| || |
Revision as of 03:44, 6 September 2009
Qinghaihu National Park (青海湖 国家公园, Mongolian: Kokonor, Tibetan: Tso Ngonbo) is in Qinghai province.
Qinghai Lake, in the northeast part of the province, is the largest inland saltwater lake in China. Both the Mongolian name and the Tibetan name mean 'Blue Lake'. The 0.8 sq-km Bird Island, on the western edge of the lake, is a paradise for more than 100,000 migratory birds, including bar-headed geese, brown-headed gulls, swans, and wild ducks. May through October is the best time for bird-watching.
Flora and fauna
May to June is peak season for bird watching at Bird Island.
In Qinghai's capital, Xining, it's hard not to wind up at the lake. Touts shout "Qinghai Hu! Qinghai Hu!" at both the bus and train stations, while it seems that very taxi driver in town will try to turn a three-kilometer journey into an overnight excursion to the lake. Be careful, and bargain hard.
There are three main ways to get to the lake:
- Private car - These can be hired from a travel agent for 400 RMB. Or try approaching any taxi driver, they or someone they know can take you to the lake for cheaper.
- Tour - A number of companies in town offer trips to the lake. The standard run stops at Bird Island, the lake, a former nuclear testing site and several jade stores in a long day trip from Xining. Prices start at around 100 RMB, which doesn't include entrance fees that more than double the price.
- Public Bus - Most westbound buses from Xining pass by the lake. Just buy a ticket and tell the driver you want to get off at the lake. You will be dropped off at either Heimahe on the southern shore or Gangcha on the northern shore.
- Tickets are required for developed areas on the lakeshore, including Bird Island. More remote parts of the shore, however, remain free.
There are a few buses a day from Heimahe to Qinghaihu Binguan where you would get off for Bird Island and then it is a 2 hour walk from there to the site. Might be able to arrange ride at Binguan.
- Bird Island (Niaodao) - breeding ground for migratory birds on western shore of lake.
- Shaobei Hu - lake northeast of Qinghai Hu that might be more beautiful, tent camping is offered
Accommodations are available at Heimahe and Hudong Muchang (Pastures)
- Qinghaihu Binguan, located east of Fuaicheng Shinaihai village on the road to Bird Island
| image1=Qing-Zang Railway icon.png