Golmud is located in the south central Qaidam Basin, which is known as a Treasure Basin. The east of Golmud is Qinghai Lake and the city of Xining and the north of Golmud is Dunhuang city. To the south, after crossing the Tanggula Mountain, is Tibet . Golmud is a boom industrial city in the west part of Qinghai province. It is 710 kilometers from Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province, about 11 hours’ bus ride. Golmud covers an area of 126,220.5 square kilometers, which is equivalent to that of Fujian Province. The total population of Golmud is 270,000 and the Han population accounts for 90.2 percent. The area code is 0979 and the zip code is 816000.
It is also an ideal place for enjoying the landscape and wild animals of the Tibetan Plateau and climbing mountains. In Golmud, there are Qarhan Salt Lake (the largest salt lake in China), the Kunlun Mountains (known as the Dragon Mountain of China), and the Kekexili National Nature Reserve (known as the Third Polar of the World). Golmud is the last biggest city for travelers before entering into Tibet. So many tourists will choose Golmud as the place for rests, purchasing stuffs and adjusting them. In addition, the Sanjiangyuan Natural Reserve (the Origins of the Three Rivers Natural Reserve; the three rivers refer to the Yangtze River, the Yellow River and the Lanang River) in the Yushu prefecture is also a good place that one should not miss.
Food and Restaurants
The Golmud Restaurant mainly serves the hot pot, Muslim Dishes and Sichuan Cuisine. There are many restaurants on the Yuhong Street which is next to the Golmud Hotel. In addition, a big market stands north of the Golmud Hotel. There are many outdoor snack bars in the market. At nights, tourists can find many barbecue bars at the opposite of the Kunlun Cultural Square. The roast mutton and Ganban (a kind of dish without cooking) are quite popular there.
The most famous hot pot restaurant in Golmud is the branch restaurant of the Chongqing Liuyishou restaurant. It is located on the Chaidamu road. Every taxi driver knows the address. Among the Muslim dishes here, Muslim Yangzhuang Restaurant is the representative. The Dongxiang Mutton Restaurant is located on the Jinfeng Road. The sheep neck served there only costs 68 Yuan. It is delicious and the price is suitable.
The Kunlun Middle Road is in front of the Golmud Restaurant. Walk south for a few minutes, tourists will find a restaurant named Chongqing Yujiang. The dishes served there are large and delicious. In addition, the price is suitable and it will cost about 40-50 Yuan for 3 people. The Suancai Fish (Boiled Fish with Pickled Cabbage and Chili) is worth a try.
Golmud has a plateau continental climate, with cool summer. The difference in temperature between day and night is big. The annual average temperature is 4.3 Degree Celsius. The highest temperature recorded in history is 35 Degree Celsius and the lowest temperature is minus 33.6 Degree Celsius. The average annual rainfall is only 41.5 mm. The annual average sunshine is 3,358 hours. In general, Golmud has adequate solar and heat resources.
The best time to visit Golmud is from July to September. Summer is the peak travel season because train travelers to Tibet always choose to stop at Golumd for a few days to allow themselves to adjust to the high altitude before they eventually enter Tibet, and the best time to visit Tibet is summer, from May to October, to be specific. Weather is dry and cold for the rest of the year.