Golmud, the unbeloved


With more than 200 000 people Golmud is the second biggest city in Qinghai province. The city is worth visiting only if you are en route to Tibet. Golmud is in the middle of dry desert without anything, built up just to mine natural sources as salt, magnesium etc. The population is more than 90% Han Chinese who moved here to work.

The government tries to complicate trips for foreigners; there are just a few (of course most expensive) hotels where foreigners can stay. It isn’t worth staying here longer than to manage permission and leave.

— end of quote

Well, this was not my experience. Golmud may be a city in the middle of nowhere, but is a city relatively clean (of course, once we reset our internal chip and set it to “China mode”). It has no monuments to visit but people are kind, they have parks and gardens, and flowers.

They have of course a food market, doors covered with curtains, Golmud is extremely cold in winter, but, when you enter, people’s smiles greet you warmly


If you are a traveler who needs action (such as Museums, or Mosques, or National Parks) to visit, Golmud will not be your piece of cake.

But, if you are a weary traveler, a two or three day  recess will be welcome, just to stroll through parks, or to honour the statue of the Giant Snail at the main square, I took no front photos, it was so ugly and absurd that I only took a picture laterally, You can see the Big Snail behind the flower wall in the first photo of this post. Near the

Said this, you will find nice hotels (Golmud Hotel, at 300 RMB per night is an excellent choice. Of course, it is twice more expensive than the “standard” hotels (not hostels) in China, but at least the room has Wifi, an (empty and unplugged) minibar that you can plug only if you dare to crawl under the desk. and fill, and a funny “fish tank shower” with room views ;).

Said this, we had no troubles with the police

Next stage, a hidden pearl, Dulan