Cycling Qinghai Lake on the World’s Highest Plateau

Just 150km northwest of Xining city in Qinghai province, the 4,340-square-kilometer Qinghai Lake is an enchanted “Blue Sea” on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and the biggest inland and saltwater lake in China. If it’s a great pleasure for you to cycle around to embrace the miraculous natural scenery on earth, you should never omit biking this fairy lake, as China’s most famous cycle path goes all the way around Qinghai Lake.

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Qinghai Lake

Qinghai Lake is surrounded by four vast mountains of towering peaks and extended grassland, and hugs plenty of deserted little islands inside it. The scenery of Qinghai Lake varies in different seasons. It becomes a lively green world during the warm days, with herds of cattle and sheep dotting the grassland, booming flowers and rolling wheat waves reflecting on the crystal water. While in the cold winter, the mountains are blanketed with heavy snow, and the frozen lake turns into a huge mirror shinning under the sunlight. No wonder Qinghai Lake has long been one of the most charming excursion destinations in China.

Recommended  Wild West China Tours to Qinghai Lake:

3-day Xinning Tour

10-day Qinghai & Gansu Expedition 

Yak of Qinghai Lake

This desolate lake become quite well-known thanks to the Tour de Qinghai Lake International Cycling Race, a top professional road race in Asia, which has been launched every summer in July and August since 2002. Each year, thousands of people hit the road and cycle the entire length of Qinghai Lake of 1300 km that the professional racers cover. Anyway, we suggest you take the a moderate-level tour, as you will cycle on a high altitude. Some portions are as high as 3300 meters!

 Cycling Qinghai Lake

From June until August is the best time for a Qinghai Lake biking tour when rape flowers are blooming in a dazzling golden color. There are several highlights for your Qinghai Lake biking, such as Kumbum Monastery, one of the six greatest Gelukpa Monasteries, and Bird Island at its northeast end with flocks of migrating birds flying in and out. With the rare stark beauty, the haunting mixed culture of Muslims, Mongolians, and Tibetan, and numerous photographic opportunities of the alpine meadows and snow-capped mountains, you’ll find the tough circumnavigating the Qinghai lake has been totally worthwhile!

Qinghai Lake Bird Island

Flags along Qinghai Lake

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Qinghai Lake turns swan lake in winter

Every year, more than 1,000 swans would fly to a wetland beside the Qinghai Lake in northwest China’s Qinghai Province for wintering. This photo, taken on November 27, 2012 by Xinhuanet.com, shows that swans swim in the Qinghai Lake, making it a beautiful “swan lake”.

Qinghai Lake,China

Swans swin in the Qinghai Lake.

Qinghai Lake, covering an area of 4,402.5 square kilometres, is the largest inland saltwater lake in China. It is home to 189 species of birds, including bar-headed geese, brown-headed gulls, and swans. It is an excellent place for bird watching.

Qinghai Lake,China

Swans fly over the Qinghai Lake

Qinghai Lake is a wintering site for swans, while few other species of bird are present here in the harsh winter months. This year, it has witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of swans thanks to government’s effective measures taken to protect the environment.