Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province, is an ancient highland city with a history of 2,100 years. In ancient China, Xining was a thoroughfare on the Silk Road and an important town linking the Central China Plain with the western border areas. Xining City covers an area of 7,472 sq km and has a population of 1.9 million, including Han, Mongolian, Hui, Tibetan and Tu ethnic groups.
With an average elevation of 2,295 m, Xining is walled by undulating mountains. The climate is comfortable, neither cold in winter nor hot in summer. The average temperature of the year is about 6.1 °C. With cool wind in summer, Xining is an ideal natural summer resort.
Xining also has many places of historical and cultural interest. Located in the southwest part of Xining City, the Kumbum Monastery or Ta’er Monastery is one of six famous monasteries in the Gelug (also called Yellow Hat Sect) of Tibetan Buddhism. Having a history of over 600 years, the Dongguan Mosque, located in the Xining City Zone, is one of the most famous mosques in the northwest region of China. It has splendid and diversiform towers, walls and halls in the mosque. Another unique religious structure is the Beishan Si (North Mountain Temple), a Taoist facility.
The Xining region is also replete with natural scenic attractions. One is the Sun and Moon Mountain which divides Qinghai Province into two parts – the stock-raising area and the farming area. Another not-to-be-missed destination is the Qinghai Lake and Bird Island. This alluring body of water is home to hundreds of thousands of birds. About 35 kilometers west of Xining City in Datong County, you can experience the magical power of Laoye Mountain. Every year on the 6th day of the 6th lunar month, the traditional singing festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors.