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Useful Information | Qinghai Lake | The Bird Island | Kumbum Monastery(Ta'er Monastery) | Dongguan Mosque |

Useful Information

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Electric Plug Details
Two parallel flat blades
220Volt, 50Hz
IDD City Code
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Putonghau (Mandarin)
Mobile System
Time Zone
GMT/UTC +8()
Useful Telephone
Emergencies 120
Police Dial 110
Fire & Ambulance 119

Qinghai Lake

Qinghai Lake, China's largest inland salt-water lake is at 3200 meters above sea level. It is situated at the east of Qinghai province, around 2.30 hours drive from Xining.

The lake occupies an area of 4456 kilometers, having a perimeter of more than 360 kilometers and it is over one time lager than the famous Tai Lake in Wuxi, China's east Jiangsu Province. The ellipse-shaped lake looks like a huge white poplar leave setting among alpine prairie. Scenery in Qinghai lake varies according to seasons. Summer and autumn, with most comfortable weather condition and most beautiful lake scenery is the best time to visit the lake.

The Bird Island

It is an interesting and charming place on the western shore of Qinghai Lake. The island is a paradise for varieties of birds. The protection policy of the local government makes island even more popular among birds. Each March and April, when ice covering the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau begins to melt, more than 20 kinds of migrating birds fly to the island to breed. During that period, flocks of birds shelter the whole island and bird eggs can be found everywhere. Visitors can hear birds twitters far away.

Kumbum Monastery(Ta'er Monastery)

Kumbum Monastery is about 27 southwest of Xining. It is one of the two most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries outside Tibet itself. Set among flowing wheat fields and fertile hills, the Ta'er Monastery evokes an ambience of relaxation and meditation.

Kumbum Monastery, also called Ta'er Monastery, originated in 1379 from a pagoda, which marked the birthplace of Tsong Kha-pa, founder of the Gelugpa Sect in Tibetan people. The site covers around 400,000 square kilometers and is home to over 75o monks. The most famous items in this monastery are the "Three Treasures"-the yak butter sculpture called "Suyouhua". Made from yak butter, the sculptures bring to life Buddha, animals and flowers, varying from a few meters tall to less than a centimeter. To prepare for the grand butter sculpture show on the night of January 15 on the lunar calendar, the lamas must start working at least three months ahead. To prevent the butter from melting, they must work in sub-zero temperature and the sculptures are kept in giant glass boxes with air-conditioning after the show. Another treasure housed in this monastery is the appliqud embroidery displayed in the Great Hall of Sutra. The pictures are pieced together with silk and the Buddha. Mural forms another treasure of the monastery. They were painted with pigments made from minerals and plants, so the colors stay fresh and bright for centuries. But the most interesting thing you will encounter here is the debate of the lamas. Standing in front of his teacher who is seated, the student must think of some difficult questions from Buddhist sutras, then clap his hands as loudly as possible and extend his right arm to his teacher while raising the question. Generally the teacher will answer succinctly with one or two words. Occasionally, he will speak longer and the students smile clearly shows his gratitude for the advice. Tourists are not allowed to watch the debate, and if you show enough respect to the lamas, you might be able to have an interesting talk with them.
Do not miss out on the eight stupas to the right of the entrance, representing the life story of Sakyamuni.

Dongguan Mosque

At the south of the Dongguan Street, the Dongguan Mosque is one of the largest mosques in northwest China. First built in 1379, the mosque has a long history of more than 600 years. Architecture of the mosque combines traditional Chinese style and the local features, with grand appearance and delicate, dazzlingly inside ornaments. The mosque has a prayer hall which can hold up to 3,000 people. Now this mosque serves as an educational center and institution of higher learning for Islamism, and also is the leading mosque in Qinghai.


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