Qarhan Salt Lake, located in the southern part of Qaidam Basin is another salt lake in Qinghai which shares a same reputation with Chaka Salt Lake. The lake is about 750km away from Xining city and nearly 60km away from Golmud city. It covers an area of 5,856 square kilometers and is the largest salt lake in China, as well as one of the most famous inland salt lakes in the world.
Millions of years ago, Qaidam Basin was a vast area of ocean. Crust movement for countless years formed Qaidam Basin, along with lakes of different size and shape in it. Qarhan Salt Lake is the largest one among all. It is famous for the “flowers made of salt.” The hot and dry climate produces a high level of salt concentration causing a mass of salt crystals to form beautifully carved transparent salt clusters to glitter like jade. Appearing in an infinite variety of figures like flowers, corals, pagodas, pearls, pavilions, animals or ivories with different positions, these crystal-clear salt clusters decorate the lake like a fairyland attracting many local and foreign visitors every year.
Another attraction is “Thousand-Zhang Salt Bridge.” It is part of the road travel from Golmud to Dunhuang crossing the lake, and it is actually made of salt. The bridge is 32 kilometers long and 15-18 meters thick, fully capable to hold cars on it. It is flat and straight, cutting the lake into two parts. Anyone who visit there would be astonished by the beauty of nature.