Located in the middle of northwest of China, Qinghai Province shares borders with Gansu Province in the northeast, with Tibet Autonomous Region in the southwest, with Sichuan Province in southeast and with Xinjiang in the northwest respectively. It is often named “the roof of the world”. It’s a mysterious and attractive place like a jade without carved.
Qinghai covers a total area of 720,000 sq. km and has an average elevation over 3,000 meters. The Yellow River originates in the middle of the province, while the Yangtze and Mekong have their headwaters in the southern part. There are many high mountains and lakes scattered in the province. The famous Mt. Kunlun locates in the central part, Mt. Danggula standing to the South and Mt. Qilian to the North. There also have vast grasslands and precious Qaidam Basin. It is the continental climate with characters of large temperature difference, long sunshine and little rainfalls. It is named after the famous Qinghai Lake, the largest inland salt-water lake in China. Besides, the highest elevation railway in the world---Qinghai-Tibet Railway---was built in the province. With abundant resources, Qinghai is a paradise for mountain climbers and the brave.
In Qinghai Province, the natural scenery is magnificent and sublime. In the largest inland salt-water lake, there are Bird Island, Haixin Hill, Sanhuai Stone and Sha Island for touring. Taer lamasery is the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, one of the six major monasteries and it is also the birthplace of Tsongkhapa, the creator of shamanism. The Butter Flower Sculpture, Duixiu and wall paintings are the three treasures of Taer lamasery. The Yellow River, Yangtze and Mekong all originate from the province, where you will enjoy the mysterious beauty of nature. The three mountains, Animaqing, Kunlun and Xinqingfeng, have an average elevation over 5,000 meters. They all attract a great number of people every year.
Besides, there are many places of historical interest, like ancient tombs group, ancient temples, ancient rock paintings and ancient castles. Different nationalities remain unique and colorful ethnic customs and practices.
Qinghai is a province inhabited by many ethnic groups, like Han, Tibetan, Hui, and Mongolia, etc, which have 54 ethnic groups in all. At the end of the 2008, it has a population of 5,543,000, of which the minority population accounting for 42.8%.
The earliest inhabitants in Qinghai Province are from Qiang group which was a very ancient ethnic group in western part of China. Some relics indicate that Qinghai has at lest 6,000 years’ civilization. It has experienced several dynasties, such as Han, Wei, Tuguhui, Tufan, and Song and so on. In addition, it has appeared a great number of famous figures, like military officers Huoqubing, artist Lihanqing, scientist Zhilugu, etc. Qinghai is also a place full of religious color. Most people here believe in the Tibetan Buddhism. They often attend many kinds of complicated religious activities to pursue their belief.