. If you want to savor the sea of rape flowers, remember to visit in July and August. 2. The sunlight is very strong in Qinghai Lake, and it is necessary to bring hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. to protect your skin from sun burn especially in summer. 3. Few people get serious high altitude sickness in Qinghai Lake, but it is important to be wary of high altitude sickness if it's your first time to enter the high plateau. Avoiding strenuous exercise and drinking more water will be helpful.
After breakfast, drive about 165km (2.5 hours) to Tongren, which is located in the southeastern upland of Qinghai Province.
Start exploration with a visit to Longwu Monastery (Rongwu Monastery) which is one of the three most influential Tibetan monasteries in Amdo region with a history over 700 years, but barely visited by big tourist groups so that you can enjoy a peaceful Tibetan Buddhism inspiration here. Its current Rinpoche is the 8th generation of Living Buddha who was born in Longwu family which had 8 Buddhist masters to be honored as the “State Preceptor” in Ming and Qing Dynasties. The temple is large in size and rich in styles. Explore the resplendent Buddhist palaces, temples, halls, academies, stupa, and beautiful Thangka paintings to get inspired by the most authentic Tibetan culture in the region.
Move on to Wutong Monastery (Wutun Monastery) which outstands in a Tibetan village. It is in Wutong Monastery that the brilliant Regong Art originated and flourished. What makes the temple even more respectful is that Wutong Monastery has been teaching villagers of the area to create Regong Art for centuries, which helps Tongren become the Buddhist center of Amdo Tibetan region. So what is Regong Art? It is a collective art type which includes Thangka, Duixiu(embroidery), sculpture, architectural paintings, butter flowers and many other local art forms. The artists usually find inspiration from the life story and enlightenment of Buddha, legends and myths in Tibetan Buddhism to create Regong Art. Bright colors are grandiloquently but harmoniously used in Regong Art works. The artists also attach great importance to originality. All the pigments are refined from mineral and plant juice. As the mother of Regong Art, Wutong Monastery collects numerous exquisite Regong art masterpieces. Next, you will go to a local Regong Painting School to observe closely how the teachers and students create Regong Art delicately.
After the meaningful Tibetan culture and art exploration, drive back to Xining.
After breakfast, you will go to visit the Tibetan Medicine & Tibet Culture Museum. It is a theme museum highlighting the profound Tibetan medicine and folk culture. Through visits of different exhibition halls, you can view 80 Thangka paintings and many surgical instruments, thousands of ancient medical books, specially processed specimens of plant and animal and intelligent calculation methods of astronomical calendar. It’s an interesting and meaningful knowledge journey where you can catch a glimpse of mysterious traditional medical system and diverse Tibetan culture. Don’t miss the Guinness World recorded pectacular 618-meter-long gallery which displaying over 700 Thangka paintings embroidered with countless Barbola patterns.
Move to Dongguan Great Mosque, the largest mosque in Qinghai. The mosque is a sacred sanctuary for Muslims, one of the four greatest mosques in Northwest China and the highest-level institute of Islamic studies that enjoys high reputation at home and abroad. It was originally built in the early Ming Dynasty and reconstructed and expanded to current scale and layout. Occupying 13,602 square meters, the mosque is a large building group combined traditional Chinese architectural art and Islamic features, whose Worship Hall can accommodate 3,000 Muslims at one time. The pale mint-green exterior is very pretty and chic when you look from outside. As the most important Muslim community in Xining, you may see lots of Muslim disciples worshiping and attending Muslim event here.
After the sightseeing, your tour guide will escort you to catch your flight or train to next destinations. Tour ends. (Xining Caojiabao International Airport is 28 km (40 minutes’ drive) from Dongguan Mosque and Xining Railway Station is only 2 km away, for about 10 minutes’ drive.)
The quotation for this trip is from Request P/P
1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
Professional licensed English-speaking guide;
Admission tickets for all attractions listed in the itinerary;
Accommodation as listed in the itinerary (4-star standard);
Necessary vehicle transfers as listed in the itinerary;
Domestic flights (economy class) and high-speed trains (second class) as listed in the itinerary;
Airport (and train station) pick up and drop off;
Luggage Transfers: between airports (railway station) and hotels;
All meals as listed( “B” for Chinese and Western breakfast buffet in your hotel; “L” for Chinese Lunch in local restaurant; “D” for Chinese dinner in local restaurant.);
Our service charge, including tour planning, handling, operational and communication charges.
Accommodation not listed in the itinerary;
Single Room Supplement;
Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;
Recommended optional activities;
Flights or trains not listed in the itinerary;
Excess Baggage Charges;
Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.
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