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Golmud (格尔木; Ge'ermu) is a city in Haixi Prefecture, Qinghai Province, China.


With more than 200 000 people Golmud is the second biggest city in Qinghai province. The city is worth visiting only if you are en route to Tibet. Golmud is in the middle of dry desert without anything, built up just to mine natural sources as salt, magnesium etc. The population is more than 90% Han Chinese who moved here to work.

The government tries to complicate trips for foreigners; there are just a few (of course most expensive) hotels where foreigners can stay. It isn't worth staying here longer than to manage permission and leave. Beware you don't arrive on a Friday afternoon because PSB is closed during weekend.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Golmud Airport operates flights to and from Xining and Xian.

By train[edit]

Golmund station (Qinghai Huochezhan) is on Jiangyuan Road and has direct connections with the following major cities:

Beijing (34 hours), Chengdu, (28 hours), Chongqing (28 hours), Guangzhou (46 hours), Lanzhou (16-17 hours), Lhasa (14 hours), Shanghai (37 hours) and Xining (14-16 hours), Xi'an (20-22 hours)

By bus[edit]

The following cities are connected to Golmud by direct bus links:

Dunhuang (11 hours), Lhasa (30-42 hours), Mangya (=Huadugou) (10 hours), Delingha (5 hours) - city is closed to foreigners, you can get there from Tianjun, Xining

Get around[edit]

Taxis are a cheap and convenient option.

See[edit][add listing]

Golmud is the second largest city in Qinghai Province and it has been known by travellers because of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.Actually,Golmud is the starting place of the scenic train trip to Tibet.If time allows, you could spend some time to Chaerhan Salt Lake near the city.

Chaerhan Salt Lake is located 60 kilometers away from the north Golmud city.It is not the largest salt lake in China. At the same time, it might also be one of the most famous interior salt lakes in the world.

Do[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Soda

Sleep[edit][add listing]


There are a few cheap hotels located around the train and bus stations, but they tend to be noisy and grubby.

  • Jindi binguan (金地宾馆), next to the train station, singles from ¥50, doubles from ¥120. Phone Number: 0979-7226000

Mid range[edit]

  • Golmud Hotel, (Center of town). Clean. Rooms from ¥300 (to few thousands). one of a very few hotels where you can stay in Golmud. Twin ¥40 off season.  edit
  • Golmud Mansion Hotel. Clean, nice and definitley cheaper compared to the Golmud Hotel (September 2013). Located next to the Huge Snail statue in the middle of town. 238Y\double incl breakfast.  edit


Get out[edit]

NB: On the way north or south no tickets can be bought without an Aliens' Travel Permit (Lüxing zheng, 旅行证), which are issued by the PSB office for 50Y in a matter of minutes. The PSB Office is on the right side, in front of the gate to the main police building . (Closed on Saturday and Sunday.) make sure you bring a passport sized photo with you if you intend to make the 9am bus to Dunhuang. The PSB opens at 8:30am so its pretty tight, impossible if you have to go off to get a photo done. Going to Xining raises no problems.There is a flight out of Golmud to Chengdu,the Capital city of Sichuan Province.

There is a sleeper bus from Golmud to Yushu once every three days. The ride takes 16 hours and costs 198 yuan. Contact the Chinese-speaking-bus driver by cell phone (13709799151) to find out on what day the buses depart Golmud for Yushu.

Routes through Golmud
XiningQinghaihu Lake  N noframe S  Lhasa

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