Qinghai is located in the remote Northwest China, bordering Gansu on the northeast, the Xinjiang on the northwest, Sichuan on the southeast, and Tibet on the southwest. Occupying an area of 721,000 km2, Qinghai is China's fourth largest province. The area is sparsely populated (ranked 30th with a population of 5,390,000).
Qinghai is known for its magnificent natural scenery and numerous scenic spots with historical significance. Group of ancient tombs, temples, rock paintings, and ancient castle dot the landscape of Qinghai, and offer a glimpse of what Qinghai gives.
Qinghai has a large minority population. Han Chinese, Tibetans, Tu, Hui, Salar, and Mongols have maintained a unique and colorful ethnic traditions, customs and practices.
Qinghai was only set up as a province in 1928.
Qinghai was only relatively recently made a province of China. A large part of the area, historically called Kokonor in English until the early 20th century, lies outside of China proper and has been an ethnic melting pot for centuries, mixing Tibetan, Han Chinese, Mongol, and Turkic influences. It was a battleground during the Tang and subsequent Chinese dynasties when they fought against successive Tibetan dynasties. Qinghai was under early Ming dynasty control. Prior to 1724, most of the area that is now Qinghai was under Tibetan control, but in that year it was conquered by the armies of the Qing Dynasty. Following the defeat of the Dzungars by the Qing in the mid 18th century, the area became home to peoples from what is now northern Xinjiang known as the Kokonor Mongols (Kokonor derives from the Mongolian language name of Qinghai). In 1928, Qinghai became a province of the Republic of China. Subsequently it became the primary base for warlord Ma Bufang, before it became a province under the People's Republic of China in 1949.
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|Qinghai is known for its magnificent natural scenery and numerous scenic spots with historical significance.|
Named after the Qinghai Lake, the largest lake in China, Qinghai is located at northeast side of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The area stretches about 1200 km from north to south, and 800 km from east to west, for a total area about 720km2. The average altitude is over 3000 m above the sea level.
The territory is covered by high mountains, rugged terrains, rivers and lakes. Kunlun Mountains cut right through the middle of Qinghai from east to west. Tanggula Mountains lies in the south, and Qilian Mountains stand in the north. The area is covered by vast undulating grassland. The arid Qaidam Basin, 560 km (350 mile) long and 160 km (100 mile) wide, is sandwiched between two branches of the Kunlun mountain range.
|• Golmud (格尔木 )||• Xining (西宁)|
 Other Places
- The Great Mosque of Xining (清真大寺).
- North Mountain Temple (北山寺).
- Qinghai Lake, with an area of 4,573 km, is China's largest saltwater lake. The lake is located on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, 3,620m above the sea level, twice the height of Mount Taishan, and twice the size of another famous lake in China, Taihu Lake. The surrounding area is made up of stunning rolling grasslands and home to the famous Bird Island.
- Ta Er Lamasery, or the Kumbum Monastery (塔尔寺), is located about 27 km to the southwest of Xining]. It is one of six Yellow Hat Sect monasteries.
- Mengda Forest Reserve (孟达林区), covering an area of 20 hectares, is known as the Xishuangbanna on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
- Most inhabitants understand and speak Mandarin.
- Local Han speak a regional variant of Chinese called Qinghaihua. The province's many ethnic groups all have their own languages, including Dongxiang, Mongolian, Salar, Tibetan and Tu. At any travel agency, big restaurant or hotel, standard Mandarin, the national language works fine.
- The Amdo Tibetan dialect is spoken widely by Tibetans in the prefectures of northern and eastern Qinghai, while Kham Tibetan is spoken by Tibetans in Yushu prefecture in southern Qinghai.
 Ethnic Groups
The population of Qinghai is approximately 5.2 million, among which the Han account for 54.5%. Other groups include the Tibetans 20.87%, Hui 16%, Tu 4%, Salar, and Mongols.
 Colleges and Universities
- Qinghai University (青海大学)
- Qinghai Normal University (青海师范大学)
- Qinghai University for Nationalities (青海民族学院)
- Qinghai Medical College
- Qinghai Radio & Television University
 Area and Postal Codes
|City||Area Code||Postal Code||City||Area Code||Postal Code|
|Golmud (格尔木 )||0979||816000||Xining (西宁)||971||810000|
 Tips & Practical Info
- Qinghai's climate in winter is harsh. Vast parts of the province are high, treeless steppe. Don't go off the beaten track on your own. Bring warm clothes and extra food supplies. It can snow year-round, and even in July temperatures regularly dip below freezing at night in regions above 4000m. Winters are brutally cold in much of Qinghai with temperatures at night between -20C and -30C.
- Sunlight is intense here. The province receives very little rain, so those cloudless days and lack of shade mean it's very easy to get burned here. Bring plenty of sunblock. A hat is also a good idea.
- When trekking through nomadic areas be careful around the dogs. Tibetan dogs in Qinghai are used as guard dogs and will attack anyone they are unfamiliar with. These dogs are quite large and often can weigh 60 kg or more.
- Altitude Sickness is a reality in Qinghai with much of the province being over 3000m. Give yourself plenty of time to acclimatize before going to high altitude regions. Try to ascend as slowly as possible.