Kokonor lake or Tso Ngon Po

Kokonor in Mongolian and Tso Ngon Po in Tibetan literally means Blue lake, and it gives Tso Ngon(Qinghai) as the name of the province. It is the largest saline lake in China and the wide-open shores of this saline lake provided rich pastures for both Tibetan and Mongol nomads. The lake sits at 3190m high and it is only abut 100km from the Xining, which is the capital of Qinghai province. By increasing the migrants around the lake shore has obviously impact natural beauties and wildlife in the region, intensive grazing and a spread of cultivation near the lake shore resulted degradation of wild live and native nomadic life.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the lake is associated with a mythical story of Princess Wencheng in 7th century and it is one of the holy lake in Tibet, every year, numbers of Tibetan pilgrims make their pilgrimage around the lake to accumulate merit and purify bad deeds. It takes about 8 day on horse and 15 days by foot to complete a circumambulation around the lake.

The recently built Qinghai-Tibet railway goes north of the lake but the road continues for over 100km on the south side through fields of yellow blossoms of rape seed and wheat. The fields of yellow rape in the summer attract large numbers of bee-keepers from the eastern provinces of China, and groups of hives are scattered all over the plains. Moreover, there are about 164 species of birds are identified around the lake as migrant birds stop here during the long migration journey.

Birds Island

At the western side of the lake is populated with different species of birds which is known as Birds Island. It is also known as bird sanctuaries of the Qinghai Lake Natural Protection Zone since 1997. There you will find bar-headed geese, gulls, terns and even sometimes black-necked crane on the island, and many other migrant species of birds can be seen in different season as the lake act as intermediate stop during the migration across Asia.

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