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Hoh Xil
Travel in Qinghai

Hoh Xil
Hoh Xil (kě kě xī lǐ 可可西里), which means "beautiful girl" in Mongolian, is one of the main sources of the Yangtze River and encompasses an area of 83,000 square kilometers between the Tanggula and Kunlun Mountains in the northwestern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is China's largest and the world's third largest uninhabited area. Being the paradise for wildlife and home to more than 230 species of wild animals, Hoh Xil has twenty of them under state protection, including the wild yak, the Tibetan antelope, the wild donkey, the white-lip deer, and the brown bear.
Hoh Xil, the last fairyland of wild lives in China, is one of the most primitive and well-preserved natural environment in the world. Moreover, it is the largest natural reserve area in China with highest altitude. Because of the high altitude and fierce weather, it is impossible for people to live there, and this is the very reason why Hoh Xil is the paradise of wild lives.


Hoh Xil Hoh Xil is situated at the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (yù shù zàng zú zì zhì zhōu 玉树藏族自治州) in southwest Qinghai, and has an average altitude of more than 4600 meters. Low temperature, rare rainfall and strong wind are the major features of Hoh Xil. However, in such a fierce land, there are many animals which can only be seen on highland. According to the present observation, there are 29 kinds of mammals, 53 kinds of birds and 202 kinds of plants, of which 84 are the unique ones on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The importance and charm of this area is becoming more and more famous throughout the world, and the great significance in scientific research is irreplaceable in China and the world.

Paradise of Wild Animals

Tibetan antelopeThe climate of Hoh Xil is extremely fierce and inferior, which is not suitable for human activities. Without disturbance of people, Hoh Xil hence became the paradise of wild animals. The wild animals are those surviving especially in Qinghai-Tibet plateau, such as Tibetan antelope, Equus Kiang, wild yak, goa etc. At present, there are 13 kinds of endangered large animals, national first-class protected animals.

Ecological Protection

Ecological Protection of Hoh XilHoh Xil is the largest depopulated zone in China, with fertile mineral resources and wild lives. Many people are drooping at the potential fortune of this territory, and many Tibetan antelopes are killed, mineral resources had been over explored. In 1992, an official unit was established to protect the resources of Hoh Xil. In the end of 1997, the Hoh Xil National Natural Reserve was established. At present, the protection of Hoh Xil is much better than years ago, and they are ensuring a peaceful living environment for those lovely animals.


Geography of Hoh XilThe Hoh Xil region covers 83,000 square kilometers at an average elevation of 4,800 meters, stretches in a meridional (east-west) direction between the Tanggula and Kunlun mountain chains in the border areas of Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Northwest China's Qinghai Province and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The southeastern part of the Hoh Xil, drained by the Chumar River, is one of the major headwater sources of the Yangtze River. The rest of the region is endorheic, with drainage to numerous isolated lakes; this area sometimes described by hydrologists as the “Hoh Xil lake district”. 45,000 square kilometers of the Hoh Xil region, at an average elevation of 4,600 meters, were designated a national nature reserve in 1995.

Qingshui River Bridge

         Qingshui River Bridge

The majestic Qingshui River Bridge (qīng shuǐ hé dà qiáo 清水河大桥), the longest railroad bridge, also has animals' migration routes can be seen. Animals such as Tibetan antelope, wild donkey, and wild yak often appear near the bridges especially during the summer (June, July, and August).

Location: In the northwest of Yushu Tibetan Prefecture of Qinghai Province
Tel: 0971-6365075
Opening Hours: 8:00-17:00
Admission Fee: CNY 10

Travel Tips:

Hoh Xil is among one of the few unpolluted regions in China. However, the air there is quite thin, and the oxygen content is just 60% of that of the plain.

To protect the environment of Hoh Xil, the amount of visitors is restricted to 1000 in total and 15 in each team although this region has been open to tourists.

The tourist is required to certify a copy of health certificate and pass the medical examination in Golmud. People with hypertension are not accepted to the tour group. And the tourists have to obey the do's and don'ts which are relevant to the environment protection.