Friday, October 03, 2008

A Stroll Along Qinghai Lake

(Picture source:
Known for its size, beauty and fauna, Qinghai Lake is one of China's most famous tourist destinations. The lake not only attracted scientists and adventurers from across the globe but also people who find comfort in immersing themselves in nature’s beauty. The lake is an attraction to people of all races and classes. 

We arrived at the capital city Xining, in the morning of October 1, 2008 amidst the husle and busle of the city. People from every corner of the country flock to the city to find out what the city has to offer. We were herded to a restaurant to have our fill of the typical Chinese breakfast; mantou, rice soups, eggs and pickled vegetables. Soon after, we headed towards the Lake which was about 2 hours away from the city. 

I found myself strolling along the beautiful and majestic Qinghai Lake on the National Day Holiday 2008 along with a few of my colleagues. The lake was beautiful except for the usual touristic set up which sometimes spoiled the natural beauty. I felt rather disappointed that the entrance to the lake was too organized that it spoils the essence of beauty for a person who finds attraction in its original nature. I was also let down by the fact that all these tourists spots are always a haven for business enthusiasts that it almost provoked displeasure in seeing the activities along the side of the lake. 

On the brighter note, it was such a refreshing feeling to feel the cool breeze on the skin; seeing people having fun along the lake; looking at the lambs grazing along the lake; the blooming yellow flowers along the road; bargaining with the Zang minority in their traditional attire and to walk in the company of fun loving people.  

The few experiences that I had in the past traveling in these touristic places gave me the impression that the funness depends a lot on the company of friends. The trip was the first of its kind since we started the new semester. People were not yet familiar with each other and therefore found myself a bit lost.  I was able to find my share of fun on my own most of the time. 

I was able to take a few not so worthy shots in spite of the fact that my photographic mood was lost!

The train station at Xining. People from all walks of life flocked to this city for various reasons. 

Military personals getting ready to move. This is probably a regular drill around this area considering the issues of secession in the region. 
1. Tibetan yak butter tea. 2. Meat on a skewer, one of the favorite snacks in China. 3. The Zangs (Tibetan) set up their business tables at the side of the lake. 4.  The lady in the picture came with her lamb to start her business by taking money from people who are excited to see a lamb and a lady with her traditional ethnic dress.  
1. A tibetan lady with a prayer wheel. 2. We were warmly welcomed at a tibetan restaurant,  with their white cloth hung around our neck and a peg of their traditional wine! 3. The tibetan girls perform for us while we were eating our dinner. 4. One of our colleague's husband wearing the tibetan traditional costume for males. 
After dinner we were entertained by the tibetans with dances and shows.  A bonfire was set up for the customers at the end of the show and people danced around the fire enjoying the music and the flavor of their lifestyle. 


  1. I almost felt I am there visting myself. Such beautiful is the narration. Didnt you do boating in the lake? I like the breakfast they have there. Sounds yummy and by the way what is yak butter tea made of???

  2. yak butter tea - they combine the butter with sugar and the powder, sadly i dont know what powder it is. They mixed this with hot water and the butter melts, and when you drink it, its thick and fatty with the smell of yak butter...i dont know how to describe the have to taste it yourself. If you go to Arunachal Pradesh, the monpas also have something very similar