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Qinghai Most visited national Park and Forest Park

by Meirong Lee
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Some of the most visited national Park and Forest Park in Qinghai Province.

Nanshan Park an ideal place to spend the leisure time and holidays

Photo Credit: derek.kolb

Photo Credit: derek.kolb

The Nanshan Park is located in Nanshan Mountain on Nanchuan Donglu Road, Xining. Nanshan, also known as Feng huangshan, or Phoenix Mountain, is 2,419 meters above sea level.

Legend has it that a phoenix used to rest at the top of a pavilion in the mountain in the Southern Liang Dynasty. So the pavilion is called Phoenix Terrace. “Phoenix Terrace in the Cloud” is one of the eight most famous ancient views in Xining. The Nanshan Park has a manmade forest of Qinghai spruces, Oilian cypresses, pines, poplars and elms. It is an ideal place to spend the leisure time and holidays.

Transport: One can get there by bus No. 21 or 23.

Photo Credit: derek.kolb

Nanshan Park (Golden Eagle) – Photo Credit: derek.kolb

Qunjia National Forest Park

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The Qunjia National Forest Park is lo­ cated in Huangzhong County, 90 kilometers from the urban area of Xining. In the Tibetan language, Qunjia means “the place where a white phoenix stopped for a rest.” The forest park boasts a large variety of animal and plant species and rare primitive forests. It is the source of the Qunjia River, a tributary of the Yellow River. Natural and ecological views of the snow-capped mountains, canyons, rocky peaks and grassland in the park change in four seasons.

Transport: Take a bus to Huangzhong at the Xining Long-distance Bus Station, 200 meters from the Xining Railway Station.

Xianmi National Forest Park

Xianmi National Forest Park

Endowed with unique climate, the park, located in eastern Menyuan County, boasts beautiful landscapes and a wide open area. It features glaciers and snow peaks, towering mountains and many lakes. Tourists may also find time-honored traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, rich Huare Tibetan culture and unsophisticated and distinctive folk customs. The forest resources in the park are rich, well-preserved and of high aethetic values.

Transport: Take a bus from Xining to Haomen Town, and then transfer at Haomen Town to the park.

Beishan Mountain National Forest Park in Huzhu

Beishan Mountain National Forest Park
Beishan Mountain National Forest Park – Photo © 鼎亦 王

Beishan Mountain National Forest Park lies between the Qingshi Ridge and the Lenglong Ridge in northeast­ ern Huzhu County. It is home to over one thousand plant species, of which 981 are higher plant species. The park is thus known as “Plant Kingdom on the Qinghai Plateau.”

The forest park consists of five scenic areas, namely, Yuanpudaban, Langshidang, the Kasuo Gorge, Zhalong Gully and Xiahe Gorge. The Tiantang Temple and Gandan Temple are both ancient temples in the park.

The 1,000-year-old Tiantang Temple is very famous in Northwest China for its rigorous Buddhist teachings and rich collection of cultural relics. The park is well equipped with tourist service facilities, and is an ideal place to escape summer heat, for whiling away leisure time and convalescence.

Transport: Take a bus to Huzhu County, and change to a minibus to Beishan Park. Non-local tourists can depart from Lanzhouin Gansu Province and reach Beishan National Forest Park via Haishiwan and Yaojie.

Beishan National Forest Park one of the intact natural forest resources located in Qinghai Provinces, China. Photo © Mahmudun Nabi

Huzhu Tu Folklore Park

Huzhu Tu Folklore Park

Huzhu Tu Folklore Park is located in Weiyuan Town, Huzhu Tu Autonomous County. Tu ethnic people were among the earliest inhabitants on the Qinghai Plateau, and the county is the only autonomous county for them in China. Over the course of a long history, Tu ethnic people have developed unique culture and customs. Local women use red, yellow, black, green and white cloth to sew up the sleeves of their dresses, which look like the rainbow in the sky.

Weiyuan is thus called “Hometown of Rainbow” The colorful folk customs of Tu ethnic people are just like a splendid rainbow, attracting numerous Chinese and foreign tourists to the park, where they are invariably impressed by the particular houses and courtyards of the local residents, the local specialties such as Barley Wine and traditional snacks, the distinctive wedding ceremony, colorful wheel swing and Anzhao Dance.

A Wheel Swing in the Huzhu Tu Folklore Park

Kanbula National Geopark

Kanbula National Geopark – Photo Credit: Yuhao Zou

The park, in Jianca County on the southern bank of the Yellow River, covers an area of 4,776 hectares. The Danxi landform in the park presents rugged terrains of stunning charm. Other places of interest in the park include a forest, the Yellow River Canyon, a Buddhist sanctuary in the Nanzong Gully, and the Lijia Gorge Hydropower Station, reputed as a pearl on the plateau. The park got its official name in 2003.

The five kilometer long Nanzong Gully is so narrow only a thread of sky can be seen in it. It is a hotbed for the prosperity of Tibetan Buddhism of the later period, and the only place where various sects, such as the Red Sect, the Yellow Sect (Gelug Sect), Exoteric Sect and the Esoteric Sect coexist. Both monks and nuns live there.

Transport:Takea long-distancebus from Xining to Jianca.

Kanbula National Geopark – Photo Credit: Yuhao Zou

Datong National Forest Park

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The Datong National Forest Park is lo­cated in Datong County. Nestling in the east of the Qilian Mountains, the 200-square­ kilometers forest park consists of two scenic areas-the magnificent Chahan River Area and the picturesque Yaozi Gully Area. It is famous for its majestiC mountains, gorgeous rivers and primitive landscapes.

Chahanhe Scenic Zone

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Chahanhe Scenic Zone is located in Baoku Township, 45 kilometers from the Datong county town. The rocky peaks, oddly-shaped rocks, waterfalls, cypresses, azaleas, limpid rivers and icefalls in this area are as beautiful as those in the renowned Zhangjiajie Scenic Zone in Hunan Province.

Yaozi Gully Scenic Zone

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This scenic area located in Dongxia Town, 18 kilometers from the seat of Datong county town. Seen from above, the place resembles a snipe diving toward the ground. In Chinese “Yaozi” means snipe. With a forest and grassland being its main attractions, this area is known as the “Lesser Tianshan Moun­ tains” in Qinghai. The Tianshan Mountains are a well-known tourist resort in the neighboring Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Lijia Gorge Hydropower Station

Lijia Gorge Hydropower Station
Lijia Gorge Hydropower Station

Located in Jianca County, the hydropower station has a total installed capacity of 2 million kilowatts, and can generate an annual average of 5.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. The dam is 414.39 meters long and 175 meters tall. Like a gigantic dragon in the valley, the dam divides the turbulent Yellow River into two sections, producing an artificial lake covering 32 square kilometers.

The huge dam on the river and the unruffled reservoir surrounded by red-colored moun­ tains produce a wonderful scene, which is a highlight of Kanbula scenic area.

Transport:Take a long-distance bus from Xining to Lijia Gorge Hydropower Station.

Lijia Gorge Reservoir – Photo Credit: Yuhao Zou

Mengda National Nature Reserve

The reserve, located 20 kilometers to the south of Jishi Town, Xunhua County, is a national AAAA tourist area and nature reserve. It covers an area of 172.9 square kilometers, and lies at an altitude between 1,780 and 3,365 meters. Within its boundaries there are high mountains, deep valleys, and tall trees in a dense virgin forest. Unique geographical conditions, a mild and humid climate and fertile soil have given rise to a rich variety of vegetation. Over 60 scenic spots scatter in the vast mountainous area with dense trees and clear water.

Transport:Take a three-hour bus ride from Xining to Xunhua, and then a one-hour ride to the reserve.

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