Haiyan county is also known as “Dabchi County “. It is the seat of the Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
It is located in the northeastern part of Qinghai Province. Most areas are over 3000 meters above sea level. It is the birthplace of Huang Shui River which is an important tributary of the Yellow River. It is connected to Qilian County and Menyuan County in the north, Datong County and Huangzhong County in the east, Huangyuan County and Gonghe County in the south, and Gangcha County in the west .
The 315 National Road runs through the whole area and it is the main component of the southern route of the “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. 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 the West Sea”, historical sites of the ancient city of Xihai County, long-standing Tibetan Buddhist temples and so on.
Best travel time June, July, August, September
Local climate Plateau continental climate
Most popular sites
Qinghai Lake is a national key scenic spot and nature reserve. It is located in the 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, the 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 the south. They inhabit Bird Island, Sand Island, Haixin Mountain, etc., which can be called the kingdom of birds. The sand island on the north shore of the lake (in Haiyan) is the largest island in Qinghai Lake, and the sand island is the best natural scenery tourist area in Qinghai Lake.
Xihai County, commonly known as “Triangle City”, is located on the Gold & Silver grassland along the 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 the 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 temple, also known as “Lamo Gartok Kuntu Deweiling”. Its general shape is like a lotus. The mountain on the back of the temple is like an elephant carrying treasure. In front is Animelong Tongbaoshan Mountain God, which is regarded as the patron saint of Qinghai Lake. The monastery faces Qinghai Lake from east and west, and located at the foot of Tongbao Mountain on the northern shore of Qinghai Lake, it was founded in 1593, and it is the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in the Qinghai Lake area.
The ancient city of Gahai (Lake Tsochung Norbu) is one of the five ancient cities around Qinghai Lake. It was built at the same time when the triangular city of Haiyan County was constructed. According to the legend that as long as there is a good year, three golden pigeons will appear on the top of the mountain in the east of the ancient city. After circling a few times in the light of the 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. The county has a 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 the county seat is 3010 meters above sea level. Most of the other areas are over 3000 meters above sea level, which is a high mountain landform.
Haiyan County belongs to the 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 the territory of Xiqiang.
In the 4th year of Emperor Ping（9 BC-6 AD） of the Han Dynasty, It was under juristiction of Xihai county
During the Wei and Jin Dynasties, Haiyan County was the pastoral land of the Qiang people and the Yifu people of Xianbei.
During the Sui and Tang Dynasties, it was under the jurisdiction of Tuyuhun regime.
In the 3rd year of Longshuo of Tang Dynasty (AD 663), it was occupied by Tubo kingdom
In the Song Dynasty, it was a territories of Hehuang region of Tubo kingdom
In the Yuan Dynasty, it was a Tibetan herd,
In the 7th year of Emperor Zhengde of Ming Dynasty (AD 1512), Haiyan was under juristiction of Mongolian.
In the 19th year of the Republic of China (1930), Haiyan was under juristiction of Dulan County.
In 1943, Haiyan county was established