Xining is located in the eastern part of Qinghai-Tibet plateau. As one of the major gateways to Tibetan Plateau Xining is an ancient highland city on Yellow River. Geographically speaking, Xining is 2260 meters above the sea level, but the climate is much better than that of Tibet. Xining is surrounded by high mountains, and of course there is some beautiful sceneries features highland picturesque. Xining is the capital of Qinghai province and due to its cool climate in summer Xining is regarded as China’s Summer Resort Capital at the same time. There are about 37 nationalities living here, including Han, Hui, Tu and Tibetan. The local traditions and customs are influenced by these distinctive nationalities, especially the Tibetan group.
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Best Season of Xining Tour
With an average altitude of 2260 meters, Xining has a continental mid-drought climate. Sunshine is sufficient in Xining and summer is cool. The annual temperature is about 6.5C. Due to its cool climate Xining is considered to be a summer resort in northwestern cities. The best time to visit Xining is from May to September every year. The weather is quite good and the scenery will be nice during those months. One thing need to mention is the change of the temperature differs a lot between day and night, don’t forget to wear more at night.
Time Zone: East 7 time zone
Clothes and other Staffs to Pack
As mentioned before, temperature differs a lot during day and night, take some warm clothes in any season, and include summer. Lip stick and body lotion will protect yourself from the dry climate. Long-sleeve and an overcoat is enough for spring and autumn. Summer is cool in Xining, but if you are wearing sunglasses or made some sun-prevent measures that will be perfect. Winter may be a little cold in Xining. Prepare some warm clothes such as down jacket and sweater.
Accommodation of Xining Tour
There are some nice hotels in Xining for the tourists. Lots of accommodation locates around the railway station and long distance station, and that made much convenience to the travelers who take the bus or the train. All the hotels include some budget hotels are completely facilitated and with elegant designation, even you are stay in a small hotel the services will also be great. It is recommended that visitors make reservation in advance in the tourist season.
Traffic: Ways to Get in Xining
--Xining Caojiabao Airport is located in Caojiabao, Huzhu County, about thirty kilometers away from the city center. It is a very important transitional center in Qinghai province and also in the northwest of China. Built in 1991, Xining Caijiabao Airport has flights departs to many major cities in China, such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Xian, Shanghai, Wuhan, Lanzhou, etc. It will be convenient to take plane to Xining and also easy to reach the downtown of the city from it.
--Xining Railway Station is the traffic hub of Qinghai province. The world famous Qinghai Tibet Railway runs through Xining city and the Lanzhou-Qinghai railway also runs into the city. Transportation here is so convenient. Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and Qingdao and Zhengzhou, etc. could all be reached in Xining Railway Station.
--Visiting Xining by long distance bus is also convenient. Highway system in Qinghai province is consummate. Xining Bus Terminal has an advanced administrative systems and service establishments. Five main arteries were constructed in Xining.
Internal Transport: Taking bus and taxi are good ways to get around in Xining city. There are many bus runs through Xining city everyday. It is the most economic way for travelers on journey. Buses in Xining will take you to almost every corner of the city.
Taxi could easily found in Xining city. Usually, the price is reasonable. Minivan taxis are also available in the city; they are cheaper than those standard taxis and also efficient.
Xining Tour Tips
Time: Better avoid the period from May 1 to May 7 and October 1 to October 7 because there is long national vacation in China, it will be so crowd in Xining and also all around the nation, so pick a good time outside that.
Food: Xining food has various flavors of Qinghai province but also boasts its own flavor. Food in Xining is substantial and have reasonable price. Hui and Han foods are common in Xining. Popular dishes and snacks in the city are Liangfen, Niangpi, Zasui Tang, Muslim Youghurt, Terrine, Mutton Eaten with Fingers, Feng’er Liji, Danbai Chongcao Ji, Jinyu Facai, Steamed egg with Nastoc, etc.
Local dishes and snacks could be found in Da Shizi and Ximen areas. Shuijing Food Market is also a good place full of local delicacies. Western cuisines are frequently being seen in Xin Tian Di Restaurant. Daxin Jie Night Market is the best place to go for local snacks.
--Famous restaurants to recommend in Xining:
Muslim Da Ximen Restaurant (No.120, Changjiang Lu)
Zhongfayuan Restaurant (No.1, Shulin Xiang, Dongguan Dajie)
Xiao Yuanmen Restaurant (No.190, Donguan Dajie)
Lasa Flavor Snack Shop
Sha Li Hai Food City
Muslim Yixin Mutton Restaurant
Dongdong Food City
Daximen Muslim Restaurant
Little Circle Gate
Gao Lao Zhuang
Water: Tap water in the hotel could not be drink directly.
·What to buy?
Shopping in Xining is an important part of your Xining tour. Various local specialties and numerous shopping places will bring your interest and everybody would get fun from it. Xining offer both ordinary goods and unique local specialties of Qinghai. Traditional Chinese Medicines such as Aweto, snow lotus and hairy antler could all be found in Xining markets. Other local products like handmade Tibetan and Muslim carpets, Tibetan knives, ornaments and trinkets are also popular in the city. In addition, Yak Beef Jerky is a snack that travelers should not miss in Xining.
·Where to buy?
There are five commercial districts in Xining. Commercial center is the middle area of the city, many emporiums could be found here. Da Shizi Department Store and several shopping streets nearby are the most prosperous places in Xining. Other famous shopping places are including Dry Goods Department Store, Qinghai Commercial City, woolen Carpets World, Xining Small Commodity Wholesale Market Clothes Wholesale Area, Qinghai Cultural Relic Shop, Xiaogongyuan Market of Ximenkou, Xining Collections Market and Xidajie Department Store.
--Here are the exact addresses of some shopping places:
Dashizi Department Store (No.53, Dong Dajie)
Xidajie Department Store (No.43, Xi Dajie)
Qinghai Commercial City (Wusi Dajie)
Festivals and Customs
·Every Chinese Lunar calendar there will be assemblies in the Ta’er Monastery in January, April, June and September. During the assembly, activities like religious dances, praying to Buddha, moving in circle around the monastery and chanting sutras will all be held in the Monastery. It is an old traditional festival among Buddhist in Xining.
·Hua’er Meeting is an annually meeting held in Xining. Hua’er means flower, it is a kind of folk song prevailing in Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia and Xinjiang Provinces and sung by the Han, Hui, Dongxiang, Sala, Bao'an, Tu, Tibet and Yugu groups. The meeting will be held during the forth, sixth moths of the Chinese lunar calendar. Various Hua'er Meetings are held in different areas of Qinghai Province. It is a farewell meeting to the grassland and they will invite visitors to participate and prepare yurts for visitors to stay.
·China-Qinghai Tulip Festivals will be held in May Day every year in Xining. The festival was first being held in 2002. During the festival, tens of thousands of visitors from both home and abroad are attracted by the many varieties of beautiful tulip. Performances, alpine medical herbs exhibition, ethnic costume, folk opera and music, shadow puppet show and photography exhibition can be admired.
Recreation in Xining
Xining is a tourist city in northwest of China, quite a number of leisure and entertainment ways make the city more attractive. Enjoy local performances, bars, nightclubs and cinemas are all good ways to relax in Xining. Traditional performances are shows in Qinghai Theater, Xining Jiefang Theater and Xining People’s Theater. Most luxurious recreation venues are in Qinghai Hotel. Health Center of the Qinghai Hotel includes a gymnasium, a sauna, a beauty salon, and a rooftop viewing area, all of which will lessen your fatigue. Bars, clubs, cinemas and coffee houses are available in other places. Nice places with exact address to recommend are:
The Number Six of Space Music Hall (No, 6, Jiefang Lu)
Simple Life Music Hall (No.2 Xueyuan Xiang)
Must-see Attractions of Xining Tour
Qinghai Lake: Qinghai Lake is located about 150 kilometers west of Xining city. The Lake is the largest lake in China and is a salt lake above the sea level in a depression of Tibetan Plateau. It is fed by twenty-three rivers and streams. Qinghai Lake is wedged between Hainan and Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures in northeastern Qinghai. The lake sits at the crossroads of several bird migration routes across Asia, so it serves as an intermediate stop of diverse birds during their migrations. The well-known Bird Island is located at the northeast end of Qinghai Lake.
Ta’er Monastery: Ta’er Monastery is the religious activity center of both monks and followers of the Yellow Hat Sect. It is located in Huangzhong County about twenty-five kilometers away from Xining city. In Tibetan language, Ta’er means ten thousand figures of Buddha. The Ta'er Monastery is a group of fine buildings in a combination of both the Han and Tibetan styles of architecture on the mountain slopes. It has lofty temples and halls rising one upon another. The palace buildings, Buddhist halls, sleeping quarters, as well as the courtyards echo each other and thus enhance the beauty of the whole area. The Ta'er Monastery is rich in fascinating arts. The famous butter sculptures, the barbolas, and the murals are considered to be the three most unique arts of superb craftsmanship.
Sun and Moon Mountain: Sun and Moon Mountain also called “Riyue Mountain” in local language. It is situated forty kilometers away from southwest of Xining city. Sun and Moon Mountian marks the boundary between the eastern agricultural area and the western pastoral area of Qinghai Province. From the top of the mountain there is a superb panorama of the beautiful landscape - both prairie and farmland. The period from June to September is the best time to travel there with verdant grasses, wild flowers and tents on the slopes of the mountain providing the crowning touch to its plateau landscape.
Dongguan Mosque: Dongguan Mosque was first built in 1379. It is famous for its magnificent architecture and also is a religious education center which is the highest learning institution of Islam. The Mosque is just located on Dongguan Street in Xining city. Dongguan Mosque is built on a grand scale. Its style combines both Chinese traditional architectural art and Islamic architectural features. The prayer hall is the main building in Dongguan Mosque. It can hold more than 3,000 people at prayer at the same time. Since the Mosque was built, it has become an important place of worship and assembly for Muslims.
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