People of the bustling cities may find peace, fresh air and idyllic surroundings on the Qinghai-Tibet highland. The fluffy white clouds, purely blue sky, vista of vast grassland on which flocks of sheep and herds of yaks are grazing, creates a sanctuary free from the turmoil of modern cities. On this mystical, unspoiled land, travelers will find Xining-capital of Qinghai Province.
Situated at the northeast of Qinghai province, Xining lies at the junction of the Lanzhou-Qinghai and the Qinghai-Tibet railway with good transportation. Bordering the harsh Tibet highland, Xining is 2,260 meters above sea level but climate there is much better than that of Tibet. Enjoying a good location surrounded by high mountains, the city has a relatively comfortable climate with neither bone-chilling winter nor sweltering summer and the annually temperature there is about 6 centigrade. Summer in Xining is an ideal season for tourists who can enjoy fresh and crisp weather.
Xining was once an important stop on the century-old Silk Road. The boom of the Silk Road in the Han Dynasty is a major factor for the city's rise. But the city's historical role gradually declined as the trade route fell into disuse. Xining's importance in the old trade route means that it has a lot of historical sites. In and around Xining, visitors can find the Ta'er Monastery (Kumbum), one of the two most important Tibetan monasteries outside Tibet, Dongguan Great Mosque. Xining also provide access to some natural attractions with superlative beauty including the Qinghai Lake, the largest inland salt-water lake in China, the Bird Island on the west shore of the Qinghai Lake.
The recently finished Qinghai-Tibet railway marks a new era for Xining's significant role in tourism. As an important stop along the Qinghai-Tibet track, Xining will be a vital stop for travelers to Tibet. The first luxurious five star sight-seeing trains will start there bound for Tibet highland. Xining's similarity with Tibet in weather allows Xining an "adapted stop" for visitor who will then gradually adapt themselves to the harsh weather condition in Tibet.