Qinghai Lake Choice Landscapes Drive & Cycle
Plateau lake Roadtrip with Horse Riding
Anyone who has seen the pictures of Qinghai Lake can imagine what it would be like to soak in the best stretches of that beauty cycling along under the open sky of the lake roads.
Let this car-and-bike tour bring you into the daydream.
Absorb amazing lake landscapes. Ride horseback on the lakeside plateau grasslands. Plant some trees and contribute to the lake’s sand dune stabilization project.
Join us for the ride.
Meet up in Xining. CBD sightseeing exploration.
Meet up in Xining.
Today is meet-up day.
Arrive in Xining - the East Portal to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.
CBD sightseeing exploration.
Arrive early and inner-city Xining is yours to explore. Visit the Dongguan Mosque, or the Qinghai Provincial Museum.
Travelers keen on delving into Chinese modern history can visit the former home of Republic of China-era warlord Ma Bufang - the “Northwest King” – a man of incredible influence.
Xining also has an old food street with 600 that has been part of the city for 600 years. You can head over in the evening to try local delicacies: Qinghai-style cold noodles, fried bean jelly, yoghurt, fried dough cakes, sliced noodle, hand-pulled noodle, and lamb shish-kebab… there’s plenty to try.
One thing about Xining: lovely as this city is, theft is occasionally an issue. Please keep a close eye on your valuables while in Xining to avoid becoming a target.
Accommodation: Xining CBD Hotel, Standard Twin Room
Depart. Qinghai Lake cycle begins. Er’lang Jian scenic area. Lakeside Horse Riding. Grassland Camping.
Eat breakfast. Board transport. Set out from Xining.
Traverse ‘Bright Moon’ Mountain – the boundary point between the Qinghai-Tibet and Huangtu Plateaus. A little further down the road we set down at our first cycling experience destination – Xihai Town.
Arrive lakeside. Qinghai cycle begins. Er’lang Jian scenic area.
Equip, adjust, and get comfortable. Sail off onto the open roads.
Cattle and sheep flock in the fields. Right of road is a lush, sweeping grassland. Left is opal-blue lake water set against the bleached golden dunes of the desert. Riding this stretch of road is all about experiencing the mystical, majestic landscape.
Dismount by the Er’lang Jian Qinghai scenic area.
Lakeside Horse Riding. Grassland Camping.
At this point half a day’s cycling is behind you. In the afternoon we swap bike gear for horse riding gear. Saddle up, and gallop on the lakeside plains.
After horse riding, arrive at the Lanshan camping ground. Spend a night in conversation with the Tibetan people, on the open land, under a sea of stars.
Accommodation: Grassland Camping, Tent.
Campground breakfast. Lake south mountain hike. Chaka Salt Lake. Garila. Damei Grassland Resort Inn.
Campground breakfast. Lake south mountain hike.
After breakfast, follow a Tibetan companion out onto the mountain-couched grassland plains, across to the tourist-less Lake South Mountain.
Chaka Salt Lake.
Afterwards, grab the bicycles and ride to the town Chaka. Here we step down to put feet into the shining waters of Chaka Salt Lake, aka “China’s sky mirror”.
A pretty passenger train’s tracks run out into the lake. You can take a ride, or walk the tracks.
In the afternoon, the lake is at its most photogenic. Light from incandescent Tibetan sun transforms the saltwater into a silvery-white mirror for the sky, hence the lake’s reputation of “ China’s sky mirror”. See the landscape flipped in the lake surface - the clouds, distant mountains and your own reflection.
Garila. Damei Grassland Resort Inn.
From Chaka, we ride to Qinghai Lake West round-lake road to experience more gorgeous scenic cycling.
Stop to visit the Garila Temple. Large migrant water bird flocks sometimes land on the water here. If we are lucky, we’ll see them.
In the evening check in at our hotel.
Accommodation: Qinghai Lake Damei Grassland Resort Inn Hotel
Sunrise on Qinghai Lake. Xihai Township. Return to Xining.
Sunrise on Qinghai Lake.
Day Four. Photography enthusiasts can rise early to capture the glory of Qinghai at daybreak, [06:00].
Eat breakfast then head out.
Breakfast. Xihai Township.
Our final stretch of landscape cycling runs on the lake’s North edge. To the North of the road is the Qilian Mountain chain; to the South are the golden lakeside sand dunes and a horizon of fluorescent blue water. Ride between water and snow-capped mountains, enjoy the natural gift that is the scenery of Qinghai Lake.
Arrive to conclude the tour.