Xining is located on the eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is the political, economic, cultural and traffic center of Qinghai Province with an average altitude of over 2,200 meters. With a population of more than two million, Xining is the first city on the upper reaches of the Yellow River to achieve a population into the millions.
The activities of human beings in this region can be traced back to 2100 years ago. During the Western and Eastern Han Dynasties (206B.C.-220A.D.), owing to its developing agriculture, Xining was paid more attention due to its economic and military significance. As well as being an important hinge between the central plains and the western part of China in ancient times, Xining was the passing channel of Silk Road. Until now, it is still the only road by which to enter the hinterland of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Xining is also called the Summer Resort Capital of China. Xining hosts a number of attractions. Qinghai Lake, the blue sea of miracles; Dongguan Mosque, an Islamic holy land; Kumbum Monastery, repository of tibetan Buddhist art and culture; and Jinyintan Grassland, a summer resort of peace and tranquility. For most visitors from both home and abroad, Xining provides a variety of delicious food and snacks as well.
There are about 37 nationalities living here, including Han, Hui, Tu and Tibetan. The local traditions and customs are influenced by these distinctive nationalities, in particular the Tibetan group.