Qinghai is in the northeastern part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and its name comes from Qinghai Lake, the largest inland lake in China. The Yangtze, the Yellow and Lancang Rivers all have their origins there, so Qinghai is also known as the birthplace of rivers. Qinghai is over 9,842 feet above sea level. It is rich in tourist resources and possesses an ideal ecological environment. The people of the region have a unique religious culture and traditional folk customs, which also makes Qinghai a fascinating destination.
In the remote past, there was a branch line of the ancient Silk Road which stretched west from Lanzhou in Gansu to Qinghai,
through Xining, Golmud, and then north to Dunhuang, finally converging with the main road. Along the Silk Road in Qinghai main scenic spots include Qinghai Lake and Birds Island, the Salt Lake and the famous Ta'er Lamasery.
Located on the northeastern part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Xining is the provincial capital of Qinghai. It is the hub of Lanzhu-Qinghai and Qinghai-Tibet Railways, and sits astride the main route to the hinterland of Qinghai and Tibet. Xining is 7,463 feet above sea level and is a typical example of a plateau city.
Qinghai Lake is 10,482 feet above sea level, covering an area of 1,621 square miles. It is the largest inland salt-water lake in China. Birds Island, Haixin Hill and Sand Island are also very attractive spots to visit.
Located at the southwestern corner of the Lusha'er Town in Huangzhong County, Ta'er Lamasery was first built in the 39th year of the reign of Jiajing in the Ming Dynasty. It is one of the six temples of Gelugpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism and the birthplace of Tsongkapa,
who was the founder of Gelugpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Ta'er Lamasery is a combination of Tibetan and Han architectural styles, and it was built to suit the topography, sitting perfectly on the slopes of the mountain. Every year four Great Prayer Festivals are held on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar. Beautiful religious legends and mysterious stories of the three spectaculars of Ta'er Lamasery are the butter sculptures, mural paintings and embroidery.