Qinghai is a province of the People's Republic of China, named after Qinghai Lake. It borders Gansu on the northeast, the Xinjiang Autonomous Region on the northwest, Sichuan on the southeast, and Tibet Autonomous Region on the southwest.
The average elevation of Qinghai is over 3000 meters above sea level. Mountain ranges include the Tanggula Mountains and Kunlun Mountains. Its average temperature is approximately -5 to 8¡ãC, with January temperatures ranging from -18 to -7¡ãC and July temperatures ranging from 5 to 21¡ãC. It is also prone to heavy winds as well as sandstorms from February to April.
By area, Qinghai is the largest province in China - excluding the autonomous regions of Xinjiang, Tibet, and Inner Mongolia, which are technically not provinces.
Many tourist attractions center on Xining, the provincial seat of Qinghai.
During the hot summer months, many tourists from the hot Southern and Eastern parts of China travel to Xining, as the climate of Xining in July and August is quite mild and comfortable, making the city an ideal summer retreat.
Qinghai Lake is another tourist attraction, albeit further from Xining than Kumbum. The lake is the largest saltwater lake in China, and is also located on the "Roof of the World," the Tibetan Plateau. The lake itself lies at 3,600m elevation. The surrounding area is made up of rolling grasslands and populated by ethnic Tibetans. Most pre-arranged tours stop at Bird Island .An international bicycle race takes place annually from Xining to Qinghai Lake.