Qinghai Lake---A Lake of fascination
Qinghai Lake, the largest salt water lake in China, lies in the Northeast of Qinghai Province. “Qinghai” means a blue sea in Mongolian. It is a fascinating inland alpine lake in Northwest China. Over the centuries, its splendid scenery and rich aquatic resources have attracted millions of tourists and numerous valiant pioneers who admire it for its vastness, splendor and mysteriousness, landing it as a sparkling diamond set in the Qinghai Plateau.
Qinghai Lake attracts people by its mysterious coloring. The colors that can be found around the lake are of purity and contrasts, from the deep yellows of oil seed rape against the cold blues of the lake to the dark greens of distant mountains against the fluffy white of bilious clouds. It is also a treasure house that scientists all over the world are interested in.
With an average depth of 20m, the lake water contains sodium, potassium, magnesium as well as scores of salts, which are important materials for chemical, electronic, optic and pharmaceutical industries. The lake also abounds in fish. Qinghai Lake is a special product here. Local people say in midsummer fish like to swim on the water surface, and passersby can catch fish from the lake quite easily.
Around the lake is the endless outstretching of grassland and rapes, wheat fields. In the distance, countless sheep, cattle and horses are grazing under the white cloud-dotted blue sky. Still farther away tower the snow-capped mountains. In June and July, vast rape flowers burst into bloom beside the Qinghai Lake, the bright yellow flowers wriggling under the blue sky and lake----what a beautiful scenery!
Islands of Qinghai Lake
There are three other islets in the lake. Actually, they are three huge rocks. Their distance from the shore has so far protected the islets from human intrusion and allowed them to remain bird paradise. The most charming islands in the lake are the Egg Island and the Haixipi Island, both lying in the northwest of the lake, not very far from the oasis of Buh River, the largest of its kind, whose water empties into the lake. Facing each other, the two islands are also called ''Bird Island'' because of the large number of birds residing on them.
The Bird Island, also known as the Lesser West Hill, rises barely 7.6 meters above the water level. Small as it is, it is home to the greatest number of birds, over a hundred thousand of them, including the bar-headed goose, great black-headed gull and redneck gull. Every spring, huge flocks of these birds come to the traditional home of theirs to build nests and raise their chicks. The whole islet is densely populated with birds and many bird eggs have given rise to its name.
The Haixipi Islet, high in the east and low in the west, is four times the size of the Egg Island, roughly 4.6 square kilometers. On its eastern side edge, a huge rock stands over the water like a great bell, its back thickly covered with cormorant nests. It looks just like a cormorant fortress in the Qinghai Lake.
Traveling Tips
The best visiting time of Qinghai Lake is in summer, from May to July. In May, there are large flock of birds,while in July, large amounts of rape flower will show their beauty. The sunlight in Qinghai is quite strong, prepare some sunblock cream and clothes. 
Admission fee: RMB 50/person
Opening hours: 09:30~17:30
You can take a coach at Xining coach station to Black Horse Lake (50km away from Bird Island, about RMB 20), then transfer to a minibus to the Bird Island (about RMB 50).
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