Mag­nif­i­cent Qing­hai in Au­tumn

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - This Is China - By Liu Xin­wei

It has be­come a lit­tle cold and the tem­per­a­ture dif­fer­ence is big in Qing­hai in early Septem­ber. Since time is lim­ited, I was un­able to travel across Qing­hai, but the beau­ti­ful scenes of the plateau left a great im­pres­sion on me nonethe­less. I ac­quired more knowl­edge of lo­cal habits and prac­tices through my con­tact with lo­cals. In a nut­shell, it was a great travel ex­pe­ri­ence.

Qing­hai is lo­cated in the mid­dle and south­ern part of China’s North­west. As part of the Qing­hai-ti­bet Plateau, it has an av­er­age el­e­va­tion of over 3,000 me­ters. Qing­hai was named af­ter China’s largest salt lake which was lo­cated within the prov­ince, Qing­hai Prov­ince also con­tains the head­wa­ters of the Yangtzeriver, the Yel­low R iver and the Mekong River. Moun­tain ranges in­clude Ku­lun Moun­tain, Qil­ian Moun­tain, Al­tun Moun­tain and Tang­gula Moun­tain.

Ad­ja­cent to Ti­bet, Xin­jiang, Gansu and Sichuan, Qing­hai Prov­ince is a melt­ing pot of dif­fer­ent eth­nics, in­clud­ing Ti­betans, Hui, Mon­gols and Han. Im­pacted by sur­round­ing cul­tures ( Han cul­ture, Xiyu cul­ture and In­dian cul­ture), Qing­hai has a di­ver­sif ied cul­ture and main­tains dis­tinct fea­tures.

Qing­hai’ s nat­u­ral and hu­man­is­tic scenes are en­tic­ing. It has unique nat­u­ral ad­van­tages.

Unique scenes

Qing­hai’s nat­u­ral scenes are en­tic­ing. It has unique nat­u­ral ad­van­tages: high alti­tude, small pop­u­la­tion and no heavy in­dus­try mean­ing. there is al­most no en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion. Its ge­o­log­i­cal fea­tures shaped its nat­u­ral scenes: the Danxia Geop­ark, for ex­am­ple, it has a blue sky, white clouds and clear wa­ter, which cre­ates a nat­u­ral won­der­land bird’s view of Qing­hai.

Take the night flight and fly over Xin­ing City, the cap­i­tal of Qing­hai Prov­ince. the view that comes into sight is as fol­lows: the col­or­ful lights shin­ning to the back­drop of dark­ness, the con­nec­tions and criss­cross­ing of streets, show­ing a rec­tan­gu­lar grid shape and ex­ud­ing an ex­otic feel­ing.

See the sun­rise. I once saw the sun­rise at the sea, but this time see­ing a sun­rise at sucha high alti­tude makes me feel like I am step­ping on the clouds. A proverb says that if you want to see far­ther, just climb higher. I think the say­ing is cor­rect.

Look far in the dis­tance. The rosy dawn had ap­peared be­fore the sun­rise above the sea level. The sky is shin­ning with mys­te­ri­ous light. Then the sun is ris­ing slowly, like a girl gently un­veil­ing her mask and show­ing her red face of shy­ness.

Ta’er Tem­ple—holy place of Ti­betan Bud­dhism

Ti­betans are ma­jor eth­nics of Qing­hai and Ti­betan Bud­dhism is the ma­jor lo­cal re­li­gion, while the ma­jor ve­hi­cle of Qing­hai Ti­betan Bud­dhism is Ta’er Tem­ple.

Ta’er Tem­ple is lo­cated in the val­ley of Lian­hua Moun­tain, south­west of Lusar vil­lage, Huangzhong County, Xin­ing City. The tem­ple is a group of ar­chi­tec­tures along the moun­tain ranges and in­cludes hall build­ings, scrip­ture build­ings, pago­das and rooms of monks. the ar­chi­tec­tures are mag­nif­i­cent and grandiose, mak­ing the tem­ple one of the six tem­ples of Gelug School of Ti­betan Bud­dhism. Ta’er Tem­ple is also the supreme school of Bud­dhism i n Qingha i Prov­ince.

fa­ci­nat­ing Qing­hai Lake

It will re­mind you of Qing­hai Lake when talk­ing about Qing­hai. Qing­hai Lake is the sym­bol of beau­ti­ful Qing­hai, and the only salt lake in China’s high-alti­tude area. The lake wa­ter has more salt in den­sity when com­pared to other salt lakes. Be­cause of the re­frac­tion of light, the lake wa­ter has a blue color that is darker than a fresh wa­ter lake. Qing­hai is named for its wa­ter color.

Qing­hai Lake wa­ter is clear and has dif­fer­ent lev­els. With the white cloud in the blue sky, the blue river in the lake and the moun­tains as the con­nec­tion, it is like a beau­ti­ful oil paint­ing.

The sur­round­ing area of Qing­hai Lake is a good farm­land and liv­ing place of eth­nic mi­nori­ties. It still has rich folk cul­ture.

It is worth men­tion­ing that in Qing­hai Lake there is a rare wild an­i­mal — Huang­fish. Huang­fish is one of China’s five rare fishes, and is dark but has a strong abil­ity to sur­vive. To sur­vive and pro­duce off­spring, Huang­fish will travel a long way to lay eggs in fresh wa­ter and then swim back to Qing­hai Lake with the risk of be­ing eaten by seag­ull or cap­tured by peo­ple. The sur­viv­ing Huang­fish would lose most of its en­ergy and the sur­vival will be ex­tremely dif­fi­cult. I was lucky to watch Huang­fish swim­ming against the cur­rents three times.

Beau­ti­ful place — Qarhan Lake

Qarhan Lake has an el­e­va­tion of 3,100m and takes a floor space of 105 sq. m. the lake has high salt con­tents and is co­ex­is­tence of solid and liq­uid, so the wa­ter has strong light re­flec­tion abil­ity. It is like a nat­u­ral mir­ror for the sky. From May through to Septem­ber, the sun­rise at Qarhan Lake is about 6:30 am and sun­down is at about 7:30 pm.

Qarhan Lake is lo­cated on the 36 de­gree north lat­i­tude and east of Qaidam Basin. The unique geo­graphic lo­ca­tion allows peo­ple to en­joy the mag­nif­i­cence of galaxy river and unique beauty of me­teor. the lake wa­ter’s re­flec­tion of light makes the lake have the same color with the night sky. It looks as if the stars are fall­ing to­wards the lake. So the Qarhan Lake in the night is called China’s “night mir­ror”.

Dur­ing the early de­vel­op­ment of Qarhan Lake, small trains walk on the rails to trans­port salt and work­ers in and out of the salt lake. Later the Qarhan Lake was used to trans­port salt on large boats, while to­day trains are more com­monly used for this pur­pose. But in to­day’s Qarhan Lake tourism, tak­ing small trains is an ex­pe­ri­ence that you can not miss. Take the train into the lake and you will en­joy the true beauty of the lake.

Qarhan salt sculp­ture is the large open-air salt sculp­ture cul­ture and is first of its kind in China. In 2009, do­mes­tic sand sculp­ture mas­ters were in­vited to make two salt sculp­tures, which achieved great suc­cess. Af­ter that sculp­ture mas­ters made more sculp­tures each year and the salt sculp­ture cul­tural fes­ti­val was held. In 2011, the Qarhan Lake salt sculp­ture was rated as the largest open- air salt sculp­ture groups in the world. Each year there would be new salt sculp­tures made, which forms huge salt sculp­ture groups. Qarhan Lake salt sculp­ture is the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of nat­u­ral and artis­tic beauty, to give peo­ple a vis­ual sense of power.

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