Fifth stop on the journey, Qinghai Lake. About a two-hour train ride from Zhangye, I arrived in a small city of Xining. Again, nothing special about the town, but at least it was much cooler than it had been in Xi’An.
On my one full day in the area, I took a four-hour bus ride from Xining to Qinghai Lake. Like my day at Zhangye Park, it started off rainy and overcast and thought it would be poor day at the lake. As we arrived at the drop off point, I was filled with dread as it looked like a massive tourist trap. The area was filled with little shops selling mostly shit. There was also a fee of about $50 USD to walk from the area about a quarter mile down to the lake. I said FUCK THAT and started walking back the way we came, remembering I saw a couple cars pull off onto dirt roads on the way there.
After walking about a mile in the rain, I was pretty sure the day wasn’t going to be that great. But just like that, the rain stopped and the clouds started to move into the hills to the west of the lake. I found a dirt road and started walking down. As I got closer to the lake, I could see about 20 other people on the shore of the lake. As I got to the lake, I saw a Yak standing at the water’s edge!
I walked about a quarter mile down the shore to where nobody had ventured. The sun started to shine and in the next 30 minutes, the day went from raining and overcast to sunny and blue skies! I found a nice little rocky sandbar and soaked up the sun for the next two hours. I didn’t bring my towel, knowing the weather forecast wasn’t great and I didn’t need it at the start, but I wish I had brought it so I could’ve gone for a proper swim.