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Round-Xining Tour in Qinghai

by Meirong Lee
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Round-Xining Tour

The Round-Xining Tour centers on Xining, with major tourist attractions in the Hehuang region. It includes Xining City, Haidong Prefecture and parts of Hainan, Haibei and Huangnan prefectures.

The route features the long local history, deep-rooted religious culture and colorful ethnic customs, a travel itinerary of both cultural and natural appeal. Its major attractions include the Kumbum Monastery, the Beichan Temple, the Dongguan Mosque, Riyue Mountain, Niangniang Mountain, the Datong National Forest Park, the Liuwan Museum of Ancient Painted Pottery, the Gautama Monastry, the mengda Tianchi Natural Reserve, the former residence of the 10th Panchen Lama, villages of Tibetan art in Huangnan, pear blossoms in Guide Country, the Grand Canyon on the Yellow River, the Kanbula National Geopark and Qinghai Lake


Xining city

Xining, the capital city of Qinghai, is at the center of the Hehuang region. It is the starting point of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the largest modern city on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, a re­nowned tourist city in China, and a tourists’ center in Qinghai. The embryonic form of Xining took shape in 121 B.C. which is 2,100 years ago when the imperial court of the Western Han Dynasty established a local administrative office there known as Xipingting.  In A.D. 214 the imperial court of the Eastern Han Dynasty upgraded it to Xihai Prefecture. During the Sui Dynasty Xihai Prefecture was renamed Xiping Prefecture. In A.D.619, in the early Tang Dynasty, its name changed to Shenzhou Prefecture. In the Five Dynasties, Xining was called Qingtang City. In 1104 the imperial court of the Song Dynasty changed its name to Xining City. It was called Xi­ning Garrison in the Ming Dynasty and renamed once again Xining Prefecture in the Qing Dy­nasty. Xining was an important commercial hub along the Tang-Tubo Route and the Silk Road and a center integrating the cultures of China’s Central Plain and the Western Regions.

Xining has a pleasant climate. With the temperature  in summer averaging 17-19 degrees Celsius, it is a famous summer resort known as the “summer capital of China.” Famous tourist attractions in the city include the Kumbum Monastery, Qinghai Provincial Museum, Tibetan Medicine Culture Museum, Qinghai Folk Custom Museum, Beichan Temple, Nanchan Tem­ple, Dongguan  Mosque, People’s Park, Nanshan Park, Wenhua Park, Xinlu Residence, and the Hutai Ruins of the Southern Liang Dynasty.

Puning Multifunctional Tower the highest TV tower in Northwest China

Puning Multifunctional Tower

The Puning Multifunctional Tower stands at the top of the mountain where the Xishan Botanic Garden is located. With a height of 188 meters, it is the highest TV tower open to tourists and the best-known tower in Northwest China. The tower features a fashionable revolving ball, in which visitors can have a panoramic view of the city of Xining. The landmark structure is used to transmit TV signals, and for tourists to go up it to watch the scenery around it.

Transport: Take Bus No.2, 29, 30, 40, 42 or 109 to the Botanic Garden (Zhiwuyuan).

Hutai Ruins of the Southern Liang Dynasty

tomb of Xiao Hui

The Hutai Ruins in Yangjiazhai Village, Chengxi District, is one of the most impor­tant historical sites from the Southern Liang Dynasty in Xining. The village was built more than 1,600 years ago in 397, when the king of the Southern Liang Dynasty established his capital in Xining. In 1957, it was designat­ed as a key cultural heritage site under provincial protection.

Legend has it that female general Fan Lihua appointed commanders at Hutai before her western expedition. Local people, therefore, call it “General appointing Platform.”

Major attractions include the Yuanmen Gate, the Parade Ground, a jade seal and a bronze sacrificial vessel, statue of three kings, the restored Earth Terrace, the Campfire Terrace, the General’s Pavilion and the exhibition halls.

Transport: One can get there by bus No. 2, 18, 22 or 33.

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