Category Archives: Qinghai

Panorama Views on Qinghai’s Highway S101


China is full of epic drives. With over 60,000 miles of highway and more than 7,000 miles of highway built in 2012 alone, the country is more accessible by car than ever. Of course, in the short-term the environmental impact of this astronomical increase in roads and cars will undoubtedly be devastating. Nonetheless, perhaps in Continue Reading »

A Mountain of Prayer Flags in Maqin

Maqin is the capital city of Golog Prefecture. As of late 2013, about a quarter of the place seems to be under some sort of construction. Thus, looking across Maqin’s horizon, the skyline is hardly picturesque. The new buildings are mostly made from cement blocks and many of Maqin’s poorer residents live in make-shift houses. Continue Reading »

The Young Monks of Lajia Monastery

The town of Lajia is tucked into a bend in the Yellow River about 350km south of Xining. The landscape around the town is a staggering expanse of grass covered red mountains. In contrast to the beauty of its natural surroundings, the town itself is mostly utilitarian cement and corrugated metal houses mixed with small Continue Reading »

A Half Kora Around the Holy Mountain Amnye Machen

Amnye Machen means ‘grandfather scar,‘ which refers to the scar on forehead of the God Amnye Machen. The story goes that Nyenbo Yurtse, another mountain God, stole Amnye Machen’s daughter. Then during Amnye Machen’s fight to retrieve his daughter, Nyenbo Yurtse cut Amnye Machen in the center of his forehead. Today, Amnye Machen and Nyenbo Yurtse Continue Reading »

Beyond the Thangkas of Rebkong

On the outside, Rebkong, or Tóngrén(同仁)in Chinese, is just another dusty mid-sized city in Qinghai. It has a couple monasteries, the standard Tibetan majority and smattering of Huizu who run restaurants and buy 虫草 (the super expensive worms with fungus exploding out of their heads that people eat) to sell to Chinese people. But even Continue Reading »

Two Nights of Tranquility in Kanbula Forest Park

Our two nights in Kanbula Forest Park (坎布拉国家森林公园) ended up being one of our fondest memories in Qinghai. Arriving in the early evening from Xining with no place to stay, we ran into a friendly Tibetan man and spent the night in his village with him and his wife. That evening we explored the surrounding Continue Reading »

The Multicolored Striae of Gui De Danxia Landform

The Gui De landform(贵德丹霞地貌,Guìdé dānxiá dìmào)is a 400 sq. Km. area filled with oddly shaped multicolored mountains. Thousands of years of erosion from water and wind have carved the red rocks into a labyrinth of pillars, cliffs, and crevasses. The rocks are scared with a unique striating, where each layer contains different sediment giving the Continue Reading »