Haiyan county is also known as “Dabchi County “. It is prefectureseat of Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
It is located in northeastern of Qinghai Province. Most areas are over 3000 meters above sea level. It is birthplace of Huang Shui River which is an important tributary of Yellow River. It is connected to Qilian County and Menyuan County in north, Datong County and Huangzhong District in east, Huangyuan County and Gonghe County in south, and Gangcha County in west .
National Road 315 runs through whole area and it is main component of southern route of “Silk Road” in Qinghai. There are a large number of pastures, with rich resources in animal, plant and mineral. Spring is dry and windy, summer is cool, autumn is short, and winter is long and cold.
Best travel time
From June to October
Plateau continental climate
Most popular sites
In this county, there are numberous sites that are worthy a visit, such as Qinghai (Kokonor) Lake, Sand Islands that integrate sandy land, lakes, and wetlands, China’s first atomic and hydrogen bomb development base – Atomic City, hot-springs commonly known as “the first sacred spring of West Sea”, historical sites of ancient city of Xihai County, long-standing Tibetan Buddhist monasteries
Qinghai Lake is a national key scenic spot and nature reserve. It is located in southwest of Haiyan County and covers an area of 4456 square kilometers. It is the largest inland saltwater lake in China. Every spring and summer, snow and ice of Qinghai Lake melt. There are more than 100,000 brown-headed gulls, fish gulls, bar-headed geese, cormorants, black-necked cranes and other more than 10 species of birds that migrated from south. They inhabit Bird Island, Sand Island, Haixin Mountain, etc., which can be called kingdom of birds. Sand island on north shore of lake (in Haiyan County) is the largest island in Qinghai Lake, and also the best natural scenery tourist area in Qinghai Lake.
Xihai County, commonly known as “Triangle City”, is located on Gold & Silver grassland along Huangshui River. It is the earliest and largest county-organized ancient city in Qinghai, and it is a national cultural relics protection unit. There are many cultural relics unearthed in ancient city, mainly including tiger rune stone chamber, money fan, ancient currency…etc, Among of which, Tiger Rune Stone Chamber is one of the earliest stone carvings with inscriptions discovered so far in Qinghai Province.
Atomic City (nuclear weapon development base) There is a 16.15 meter high decommissioned monument, a landfill pit known as the “First Pit in Asia”, Atomic City Pavilion, and Blasting proving ground.
White Buddha Monastery is a Gelug monastery, also known as “Lamo Gartok Kuntu Deweiling”. Its general shape is like a lotus. The mountain on back of monastery is like an elephant carrying treasure. In front is Animelong Tongbaoshan Mountain God, which is regarded as patron saint of Qinghai Lake. It faces Qinghai Lake from east and west, and located at foot of Tongbao Mountain on northern shore of Qinghai Lake, it was founded in 1593, and it is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Qinghai Lake area.
Ancient city of Gahai (Lake Tsochung Norbu) is one of five ancient cities around Qinghai Lake. It was built at same time when triangular city of Haiyan County was constructed. According to legend that as long as there is a good year, three golden pigeons will appear on top of mountain in east of ancient city. After circling a few times in light of sun, it mysteriously disappeared,
Geography and Climate
Haiyan County is 86 kilometers wide from east to west and 102 kilometers long from north to south with total area of 4443 square kilometers. The highest elevation of Haiyan County is 4583 meters, the lowest is Shuixia River Valley, which is only 2726 meters above sea level, and county seat is 3010 meters above sea level. Most of other areas are over 3000 meters above sea level, which is a high mountain landform.
Haiyan County belongs to plateau sub-arid climate, with arid and windy spring, cool summer, short autumn and long winter. The annual average temperature in Haiyan County is about 1.5℃, the annual sunshine hours are about 2,980 hours, the annual precipitation is about 400mm, and the annual evaporation is about 1581.75mm. There is no absolute frost-free period.
Population and ethnic groups
As of 2016, Haiyan County has a total population of 36,000. It is a multi-ethnic settlement dominated by Tibetans, inhabited by 9 ethnic groups including Han, Tibetan, Mongolian, Hui, Tu, Zhuang, Manchu, Salar, and Dongxiang.
In ancient times, it was a land of Xiqiang.
In 4th year of Emperor Ping（9 BC-6 AD） of Han Dynasty, it was under juristiction of Xihai county
During Wei and Jin Dynasties, Haiyan County was pastoral land of Qiang people and Yifu people of Xianbei.
During Sui and Tang Dynasties, it was under jurisdiction of Tuyuhun regime.
In 3rd year of Longshuo of Tang Dynasty (AD 663), it was occupied by Tubo kingdom
In Song Dynasty, it was a territories of Hehuang region of Tubo kingdom
In Yuan Dynasty, it was a Tibetan herd,
In 7th year of Emperor Zhengde of Ming Dynasty (AD 1512), Haiyan was under juristiction of Mongolian.
In 19th year of Republic of China (1930), Haiyan was under juristiction of Dulan County.
In 1943, Haiyan county was established