Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is in Qinghai Province. It is located in the western portion of Qinghai Province, in the north of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the west of Qinghai Lake, thus getting the name "Haixi"(“xi” means west). The prefecture neighbors Gansu in the north and Xinjiang in the west. It is approximately 514 kilometers (319 miles) from the capital city of Qinghai, Xining.
Haixi is large. Covering an area of 325,800 square kilometers, it takes up nearly half of the Qinghai Province’s area. There are a lot of mountains, such as Kunlun Mountain, Altun Mountain, and Tanggula Mountains, the birthplace of Yangtze River and the gateway to Tibet. Surrounded by them, the Qaidam Basin is located at an elevation of 2,675 m (8,776 ft.), and is one of the largest basins in China.
Natural reserves are very abundant here. Qaidam Basin is flat with fertile earth and favorable light and heat, which is good for farming or agriculture. There are about 1.74 million hectare grassland with many wild animals and plants living here. It is estimated that there are in total 39 kinds of Rare Animals Protected by Laws, such as Wild yak, wild donkey, white-lipped deer, snow leopard, Tibetan antelope, black-necked cranes and so on. Moreover, this land is also rich in minerals, water and aquatic products.
Haixi is rich in both natural and cultural landscape. The most famous Kunlun Mountain has been called “the First Holy Mountain in China” or “the Father of Mountains.” It is a good place for hiking and adventure. On the vast grasslands, many Mongolian and Tibetan live here, and their unique customs attract many people to come here and experience such a different culture.