Xinjiang-Qinghai trip May 2017: Highlights. Part 2 (Level of difficulty: 4 in a scale of 5)

atacama desert width=

This is the second part of the itinerary. I was planning to visit the Altun mountains natural reserve, but I have checked with a Chinese company who organized trips there, but they told me that the high price of the permit made the tour impossible to maintain. By the way, and as usual, there is no way to know the price of something in China. It is not published, it depends on the moment, on the need to buy or sell… so, for the moment things are complicated enough, and we will not see the hemiones nor the savage yaks.

Supposing that we are able to cross the Altun mountains pass, and we arrive to the Qaidam basin,(which may happen or not, it seems that summer is more complicated due flows caused by snow melting), there is a decision to be taken… either going South through Teijinar and Golmud, and from there going by train to Delingha (or Ulan), or skip Golmud and Teijinar altogether, and from Da Qaidam Zhen find a bus to Delingha.

It is a decision that cannot be taken right now, but it is worthwhile to try to find a driver, to know possibilities and budget.

Assuming that we do not find a driver, our options depend on what we find as transportation to the Qaidam basin. Once there we depend on what we find there, either due East, and Da Qaidam Zhen, or South and Golmud.

So itinerary would be

Sunday 21, Charkilik to Mangnai (240 Km) by minibus (?)

Monday 22, Mangnai to Da Qaidam Zen (260 Km) by … bus? minibus?

Tuesday 23, Da Qaidam Zen to Golmud (233 Km) by bus (we are now on the Trans Desert Highway, from Urumqi to Golmud)

Wednesday 24 Golmud – Delingha (320 Km) by train


Thursday 23, Da Qaidam Zen to Delingha (250 Km.) by bus. If there are bus to do it, we would skip Golmud, but follow the Railway line, so, if we do not find transportation, probably we may buy train tickets to go to Xining (although in China one never knows…)

Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25. Rest in Delingha, preparing for the last stretch. Gentlemen, start your engines!

Friday 26: Delingha to Ulan (105 Km) by bus or train

Saturday 27: Ulan to Jianxigou (220 Km), by bus, on the shores of Qinghai lake. It seems that there are almost no cities in there, but there are villages (and probably some places to sleep=

Sunday 28: rest in Jianxigou. Visit to the lake.

Monday 29: Jianxigou-Xining (130 Km)

Tuesday May 30, End of the trip

If anyone needs to shorten the trip, or it is fed up of his/her travel companions, there is an exit way from Golmud, with a direct train to Xining

Altun Natural Reserve

Should you be interested in receiving the itinerary in Google Earth format, or any other information, please, use the contact form

[showmap address=”Da Qaidam” marker=”show” caption=”Da Qaidam” map=”HYBRID” zoom=”6″ scroll=”1″ street=”1″ zoomcontrol=”1″ pan=”1″ mapcontrol=”1″ overview=”1″]

One Response to Xinjiang-Qinghai trip May 2017: Highlights. Part 2 (Level of difficulty: 4 in a scale of 5)

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