Qinghai road

Qinghai: China off the beaten path

Qinghai: visit China’s unknown province.

You’ve probably never heard of it: Qinghai. A province almost the size of Turkey somewhere in the eastern centre from China. A couple of years ago my Chinese uni-mate and I wanted to go to Tibet. However, as a non-Chinese citizen I wasn’t allowed to travel without a tour group in Tibet. Hence we came up with the idea of going to Qinghai, which is one of the provinces right next to Tibet. You don’t need to join an organised tour to visit Qinghai! In fact, you will hardly encounter any other foreign tourists. My friend and I took an overnight train from Xian to Xining, the (extremely ugly) capital city of Qinghai. From Xining we hired a driver to show us around. Here are the real reasons why you are gonna want to visit Qinghai:

Landscapes from a different planet:

Qinghai landscape Qinghai landscape Qinghai landscape

Refreshing rivers:

Qinghai River Qinghai River Qinghai River


Qinghai Tibetan Culture Qinghai Culture Qinghai Tibetan Culture

More landscapes:

Qinghai mountains Qinghai mountains

Is this even planet earth?

There is also a small desert in Qinghai:

Qinghai desert Qinghai desert

And this road leading to a giant lake:

Qinghai road Qinghai lake

And last but not least, this road leads to a massive Canyon:

Qinghai road Qinghai Canyon Qinghai Canyon

Liking my photos on my website? Be sure to follow me on Instagram and have a look at my print shop for prints on canvas and other materials! Visited Summer 2013. All photos taken with my analog Nikon FM2.
    1. Hi Lidianne, I took an overnight train from Xian to Xining. However Xining also has an airport, and can be reached by plane from most major cities in China. I stayed in Xining and visited all the places in the pictures above by daytrips from Xining. Enjoy!

      1. It looks so great! In september I’m going to China, so it would be really cool to visit this place. How many days do you recommend?

        1. Perhaps at least 4 days, depending on how much time you have. Qinghai is enourmous, but a couple of days is enough to see most of the above places. 🙂

  1. By any chance can you recommend a driver. We are looking for someone to take us from Xining, to Dunhuang and to Golmud over 4/5 days, late July, and trying to avoid expensive travel companies. Thanks

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