Xining is located on the fringe of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, Xining is the most obvious starting point for travelers exploring western China, with hopes of heading into Tibet. The city itself is interesting in that it is fairly heavily populated by a variety of different ethnic groups, although there are not great deals of cultural sights that are worth seeing. In this category, of interest is really only the imposing Great Mosque, one of the most important Buddhist venues in Qinghai. It is the many markets and people that make the town lively, and the Water Well Alley Market Stalls are the place to come to really experience this.
Out of town are the majority of sights. Closest to the center is the North Mountain Temple that is situated just over the Huangshui River. This is one of Qinghai’s only Taoist temples and the Ningshou Pagoda that crowns the mountain’s summit commands excellent views of the entire city. The highlight of the whole area is the active Kumbum Monastery that is a short 26km south of Xining. The monastery was built in commemoration of Tsong Khappa, the founder of the Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, who was born in this area.
To the east of Xining lies the ancient Qutan Temple, which has fallen from glory since its peak in the Ming Dynasty. The temple, although not as interesting as the Kumbum, has some elegant Buddhist murals and a little visited feel. The furthest of the sights, the Mengda Nature Reserve, is an area that is, for the moment, of great beauty. Surrounded by luscious greenery there are good possibilities for hiking, boating and horse riding.
If you choose overland tour from Xining to Lhasa you can use Xining - Korkolor lake - Gonghe - Xinhai - Marchen - Mardo - Yushu - Nangqian - Riwuqi - Dingchen - Nakchu - Dangxiong - Namtso Lake – Lhasa which is gives excellent and memorable experience for life time.
Day 01: Flight to Lhasa and transfer you to your hotel in Lhasa
Day 02 Lhasa sightseeing
In the morning, visit the grand -- looking Potala Palace, which was built in the 7th century for the King. In the afternoon, visit Jokhang temple and stroll in the famous local bazaar - Parkhor street.
Day 03 Lhasa sightseeing
Visit Tsepung monastery which is the biggest monastery in Tibet. Then visit Sera monastery and Norbulingka which can give you deep impression of Tibet arts and civilization.
Day 04 Lhasa flight to Xining
Fly to Xining from other city, met and transferred to hotel.
Day 05 Xining sightseeing
Drive 25km to Ta'er monastery (located in Huangzhong county), it is the biggest monastery in Qinghai(of Gelupa order) which was the birth place of Chongkhaba (founder of Gelupa). In Xining city, visit the Dongguan Muslim temple (one of the 4 most famous Muslim temple in China).
Day 06 Xining to Korkolor lake
Drive to the far west end of the lake by the northern side of the lake via Haiyan county and Gangcha county. Korkolor lake (Qinghai lake) is the biggest salty and holy lake in China west. It has a water over 4400 square kilometers. Enjoy the day there on taking boat for sightseeing.
Day 07 Korkolor lake to Gonghe county
Leaving Lake for Gonghe by the road on the southern side of the lake passing by Heimahe and Daotanghe. Visit Chapucha mosque at Gonghe.
Day 08 Gonghe to Mardo
Enjoying and taking photos along the way. The Yellow River flows by Mardo town, the first bridge over Yellow river is at here.
Day 09 Mardo to Yushu (Jyekundo)
Passing the Bayankhara mountains, at the pass, overlooking the vast valley below. Before arriving Yushu, visit the Xiewu monastery and its local houses; visit Daka monastery (of Kagyulpa) and Gyanha Mani gallet at Xinzhai village.
Day 10 Yushu sightseeing
Visit Batang monastery (of Kagyulpa) at Batang village and the wide grassland. Every year the grand Yushu Kham horse racing festival will be held here. And visit the tem[ple for princess Wencheng and Gyiegu monastery (of Sakyapa).
Day 11 Yushu to Langqian county
There are a lot of forests in Langqian county, many Kagyulpa monasteries scattered in the forests. In history, Yushu area was the resurging place for Buddhism after the time of Tibetan king -- Dhamo. At Nangqian, visit Longxhi monastery.
Day 12 Langqian to Riwuqi
Riwuqi and Dingchen counties are very important to Tibetan Buddhism, esp. for the Bon religion after its defeat in the Mid of 9th century (when it was defeated by Buddhism and lost its control over the royal family and Tibet). At Riwuqi, pay a visit to Chagyiema hall and Riwuqi monastery at old town of Riwuqi. The view in the new town (which is built by river in a valley) is charmful.
Day 13 Riwuqi to Bachen
At Shagong village, there is a famous Zizhu monastery (of Bon religion) which is biggest Bon religion monastery in Kham area. Dingchen in history was an important refugee for Bon religion after its defeat in 9th century.
Day 14 Bachen to Nakchu
Nakchu is the most important and biggest town in the Northern grassland of Tibet highland. Four road meet here (taking Naqu as the center, to south is Lhasa, to the north is to Golmud, to the west is to Gar and to the east is to Chamdo). From 1st to 10th day of every August, there is a grandest horse racing festival at Nakchu. Visit Xiaoden monastery at Nakchu (of Bon religion).
Day 15 Nakchu to Namtso lake
Namtso is the biggest lake in Tibet, and the second holiest lake in the pilgrims' hearts, its elevation is 4718m, beside it is grand Nyianchen Tanghula mountain, its peak (of 7162m) can be clearly viewed from the lakeside. Around the lake is huge and vast prairie. It is a worth place to visit.
Day 16 Namtso lake to Lhasa
Passing Yangbajing geothermos fields and the Duilong river to Lhasa. On the way (60km before Lhasa), go and visit the Tsupu monastery (of Kagyulpa). Tsupu monastery is the home monastery of Kagyulpa order.
Day 17 Lhasa to your destination by air
Take morning flight to your next stop.
Mt. Kailash, also known as Tise, Kailasa or Kang Rinpoche (Jewel of the Snows)is the center of the physical and metaphysical universe and sacred to the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Jains, and the Bonpos.