Top China Destination: Qinghai Lake (Part 1)

Qinghai Lake in background... road climbs to 4,600m!

My trip to Qinghai Lake to cover the Qinghai Lakes UCI 2.HC Tour back in July left me in awe of the stunning scenery there. I can’t wait to get back to the region to explore further. Qinghai is still “off-the-beaten” track here in China and the local people are very friendly, as evidenced by their turn-out numbering in the millions to watch world class cyclists compete. You can check cyclingnewsasia for the complete race coverage (or google Qinghai Lakes Tour and our articles should turn up on the first page!). I’m sharing some more photography from my own excursions after each stage was completed, it was like I was in a cyclists’ paradise.

Smooth road in middle of nowhere at 4,500m!

During my coverage of the Qinghai Lake Tour for cyclingnewsasia I had also posted a series of photographs of the racing and scenery which you can check in the featured category on the right.  On one of the rides I did after the Qinghai Lake stage was to accompany Mike Carter, who is a cycling legend having completed all Grand Tours! He is one phenomenal climber, he just big ringed the climb the whole way, dancing rhythmically without faltering.  He is the current world champion in the 45-50 age-group and currently directs/coaches Team Type I. If  you are looking to improve your cycling with a cutting edge training program, then consider hiring Mike Carter. His prices for training plans are very reasonable and can be checked on his website: Espcycling

Enjoying the scenery with Mike Carter

Plenty of Yak herds and wide open landscapes

Two fascinated Monks checking out my Champion System bike

While on a mountain top snapping photos, I discovered a couple of Monks were about to steal my road bike! Well, not really but they were very fascinated with how little it weighed.

This Monk looks surprised he can lift my bike with one hand...

More brilliant scenery...

It was tempting to keep riding along this road (in photograph above) but I knew I needed to stop at some point and turn back before dark. This road was endless and this part looks like it was going down a big valley and would be quite a long climb back considering when I still had plenty more climbs to get back to Qinghai Lake for dinner!  I will be writing a short series on Qinghai Province and will showcase some more photographs and some tips for traveling in this wonderful region.

  • Looks like an amazing place bro! I wish the roads in NZ are that smooth and free of vehicles! Nice work.

  • Great article on Qinghai Lake. I look forward to reading other stories you have from Qinghai.

  • I completely agree! I spent some time in Qinghai in the summer of 2009 and I was blown away by the place. I just went to Xining and Tongren before crossing into Xiahe in Gangsu province, but it was such an incredible place. I’ve yet to go to Tibet (not sure I have the patience for the BS and/or the money for a tour) but it is exactly how I imagine it, rugged landscape, gentle people. Nice to see I’m not the only one who thinks so.