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Home Travel in Qinghai Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Travel in Qinghai

Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (huáng nán zàng zú zì zhì zhōu 黄南藏族自治州) is in the southeastern part of Qinghai. It is also located in the first bend of the Yellow River with nine bends. Huangnan is named so because it lies in the south of the Yellow River. Huangnan prefecture enjoys long history of national religion and culture. It has rich ethnic folklore and abundant resources of humanistic tourism.


HuangnanHuangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is an autonomous prefecture of Qinghai Province in China. The prefecture has area of 17,921 km². The prefecture is subdivided into 5 county-level divisions: Tongren (tóngrén 同仁), Jianzha (jiān zhā 尖扎), Zeku (zé kù 泽库) and Henan Mongol Autonomous County (hé nán méng gŭ zú zì zhì xiàn 河南蒙古族自治县). Its seat is located at Longwu Town (lóng wù zhèn 隆务镇), Tongren County, which is 181 kilometers away from Xining, the capital city of Qinghai.


Huangnan HistoryBefore the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-24AD) conquered it in 61BC, Huangnan region was inhabited by the Qiang people, an ancient tribe in western China. One year after the subjection, Heguan County was established there. It was once the domain of Tubo regime in Tibet during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was established in 1955.


Huangnan Prefecture enjoys a continental plateau climate with clear dry and wet seasons, long, chilly and dry winter and short, refreshing and humid summer. The annual average temperature range of the whole prefecture is around -0.9℃ to 8.5℃ (30.4℉ to 47.3℉). 


Huangnan lies in the plateau area in southern Qinghai. With the Maixiu Mountain (mài mài shā 麦秀山) in the center as a limit, the south region of Huangnan is simple and haploid in geology. The terrain slopes gently to the north and the east and there are vast grassland distributed, while the northern part is precipitous with many high mountains, gorges and mesas between mountains.


Kanbula National Forest Park

Kanbula National Forest Park Kanbula National Forest Park (kǎn bù lā guó jiā sēn lín gōng yuán 坎布拉国家森林公园) is a scenic area with danxia landform as the main sight. It is adjacent to the Yellow River in the north and close to the magnificent Lijiaxia Hydropower Station. The red mountains in Kanbula and the green lake in Lijiaxia Reservoir set off perfectly with each other, forming a beautiful natural painting. Kanbula danxia geomorphic and national forest park is well-known for its queerness, precipitousness, loneness, prettiness, and grace.

Location: In northwestern of Jainca County, 131 kms from Xining
Tel: 0971-3522252
Transportation: Take a bus to get to the Lijiaxia Hydroelectric Power Station at the Xining Long-Distance Bus Station at the cost of 20 Yuan. It’s 90-kilometer journey.
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
Admission Fee: CNY 30/person (For reference)
Recommended Golden Season: May through October

Regong Art

Regong ArtRegong Art (rè gòng yì shù 热贡艺术) enjoys a high prestige in China and in the world. Long colored-drawing scroll of 618 meters, A Colored-drawing Grand Sight of Chinese Tibetan Culture and Art, is listed in the Big World Record. Regong art includes paintings (murals and scrolls called “thangka” in Tibetan), clay and wooden sculptures, barbola, color paintings on buildings, patterns, butter sculptures, and so on. Among these, the paintings, sculptures and designs are most famous. The contents of Regong art ranges from the story of the Sakyamuni, Bodhisattvas, Buddhist guardians and fairies, to Buddhist stories.

Location: In Tongren Country, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Tel: 0973-8795000 or 0973-8795001
Transportation: Take the coach of Xining to Tongren at Xining coach station.
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

Lijiaxia Reservoir

The Lijiaxia Reservoir (lǐ jiā xiá shuǐ diàn zhàn 李家峡水电站) is located in Jianzha County of Huangnan Prefecture. On the south bank of the reservoir are the combined landscapes of danxia (a kind of karst landform), red and yellow earth peaks. There is a nearby Tibetan village called Kabula, and thus the marvelous region is called Kanbula Danxia Geopark. Near the dam of the reservoir is a spiral road leading to the top of the mountain, where one can get a whole view of the reservoir and the surrounding mountains.

Lijiaxia ReservoirOpposite the reservoir is the Laji Ridge with an altitude of more than 4,000 meters; snow on the peak barely melts, even in summer. On the shady side of the mountain grows firs, pines, and birches, all of which run through Tibetan villages. A bypath runs through the villages to the danxia landform region. Standing in the sightseeing pavilion on the top of the hill, one can get a complete and detailed view of most of the danxia peaks in the region. Running down the spiral road, one can find a vacation camp hidden in the valley. On the reservoir there are large-scale pleasure boats and yachts, on which one can see the cluster of danxia peaks, ferocious cliffs, and earth forests that seem to have been carved by knives. With the reflection in the water, the voyage is even more attractive.

Location: Situated at the juncture of Jianzha Country and Hualong Country
Tel: 0973-8728181
Transportation: Take a coach from Xining to Lijiaxia Reservoir in Xining Coach Station at the cost of CNY 12.
Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00
Admission Fee: CNY 5

Longwu Temple

Longwu Temple (lóng wù sì 隆务寺) of Tibetan Buddhism with a history of more than 600 years is a key cultural relic site under state-level protection. Longwu Temple is located in Longwu Town of Tongren County of Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, around 186 kilometers from Xining; the Longwu Temple is one of the ancient temples in Qinghai Province, and its largest Gelug temple. It was built in 1301 and already has a history that stretches back more than 700 years with several halls.

Longwu TempleLongwu Temple was first built in 1301. It has a history of 699 years. Longwu Temple faces the east. It has grand architecture scale, stately model, and luxurious decoration. In the temple, there are articals of fine arts, valuable cultural relics, tablet of “National Master of broad practice and excellent realization” granted by Xuande ( emperor of Ming Dynasty), and stele of “holy area of the western regions” inscribed as a gift by Ming Emperor in 5 of Tianqi in Ming Dynasty. In 1625, the first Xiaricang, Gedanjiacuo built Xianzong Institute at Longwu Temple. The following Xiaricang in succession directed the building group, such as Buddhist hall and scripture hall. The scale of the temple continues to expand. At its best, it covers an area of about 100 hectares. Presently in the temple, there are Mizong Institute, Astronomical Institute, Xianzong Institute, Tiannv Hall, Lingta Hall, Kwan-yin Hall, Wenshu Hall, Quwa Hall, Matou Hall, Dajing Hall. The building of the temple combines the Tibetan and Han styles harmoniously. It has upturned eaves and curved arch. It is resplendent and magnificent.

In the temple, there are many figures of Buddha, frescos, barbolas in exquisite designs. The sutra recitation hall and Buddhist hall are exquisite and solemn. The roof is covered by green tiles. There is gilded high jar on the middle beam. The central big sutra recitation hall has more than 1700 square meter of floor space. Inside it, there are 18 gigantic posts, 146 short posts. About 10 figures of Buddha are enshrined, such as Sakyamuni, Master Zongkaba, and etc. There are 18 temples under the the domination of Longwu Temple, Nianduhu Temple, Guomeri Temple, Wutun Temple, and etc. The main Buddhist rituals are prayer meeting from Jan. 13-18 according to lunar calendar, Nidan prayer meeting in March, Jiangfan festival in September,and Wugong festival in October, and etc. In 1996, Longwu Temple is listed as key cultural site under state protection. It attracts many tourists, professionals, and scholars with its long history and abundant cultural relics.

Location: In Longwu Town, Tongren Country, 185 kilometers away from Xining
Tel: 0971-6122987
Take the coach from Xinig to Longwu Town in Xining Coach Station at the coast of CNY 23.
Opening Hours: 8:30-18:00
Admission Fee: CNY 55

Maixiu Virgin Forest

Maixiu Virgin ForestMaixiu virgin forest (mài xiù yuán shǐ sēn lín 麦秀原始森林) is a natural scenic spot of virgin forest. Inside the spot, the green mountain peaks cover each other, the sea of trees is vast, and the running water is clear. In the forest area, there are rare medicinal herbs, such as rhubarb, qinjiu, snow lotus, aweto, and etc. ,and rare animals, such as Sumen antelope, snow leopard, muskiness, snow cock, ring necked pheasant, and etc. It is an urban conservation area of highland animals and plants. It is already ratified as a provincial forest park. In the forest area, these activities may be held, such as mountaineering, hunting, shooting, and science and technology expedition. In the neighborhood of Maixiu Forest, there is Tongren-Qukuhu hot spring hotel. The temperature of the spring water keeps around 30 degrees centigrade. The spring water contains many minerals. It is an ideal place for bathing, recuperation, and rest.

Situated in Zeku Country, 32 kilometers from Longwu Town
Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00
Admission Fee: CNY 20

Fairy Cavity

Fairy CavityThere is a grand natural limestone cave at Wu’erhaqi Ditch, Jigang mountain foot, Xiqing mountain range which is 50 kilometers to the southwest of Henan County, which is called fairy cavity (xiān nǚ dòng 仙女洞). Inside the cave, there are magnificent halls, mysterious underground lakes and pools. It is named so because it is deep, serene, intriguing as a mysterious and unsearchable as a fairy. In Fairy Cavity, cavity is in another cavity, and all the cavities connect each other and crisscross. These cavities are in different conditions and shapes. They are peculiar, dangerous, winding left and right, deep, and serene. The verified depth is more than 1000 meters. From the entrance of the cavity to the inside, it may be roughly divided into the front hall, the middle hall, and the back hall.

Location: 45 kilometers away from Henan Mongol Autonomous County

Zekuheri Stone Wall of Scripture

Stone Wall of ScriptureThe Stone Wall of Scripture (shí jīng qiáng 石经墙) is 3 meters high, 2.5 meters thick and 200 meters long. With the other three piles of stone scripture, its total length is nearly 300 meters. The whole wall is built by laying big or small slates with scriptures prescribed. The content of scripture is the masterpiece of Tibetan Buddhism, Ganzhu'er, Danzhu'er, Dapanruojing, and more than 1000 pictures of stories of Buddhism prescribed on stone. There are more than 200 million characters of the scripture. The project of stone sculptures is vast, numerous, and gigantic. It fully displays the Tibetan people's spirit of working hard and bearing hardship, intelligence, and wisdom. It is a rare humanity landscape in China and in the world, and is reputed as “a marvelous spectacle of stone inscription” in the world.

Location: In Zeku Country, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture

Food & Specialty

Qinghai mooncake

Qinghai mooncakeQinghai mooncake (qīng hǎi yuè bǐng 青海月饼) is out of the ordinary. It takes the carefully grinded bitter bean powder with nice color and taste (It is also called fragrant bean in some place.), red rice, curcuma as “food color”. After the superior powder has fermented, we should knead and roll out the dough. Then, we need to apply the dough with a layer of clear oil and spread a kind of “food color”. Next, we shall spread it out evenly, roll it, knead it into round dough, spread it out with rolling pin again, apply clear oil again, and add another kind of “food color”. In this way, we knead the 'food color' into the dough layer by layer for four or five times. Sometimes, we also add sugar powder, such as brown sugar. After it is steamed well, when you cut the mooncake, you can see eight or ten layers of mooncake. The mooncake is colorful and delicious.


Because Kunguomomo (kūn guō mó mó 焜锅馍馍) is baked in the metallic Kunguo mould, so people usually call it “Kunguo”. To make Kunguo, first, we will put vegetable oil into the ordinary leavened dough and apply it with folk food colors, such as red rice, curcuma, fragrant bean powder and so on. Then, we shall fold it into a dough with red, yellow, and green colors interwined. (When Tibetan and Hui people are making the dough, sometimes they add egg and milk into it.)

KunguomomoNext, we knead it into cylindrical shape as big as Kunguo and then put it into Kunguo. And then we shall bury it into stove hall which take ryegrass as fuel or fire ash of Kang hole. The wall of Kunguo is a little thicker and transmits heat slowly. The firepower of ryegrass fuel is well-distributed and the degree of heat of it is moderate. After half an hour, it can be taken out from the pot. Baked Kunguomomo is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. It blossoms like a flower with bright color and extraordinary taste. This food is time-saving, effort-saving, easy to make, crisp and delicious, easy to take along, and easy to keep.

Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture

Location: Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is seated in the southeast region of Qinghai Province.
Recommended Golden Season: July through September
Travel Tips: The only means to travel around Huangnan Prefecture is by bus. Anchored by the county seats of each county, the transportation is not troublesome because noted scenic spots are all not far away from these county towns. Highways connect the prefecture with Xining, the capital city of Qinghai Province, Xiahe county (xià hé xiàn 夏河县), and Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture (lín xià huí zú zì zhì zhōu 临夏回族自治州) in southern Gansu. Xining is about 181 kilometers (112 miles) from Huangnan, about four hours drive.
Tourist Complaints: 0973-8728181