Qinghai Lake


Essentials of Qinghai Lake

Chinese Name: 青海湖 Pronunciation: Qīng Hǎi Hú

Suggested Visiting Hours: 1-2 Days

Lake Area: 4,282 square kilometers

Altitude: 3,195m (10,482.28 feet)

Maximum Depth: 28.71m (77.79 feet)

Average Depth: 19 m (62.34 feet)

Address: Northwest of the imposing Qinghai Altiplano, 150km (93.21 miles) away from Xining City


Entrance Fee

Peak Season (June 1st-October 31th )
Low Season (November 1st-May 31th )
Adult Qinghai Lake Bird Island:100yuan
Qinghai Lake Sand Island:70yuan
Sun and Moon Mountain:40yuan
Erlangjian Scenic Area:100yuan
Qinghai Lake Fairy Bay Area:60yuan
Qinghai Lake Bird Island:60yuan
Qinghai Lake Sand Island:35yuan
Sun and Moon Mountain:40yuan
Erlangjian Scenic Area:50yuan
Qinghai Lake Fairy Bay Area:30yuan
Children(1.2m-1.4m) Qinghai Lake Bird Island:50yuan
Qinghai Lake Sand Island:35yuan
Sun and Moon Mountain:20yuan
Erlangjian Scenic Area:50yuan
Qinghai Lake Fairy Bay Area:30yuan
Qinghai Lake Bird Island:30yuan
Qinghai Lake Sand Island:17.5yuan
Sun and Moon Mountain:20yuan
Erlangjian Scenic Area:25yuan
Qinghai Lake Fairy Bay Area:15yuan
Senior(60-70years old ) Qinghai Lake Bird Island:50yuan
Qinghai Lake Sand Island:35yuan
Sun and Moon Mountain:20yuan
Erlangjian Scenic Area:50yuan
Qinghai Lake Fairy Bay Area:30yuan
Qinghai Lake Bird Island:30yuan
Qinghai Lake Sand Island:17.5yuan
Sun and Moon Mountain:20yuan
Erlangjian Scenic Area:25yuan
Qinghai Lake Fairy Bay Area:15yuan

  • Ticket Free of Charge Policy:

Children under 1.2m (including) are free of charge;

Senior citizens over 70 years old with ID card or senior citizen ID are free of charge;

The disabled with disability certificate are free of charge;

All active-duty servicemen with officer certificate, soldier certificate, military disability certificate or cadet certificate are free of charge;

Doctors, nurses and medical technicians nationwide (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) with medical certificates can be free of charge;

Supplementary note: the above information is for reference only; please refer to the specific information disclosed by the scenic spots on the same day. The scenic spot ticket does not implement preferential policy during the low-season operation period.

*The above policy only applicable to admission fee.

  • Surcharge Inside the Scenic Spot

Sightseeing boat 45 yuan per person
Yacht 10 yuan per person
Taking pictures of horseback riding Around 10 yuan


Service Hours

Scenic Spots
Opening hours
Qinghai Lake Bird Island 8:30-17:30
Qinghai Lake Sang Island 8:30-17:30
Sun and Moon Mountain 8:00-17:00 all the year
Erlangjian Scenic Area 8:00-18:00 all the year
Qinghai lake fairy bay area 8:30-19:00 all the year


What You Need to Know About Qinghai Lake

Camel,Qinghai Lake

Located in Qinghai Province in the northeast of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the largest inland lake in China was formed by the collapse of a fault between the Sun and Moon Mountain in the Qilian Mountains and Nanshan Mountains in Qinghai.

It is an important water body to maintain the ecological security of the northeast Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, a natural barrier to prevent the desertification in the west from spreading eastward, and an important ecological barrier to protect Xining, which is the political, economic and cultural center of Qinghai Province.

Qinghai Lake is the biggest inland lake, as well as the largest salt water lake in China. It is one of huge mirrors that are given by nature. It covers an area of 4,456 square kilometers and is more than 360 kilometers around the lake, more than twice the size of the famous Tai Lake.

Qinghai Lake is one of the first nature reserves of Qinghai Province to join the International Convention on Wetlands. As a world-famous wetland nature reserve, Qinghai Lake is a treasure house of biodiversity on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, a concentrated habitat for waterfowl and a place for breeding and raising young creatures. It is also the only habitat for the world's critically endangered animals -- Procapra przewalskii.


Big Events Happened in Qinghai Lake

Starry Sky,Qinghai Lake
Starry Sky

In 2002, China Qinghai Plateau Style Hot-Air Balloon Sports Tourism Culture Festival was a cultural festival in Xining, Qinghai Province. Hot air balloon sport has a history of more than 20 years in China. In order to promote this sport, the first China Qinghai Plateau Hot-Air Balloon Sport Tourism Culture Festival was held in July 2002.

On July 8th, 2016, the press conference was held with the theme of “Promoting Chinese original music and protecting Qinghai Wetland Environment -- 2016 Qinghai Lake Utopian Music Camp”. It was reported that the theme of the camp was “Promoting Chinese original music and protecting Qinghai Wetland environment”. While promoting and inheriting Chinese original music, the camp would also promote the concept of protecting Qinghai Lake wetland environment.

Qinghai Lake International Road Cycling Race is the international road cycling race which is world’s highest altitude (prone to endogenous oxygen shortage), the Asia’s top and largest in China with the most participating teams and the highest prize. The theme of the race around the lake is: “Green, Humanity, Harmony”.


Qinghai Lake You Should not Miss

 Qinghai Lake Bird Island

Bird Island,Qinghai Lake
Bird Island

Bird Island in Qinghai Lake is named because of the hundreds of thousands of migratory birds that inhabit on the island. The western island is called Haixishan or Egg Island (Dandao). The eastern island is called Haixipi shaped like a hump, originally only 0.11 square kilometers. With increasingly dropping of lake water, the peak of the island is over 7.6 meters above the lake. And about eighty thousand or ninety thousand birds inhabit on this island.

Bird Island is located in the northwest corner of Qinghai Lake, divided into east and west islands. Far away from the Bird Island, visitors can hear the sound of different birds. May and July are the best time for bird watching. The best season of watching whooper swans in a year is between November to February of the next year.

 Qinghai Lake Sand Island

Sand Island,Qinghai Lake
Sand Island

Qinghai Lake Sand Island (Shadao) is one of the national key scenic spots in Qinghai Lake.

It is located in the northeast of Qinghai Lake, an important part of Qinghai Lake area, only 120 kilometers away from the provincial capital Xining, belonging to the wetland-type natural scenery tourist area. The Sand Island was originally a small island in the lake, which was formed by the water level of Qinghai Lake dropping year by year and the sand ridge protruding from the lake receiving the accumulation of wind and sand.

The Sand Island scenic spot is 36 kilometers long from east to west and 3 kilometers wide from north to south, with an average altitude of 3,200 meters under the arch guard of sand dunes. There are two small freshwater lakes, one is named Crescent Lake and the other is named Reed Lake and the water mainly comes from underground springs.

To the east of the Sand Island is a desert backed by a small North Lake near Qinghai Lake. All these are the main small spots of the Sand Island.

 Sun and Moon Mountain

Sun and Moon Mountain,Qinghai Lake
Sun and Moon Mountain

Located 40 kilometers southwest to Huangyuan County, Xining City, Qinghai Province, Sun and Moon Mountain is a range of Qilian Mountain with 90 kilometers long. It is the natural dam in the east of Qinghai Lake with an average elevation of about 4000 meters and the highest elevation of 4,877 meters. The Qinghai-Tibet Highway which passes through the Sun and Moon Mountain is 3,520 meters above sea level.

Since ancient times, Sun and Moon Mountain has been an important passage in the Tang (618-907) Dynasty along the Qiang Middle Road in history. During the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589), the “South Silk Road” was opened due to the blockage of the Silk Road along the Hexi Corridor, which led to go to the Western Region via Sun and Moon Mountain, Qinghai Lake and the Qaidam Basin.

Through the Sun and Moon Mountain, the road that Princess Wencheng (a princess in the Tang) passed through the Sun and Moon Mountain to the Tubo (a small country), is called the Tang-Tubo ancient road. Next to the ancient road, there are Princess Wencheng Memorial Hall and the Sun and Moon Mountain God statue of the ox.

It is said that Princess Wencheng could not help shedding tears when she looked east from Sun and Moon Mountain to her hometown. The tears turned into a small spring, which was called Princess Wencheng Spring.

On the square at the top of the mountain, there are green stone tablets and looking-back stones. This is the place where Princess Wencheng stood and looked back to her hometown with tears for the last time.

 Erlangjian Scenic Area

Erlangjian Scenic Area,Qinghai Lake
Erlangjian Scenic Area

Erlangjian Scenic Area lies on the southeastern bank of Qinghai Lake, also known as 151 base before because it was far away from Xining 151km. Erlangjian Scenic Area in Qinghai Lake has a special geographical location, with grassland, beach, animal - based ecological natural resources. With folk cultural activities, Erlangjian Scenic Area has become a shining pearl in Qinghai Lake tourist area. At present, Erlangjian Scenic Area has built a bird watching platform, deer watching park, sea watching bridge and sea watching pavilion as a combination of viewing area. It is a leisure area for large-scale ethnic songs and dances, tibetan customs garden, sacred lake worship and other tourism projects and a water recreation area with cruise ships, jet skis, water bikes and self-driving boats as its activities. These leisure, viewing and entertainment areas make Erlangjian Scenic Area a large tourism reception base around Qinghai Lake and ethnic customs experience base. Here, you can enjoy high-quality leisure vacation, tourism, shopping, tibetan customs experience and grassland competitive activities.

 Qinghai Lake Fairy Bay

Fairy Bay,Qinghai Lake
Fairy Bay

Located on the north bank of Qinghai Lake, Fairy Bay scenic area is an important wetland in Qinghai Lake and the homeland of swans with rich biodiversity. This place has become the holy land of the Zang nationality.

As one of the seven major wetlands in the world, Qinghai Lake Wetland was listed in the Handbook of International Important Wetlands by the United Nations in 1992, and joined the Convention on International Important Wetlands of Waterfowl Habitat, which will enhance the protection of Qinghai Lake wetland.


Our Suggested Route

Route one: Xining---Huangyuan (a town in Xining) ---Qinghai Lake Erlangjian Scenic Area---Qinghai Lake Bird Island

Route two: Qinghai Lake Bird Island---Qinghai Lake Fairy Bay---Qinghai Lake Sand Island—Huangyuan

Route three: Xining---Huangyuan---Qinghai Lake Sand Island---Qinghai Lake Erlangjian Scenic Area---Sun and Moon Mountain---Huangyuan---Xining


When to Visit Qinghai Lake

Qinghai Lake is worth visiting all the year round. There are more people in summer and autumn, followed by spring and winter.

There are two months which are worth visiting --July and August. The time from July to August is the most beautiful time in Qinghai Lake. Firstly, the climate is pleasant, with the rape flowers opening, migration of Huangshui fish, sunset seeing and other unique scenery of the best viewing time. Secondly, the most of other cities in China are in the baking hot state and the average temperature has reached above 30℃(86°F). However, Qinghai Lake is an excellent summer resort because the weather here is cool. Travelers still need to wear a coat in the morning and evening because the temperature difference is large in the early morning and night. The average temperature in the daytime is 20-25℃(68-77°F), which is extremely temperate for people.


Ways to Get to Qinghai Lake

 By Bus

Departure Station
Terminal Station
Departure Time
Xining Bayi Road passenger station Qinghai Lake Erlangjian Scenic Area passenger station 7:30; 8:00; 8:30; 9:00; 9:30; 16:00
Qinghai Lake Erlangjian Scenic Area passenger station Xining Bayi Road passenger station 10:00; 15:00; 15:15; 15:30; 15:45; 16:00
Qinghai Lake Sand Island passenger station Xining Bayi Road passenger station 3:00
Xining Bayi Road passenger station Qinghai Lake Sand Island passenger station 9:00

 By Subway

Take South Island Line, and get off at Ocean Park Station.

 By Taxi

Chinese: 请带我去青海湖。English: Please take me to Qinghai Lake.

If travelers go to Qinghai Lake by taxi, they’d better charter a car to these spots, which will cost several hundred yuan everyday based on the size of the car they charter. They can charter from1 day to 10 days. The price of small car with 4 seats is around 500-700yuan each day.

Qinghai Lake
Qinghai Lake


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