Day Trips from Xining

Xining offers many amazing scenic and cultural activities all within a day's drive. Don't be one of the many travelors that pass through Xining without taking a few days to see this wonderful area.

Kumbum Monastery (Ta'er Temple)

Located 26 km outside Xining. Kumbum is one of the six great monasteries in the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat sect). Kumbum is famous for being the birthplace of Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Yellow Hat Sect. Every year the monks make a very large butter sculpture that can be viewed for one year until it is destroyed and a new one is made.

Qinghai Lake

Located 150 km and an elevation of 3,600 m. Qinghai Lake is China's largest salt water lake. Qinghai Lake has long been a holy lake for Tibetans who call it Kokonor. If you are a bird watcher, you'll love the Bird Island (a breeding ground for birds such as black necked cranes, sandpipers, black necked cranes, wild geese, and many others). Link your trip to the lake with Kumbum or Guide making a day full of breathtaking and varied scenery.

Guide (Pronounced gwe duh)

Guide is the lowest point in Qinghai situated in the Yellow River Valley. Make sure to see the small but always bustling Jokhang temple, and take time to walk around this nice little town that is a well known summer escape for locals.


Yoningsi is a little known gem about an hour and a half from Xining in the Huzhu Tu Autonomous County. This monastery dates back to the 17th century and was founded by the 4th Dalai Lama. This monastery has many chapels perched up up on cliff faces. Huzhu county is the home of the colorful Tu people. The Tu come from Mongolian descent and have unique cultural characteristics. You can stop at one of the many Tu cultural tour villages and watch a Tu wedding and particapte in a Tu dinner.

Huzhu Beishan

Huzhu Beishan is a beautiful forested national park. Here you can find hiking and beautiful mountains. The drive from Xining to the park takes you through beautiful farmlands and over a high mountain pass with amazing views.

Datong Forest and Cha Han Hotsprings

Datong is a forested area about an hour away from Xining. It is located in a beautiful valley that is very green in the summer. This is a great place for a picnic and a hike in the woods. From here you can also drive to the the trail head of Cha Han hotsprings for a great day hike along a river basin. Cha Han hotsprings is a great destination in itself as well.

Xitong Si

Located just about an hour and twenty minutes from Xining is a beautiful small monastery that has been renovated in the last year. It is a unique structure built up in the bowl of a cliff. This is a great trip if you have little time and want to see local farming culture and get out of the city.

Kanbula National Geopark

Kanbula faces the Yellow River, and offers a very interesting trip with many different mountain and rock formations. It is an important place for studying the geo history of Qinghai. You will take a car to Kanbula and from there get in a car sanctioned by the park with a guide. They will drive you around the park, and you finish with a boat trip on the Yellow River.

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