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Home Travel in Qinghai Haidong Prefecture
Haidong Prefecture
Travel in Qinghai

Haidong Prefecture
Haidong Prefecture (hǎi dōng dì qū 海东地区) is a prefecture of Qinghai province in Western China. Its name literally means “east of the (Qinghai) Lake”. The prefecture is subdivided into 5 county-level divisions: Ping'an County (píng ān xiàn 平安县), Ledu County (lè dū xiàn 乐都县), Minhe Hui and Tu Autonomous County (mín hé huí zú tǔ zú zì zhì xiàn 民和回族土族自治县), Huzhu Tu Autonomous County (hù zhù tǔ zú zì zhì xiàn互助土族自治县), Hualong Hui Autonomous County (huà lóng  huí zú zì zhì xiàn 化隆回族自治县) and Xunhua Salar Autonomous County (xún huà sǎ lā zú zì zhì xiàn 循化撒拉族自治县).


According to archeological discoveries, this area was proved to be inhabited by human settlers. Before the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), nomads of the Qiang lived here. In the early Western Han Dynasty (206BC-24AD), the troop of the court defeated the Huns in the west of the Yellow River, and a fortress was established in the city to protect against the invasion of nomad groups. 


Enjoying a semi-dry continental climate, Haidong features arid and cold weather at high altitudes, lot of sunshine and great temperature differences during the day. It has an annual average temperature of 3.2-8.6℃ (37.8-47.5℉). Its northern mountainous area is colder and valleys along the Yellow River and the Huangshui River are warmer. The majority of rainfall occurs from July to September.      


Haidong PrefectureHaidong is the easternmost division of Qinghai province. It is bounded by Xining, the provincial capital, to the West, the Datong River Valley to the north, Gansu to the east, and the Yellow River to the south. Mountain ranges tower above the district of which the main valley is the one of the Huangshui River (huáng shuǐ 湟水), a major tributary of the Yellow River. This valley stretches from west to east and makes up-together with the area around Xining, the landscape which is called Tsongkha ("Onion Valley") by Tibetans. It has a total area of 13,100 square kilometers (5,100 sq mi).

The region is located in the transition area between the Loess Plateau and Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Medium and low mountains, hills and valleys constitute the main types of Haidong's landform. Offshoots of the Qilian Mountains stretch northwest and southeast through the region, together with the Datong River, the Huangshui River and the Yellow River.    


Nadun Meet

Nadun Meet Nadun Meet (nà dùn jié 纳顿节) of the Tu ethnic minority (tǔ zú 土族) usually lasts over two months from the mid seventh lunar month to the Ninth in order to celebrate the good harvest and make wishes for the future. Hua'er Hui (huā ér huì 花儿会, a kind of Folk Song Fair) in Qili Temple (Formerly Cili Temple) will attract people from near and far to participate in the song fair in the sixth day of the sixth lunar month.


Mengda Heavenly Lake

Mengda Heavenly LakeMengda Heavenly Lake (mèng dá tiān chí 孟达天池) in Xunhua Salar Autonomous County is the core scenic spot of the Mengda Tianchi Nature Reserve (mèng dá tiān chí guó jiā jí zì rán bǎo hù qū 孟达天池国家级自然保护区). It covers an area of 300 mu (49 acres) with an alpine lake that compliments the blue sky, surrounding mountains and trees constituting the natural kingdom of plants in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. 

In the east of Xunhua Salar Autonomous County, Qinghai Province
Tel: 0971-8178180
Transportation: Take a coach to Xunhua Country in Sining Coach Station (140 kilometers). Then hire a car in Xunhua to Mengda Heavenly Lake.
Opening Hours: 8:00-17:00
Admission Fee: CNY70

 Qutan TempleQutan Temple

Qutan Temple (qú tán sì 瞿昙寺) located 25 kilometers (16 miles) south of Ledu County, is a building complex first constructed in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is a famous Tibetan Buddhist temple in Qinghai Province, but it bears more features of the Han Buddhism and its layout is similar to the Forbidden City in Beijing. The temple is famous for its cache of rare cultural relics, grand architecture and exquisite murals.

Location: It is situated in the 21 kilometers south of Ledu Country.
Tel: 0971-6117282
Transportation: Take the coach from Sining to Ledu Country in Sinning Coach Station of Sining at the cost of CNY10. Then reach to Qutan Temple by the scheduled bus at the cost of CNY5.
Opening Hours: 8:00-17:00
Admission Fee: About CNY20 (changeable)

Beishan National Forest Park

Beishan National Forest ParkCovering an area of over 400 square kilometers, Beishan National Forest Park (běi shān guó  jiā sēn lín gōng yuán 北山国家森林公园) consists of myriads of wonderful views such as Eighteen Pan, Huangyahuo, Hule Heaven Pool, Tiger Mouth and Monster Cave Daligan and so on. In the attraction area the ancient trees are tall and lofty with the strong and fragrant odor of pines pervading everywhere, while high gorges and deep valleys are dotted with blooming flowers. North Mountain, also called Tulou Mountain, is over 2000 years old till now. Yongxing Temple is formerly called Bei Chan Temple, which was built on the site of North Mountain Shrine on the North Mountain.

The historic sites in the North Mountain include Buddhist temples, Taoist Temples, Brick Tower, Caves, murals and outdoors Buddha. Among cliffs and precipices, there scatter nine chiseled holes and eighteen chiseled caves in order from west to east, which have been added from time to time with heavens ladders and paths going through them; therefore, miles of the caves sinuously connected inside. Through the on-site inspection of experts there are 39 straight caves and 18 slanting caves. The most magnificent building on the mountain is Doumu Palace in front of the caves, which is composed of 17 main palaces and attached porches, in which the sculpture of Doumu is very special and magnificent with four heads and eight arms.

Beishan National Forest ParkA plaque, which is inscribed with three characters of 'Tu Lou Guan', and a gate tower called Kui Xing Lou are on the entrance to the temple, which is situated in the left front of the Doumu Palace. The shrines and temples on the North Mountain are sites for religious activities; therefore, they are cloaked in religious mystery. Nothing is stranger than shrines, temples, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism on Beishan, which can reflect one another. Here exist relics of mythology and legends of Zang Minority and Han Minority, and here also exist Sakymuni and kwan-yin worshipped by Buddhists, Doumu and Taishanglaojun worshipped by Taoists and the temple of Guan Emperor, who is respected by Confucians as the idol of loyalty to emperor. The sculpture of Guan Emperor is set up in a chiseled cave, and the cave culture is of great value for art research.

Location: It is situated in the northeast of Huzhu Tu Minority Autonomous County.
Tel: 0971-6167186
Transportation: Take a midibus from Sining to Huzhu Tu Minority Autonomous County in Sing Coach Station at the cost of CNY10. Then reach to Beishan National Forest Park by private midibus there.
Opening Hours: 8:00-17:00
Admission Fee: CNY30
Recommended Golden Season: April to July
Travel Tips: The tourist had better bring some warm clothing and a raincoat.

YangJuangou Gongbei

As one of the eastern entrances to Angulu Gongbei (ān gǔ lù gǒng běi 庵古鹿拱北) in Xunhua, Yangjuangou Gongbei (yáng juàn gōu gǒng běi羊圈沟拱北), with 800-year-old history and an area of 240 kilometers, seated in the north facing the south, was in honor of four Taoist ancestors' great morality by Muslims through igniting incense which is still popular now. The building is in the shape of domed vault, with 18 cerement stone pillars among which 17 arch doors form naturally supporting the large round pagoda in the top, and on the walls are moral poems about Naturism and humanity by pious Muslim followers excessively, which represents typical Arabic style on the whole.

YangJuangou GongbeiGongbei is surrounded by mountains, whose slopes are covered by green grass, wild blossoms, rare animals and bizarre stones in varied shapes because of rain and wind-erosion, and unique Danxia landform. It is formed by nature that mushroom-like stone pillars stand by the mountain, the soil red high-rising tower into the blue sky, abysses in the valley interlock with each other, and the surfaces of mountain present different colors in accord with sunshine onto different sites during the daytime that in the morning it is pink, at noon gray and in the sunset peach blow. More surprised, at the foot of Gongbei there is a spring, crystal and clear, endless all year round, with a beautiful legendary origin.

There is no difference between the other springs; however, through the bottom water it is startling to find that every several or ten seconds a cluster of varied silver bubbles like pearls emerge from the slims of stones in the bottom, uprising continuously, sometimes in a certain place or more, or sometimes in the center of the spring, or sometimes non-stop. Pearl spring, Gongbei and all round mountain reflecting each other form a splendid attraction at the foot of the south mountain, which attracts many Muslins followers from Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai and Xinjiang, as well as visitors for pilgrimage or sightseeing both at home and abroad.

Location: It is 5 kilometers southeast away from Xunhua Country, 158 kilometers away from Sining.

Huzhu Tu Minority Attraction

Huzhu Tu Minority Autonomous CountyHuzhu Tu Minority Autonomous County, the only Tu Minority Autonomous County in China, enjoys unique natural scenery formed by its special geographic situation, which is situated in the joint of Qingzang Plateau and Huangtu Plateau. Tu Minority, an ancient Minority, has lived and multiplied on this land for generations, which forms a distinct human landscape. Many a tourist from home or abroad is attracted by the distinct human landscape and natural scenery, and National Tourism Bureau ratified the Huzhu Tu Minority Native Land Garden as an AAAA-level national tourist site in 2001.

Tu Minority, the loyal believer in Lamaism, is good at singing and dancing, and its costumes are full of ethnic characteristic. According to lunar calendar the flower concert is held on every May 5th, June 6th and Sep. 9th and other folk festivals in Huzhu Tourist sites. During the long course of history Tu Minority has formed its own unique culture. Tu women’s sleeves are made of cloth of red, yellow, black, green and white or other colors, which look like the rainbow; therefore here is also regarded as the hometown of rainbow.

Location: It is Located in the northern part of Haidong Region, Qinghai Province.
Travel Tips: Don’t bring horse-meat, dog-meat and donkey-meat into the families of Tu Minority. Don’t listen to the song tapes or sing a song related to flowers, for flower songs of Tu Minority are love songs and cannot be sang at home.

Tu minority Folk Village (tǔ zú mín sú cūn土族民俗村)

Tu minority Folk VillageThe whole village is composed of more than 100 families with the population of over 500. Tu people have their own language and do well in dancing and singing, Tu people has their own festival-Anzhaonadun festival, there are various activities in festivals such as dancing 'Anzhao' dance, playing Lunziqiu, holding horse race meeting and singing flowers and so on. The women are dexterous of hand and inventive of mind and good at embroidery. Having their own literature and arts, Tu Minority is rich in stories and songs with the charming narrative poems, wedding songs and banquet songs and so on. The women costumes of Tu Minority are made of blue, black, yellow, white, and red colors of cloth, which respectively represent blue sky, the earth, harvest, auspiciousness and enthusiasm, therefore, Huzhu County is also called "the hometown of rainbow".

Location: In Weiyuan Town of Huzhu Tu Minority Autonomous County, 30 kilometwes away from Sining.
Tel: 010-51284458
Transportation: Take a coach from Sining to Huzhu Tu Minority Autonomous County in Sing Coach Station at the cost of CNY15. Then reach to Tu minority Folk Village by Bus No. 1 in front of Donghe Road Market at the cost of CNY2.
Opening Hours: The whole day

Youning Temple

Youning TempleYouning Temple (yòu níng sì 佑宁寺), with the full name of Guolong Milezhou Temple in Tibetan language and Guolong Temple for short, is a holy place of Tu People in Huangshui Valley, Qinghai Province and regarded as “the mother of temples in Huangbei (huáng běi 湟北)”. According to lunar calendar, every February 2nd the temple holds Request Sermons Ceremony that lasts fifteen days. Tu People are loyal believers in Lamaism, therefore, it is the most important thing at the beginning of a new year to visit Buddhism books and attend lectures given by eminent monks, of which the climax is “Tiao Shen (tiào shén 跳神)” activity. The activity in the temple was learned in the 9th year of Yongzheng Emperor by 3rd Songbu Living Buddha Gaixibanjue'er from Tibet and passed down to now.

Location: It is 35 kilometers east away from Weiyuan Town, 65 kilometers away from Sining.
Opening Hours: The wholeday
Admission Fee: Free


Tibetan carpet

Tibetan carpet making is an ancient, traditional craft. Tibetan carpet is traditionally made from Tibetan highland sheep's wool, called changpel. Tibetans use carpets for many purposes ranging from flooring to wall hanging to horse saddles, though the most common use is as a seating carpet. A typical sleeping carpet measuring around 3ftx5ft (0.9m x 1.6m) is called a khaden.

Tibetan carpetThe knotting method used in Tibetan carpet making is different from that used in other rug making traditions worldwide. Some aspects of the rug making have been supplanted by cheaper machines in recent times, especially yarn spinning and trimming of the pile after weaving. However, some carpets are still made by hand. The Tibetan diaspora in India and Nepal have established a thriving business in rug making. In Nepal the rug business is one of the largest industries in the country and there are many rug exporters. Tibet also has weaving workshops, but the export side of the industry is relatively undeveloped compared with Nepal and India.

Barley Wine
Barley Wine
Huzhu County is the cradle of barley wine (qīng kē jiǔ 青稞酒), the biggest place of wine production and the original place of barley wine protected by the state.

Haidong Prefecture

Location: Haidong Prefecture is situated in northeastern Qinghai Province, neighboring Gansu Province in the east. The capital city of the province, Xining, is bordered by Haidong in the west.
Tel: 0972-8612403
Transportation: Xining Caojiabao Airport is about 7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles) from Ping'an County of Haidong. Buses to counties of Haidong are available from the Xining Long-Distance Bus Station in 1, Jianguo Road (jiàn guó lù 建国路) in front of the Xining Railway Station (西宁火车站). Along the expressway, Ping'an County can be reached from Xining in about twenty minutes.
Opening Hours: The whole day
Admission Fee: Free
Recommended Golden Season: May to September is the golden season to visit Haidong, especially in cool July and August when most places in China are extremely hot. Several local festivals and ceremonies are usually held during this period.