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Scene Of Qinghai Province

General Introduction

The province in the upper Yangtze and Yellow river valleys in the northeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in the southern part of northwestern China takes its name from its large salt lake, Qinghai. It has an area of 720,000 square kilometers and a population of 3.77 million, of which 20 per cent live in the cities and the rest in the rural areas. The bulk of the population is concentrated in the farming area in the east which makes up only 5 per cent of the province's total area. Of its total population, 1.43 million are from the Tibetan, Mongolian, Hui, Tu, Salar, Kazak and other minority nationalities.

Scenic Spots

Maixiu Scenic Zone
Qinghai Lake
Rongwo Monasty

Yellow River


The province with its high terrain is topographically known as the Qinghai Plateau, which is an important part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The Altun and Qilian mountain areas in the north are mostly more than 4,000 meters above sea level. The Huanghe and Huangshui river valley lands in the northeastern corner, about 2,000 meters in elevation, are the lowest-lying region and the most important farming area of Qinghai. The Qinghai Lake Basin consists of a vast lake deposit plain well suited for farming and animal husbandry. The Qaidam, a large inland basin walled in by the Altun, Qilian and Kunlun mountains in the northwest, slopes from northwest to southeast and is interspersed with numerous salt lakes and swamps. The plateau in the south, which makes up more than half of the province's total area and exceeds 4,500 meters in elevation, includes the Kunlun range and its branches, the Hohxil, Bayanhar and Anyemaqen mountains and provides headwaters for the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers.

Qinghai with its scores of large rivers has abundant hydropower resources. Its exterior rivers include the Huanghe, the Tongtian (upper stream of the Yangtze), the Zaqu (upper stream of the Lancang), the Huangshui and the Datong. Of its numerous lakes, Qinghai Lake is the largest inland lake in China and Gyaring and Ngoring are the largest freshwater lakes in the province.


Qinghai has a continental climate, the greater part of it being dry and cold and with long winters, short summers, frequent winds, little rainfall, long hours of sunshine and great differences in temperature between day and night. It has a mean annual temperature of 0?-8ºC and a mean annual precipitation generally below 300 mm.


Trunk communication lines in Qinghai include the Lanzhou-Qinghai Railway and the Qinghai-Tibet, Qinghai-Xinjiang, Qinghai-Sichuan and Gansu-Qinghai highways. It has a railway mileage of 1,260 kilometers and a highway mileage of 15,495 kilometers. Another rail line, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, is under construction.

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