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Tour de Qinghai Lake

 2014-07-10    Sum    Tours    Qinghai    2071  

Each year there will be a lake-round cycling tournament in Qinghai Lake, Qinghai Province. The event is gaining more and more spotlight each year. Thus the idea of cycling around the lake also becomes popular among cycling lovers. Lots of cycling lovers are drawn here to have the experience by themselves.


Qinghai Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes and also the largest lake in China. In local language, they call the lake “Kokonor”, which means the blue sea. It is so large that it does look like an ocean if you stand by it. July and August are considered the best timing to visit Qinghai Lake because of the grasslands and rape flower fields will be the most prosperous in these two months.

You can carry your own bike to Qinghai Lake. But a more convenient way is to rent a bike at Xihai County. There are many bike rental shops with various types of bicycles available. For bicycle enthusiasts, some of the shops have high-end mountain and racing bikes to suit your need. Generally, helmet, eye-glasses, gloves, raincoat, tool kit, and a small backpack come with the bicycle you rent. The rent ranges from 50 Yuan to 100 Yuan per day, depending on how good the bike is. Mountain bike is recommended over racing bike. Although racing bike is faster, mountain bike is less likely to have a flat tire.


Qinghai Lake is deemed one of the holy lakes by Tibetans. They have the tradition to circle holy lakes or mountains as an act of pilgrimage. They do that in clock direction. So it is better for you to do the same when you ride along the lake. The route is 360 kilometers. This might give you a rough idea on how large the lake is.


The gears for your cycling tour are hat, sun glasses, two scarfs (one for you head, one for your face), first-add kit, sun cream, anti-altitude sickness medicine, two large bottles of water (there are water supplies on the route), compressed biscuits, chocolate, and some plastic bags (they have plenty of uses).

About clothes, you should be wearing long-sleeved clothes for sun protection. The day and night temperature at Qinghai differs greatly. The weather also changes a lot. So a water-proof wind coat is necessary.


Here I recommend a four-day cycling tour.
D1 Xihai County > Hudong meadow > 151 Base
The whole length is 78 km with several upward slopes, especially in the first 10 km. 151 Base is a relatively prosperous place. Accommodation is easily found.

D2 151 Base > Jiangxi valley > Heima river > Huanhuxi road 15 km mark
The whole length is 82 km. The route is mostly flat road with a few downward slopes. This is the easiest route. Many local herdsmen provide accommodation in their Mongolian Gers. The bird island is nearby.

D3 Huanhuxi road 15 km mark > Shinaihai > Buha river > Quanjixiang > Gangcha County
The length is 110 km containing both upward and downward slopes in similar distance. Gangcha County is relatively prosperous.

D4 Gangcha County > Haergai > Ganzi river > Dezhou > Xihai County
The whole distance is 90 km. Today you will face the longest upward slopes in distance. If you want to go back to Xining today, you had better get up early. The last bus leaving for Xining from Xihai County is at 17:10. 

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