Qumarleb County, also known as “Chumarleb County” in Tibetan, is a county under jurisdiction of Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It is located in northern of Yushu Prefecture. It is the first pure animal husbandry county inhabited by Tibetans at source of Yellow River.
Qumarleb County is adjacent to Chindu County in southeast, and bordering Madoi County in northeast, connecting with Qinghai-Tibet Road and Hoh Xil in west, bordering Golmud City and Dulan County in north, connecting Yushu City and Zhidoi County across Tongtian river in south,
Qumarleb is county that many herds of wild yak (Drong), wild ass (Kyang) and Tibet Antelope breeds in river valley. But now only few of those remain, wild yak is almost gone; There is one trail depart from this town crossing through Nature reserve and connect with Lhasa-Golmud highway.
Best time to travel
From July to September
Plateau alpine climate
Most popular sites
Xing-xiu-hai, “lakes full of flower” in Tibetan. It is located at source area of Yellow River, adjacent to Zhaling Lake in east, Maqu-source of Yellow River in west with altitude of more than 4000 meters above sea level. This is a long and narrow basin. When Yellow River flows through here， due to its gentle terrain, Yellow river suddenly widens and slows down, and forms a large swamp and numerous lakes here. These lakes are shining in sunshine, like the twinkling stars in night sky
Sharu Monastery means “Antler Monastery“. Located in some 25 kilometers southwest of Bagon Township, it was one of three monasteries of Sharu, Jodon, and Gangtsa by original Yoxiu tribe. It was built in 1447 AD and belongs to Gelug Pa. Before 1958, there was mainly a 30-pillar scripture hall with a total of 500 monks, of whom more than 300 were resident in this monastery. This monastery has now 2 sutra halls (8 pillars in total), there are now 12 monk’s dorm room, and 18 monks in this monastery
Helama Monastery is also known as “Khorama Gompa“. It is located about 10 kilometers northwest of Qiuzhi Township. It belongs to Nyingma pa and is main monastery of original Helama tribe. Most members of Helama tribe moved from Golog region, and some of them came from Sichuan province. This monastery has 4 halls (25 pillars in total), there are now 23 monk’s dorm room, and 150 monks in this monastery
Haxiuxiao Monastery is Ningma pa monastery attached of Haxiu tribe. It is a Tent monastery, and has no fixed site.
Geography and climate
Qumarleb County covers an area of 52,000 square kilometers and is located in southwestern part of Qinghai Province, San-jiang-yuan District. Its northwest is wide valley and large beach, Its southeast is a vast area, mountains and ridges, with an average elevation of more than 4,500 meters.
Yellow River originated in Yogu Zonglie area of Maduo Township in this county. It is main water conservation area for the two major water systems of Yangtze River and Yellow River of China.
Qumarleb County’s altitude is high, its weather is cold, and hypoxia, it is with long sunshine hours and strong ultraviolet rays. There are no four seasons, but two seasons of cold and warm, among of which cold season lasts for 7-8 months, and warm season is only 4 to 5 months, its climate is relatively dry. Annual temperature difference is not large, but daily temperature difference is relatively large. Average annual temperature is -3.3℃, and the average annual precipitation is 380-470 mm.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2020, Qumarleb County has a population of 465 million, with Tibetans accounting for 98%. There are other ethnic groups including Han, Hui, Tu, Manchu, Mongolian, Salar people
Qumarleb Kunlun National Culture and Art Festival – it is held on August 8th every year
Black Tent Hotel
Address: Ma Qu Road
Contact : +86 976 885-2999
Huang He Hotel
Address : No. 50, Huang He Road
Contact : +86 976 885-1151
Mother River Hotel
Address: Ma Qu Road
Contact : +86 0 138-9716-8159
Address : No. 53, Huang He Road
Contact : +86 976 885-1588
White Elephant Hotel
Address: No. 62, Huang He Road
Contact : +86 976 780-6555
White Hada Hotel
Address: No. 36, Chang Jiang Road
Contact : +86 0 132-9974-1101
How to get to Qumarleb
Benefited from Yushu airport, journey to this remote Tibetan small town has become so much easier than ever; The quickest way is to take flight to Yushu Airport(YUS), then by local vehicle get to Qumarleb county;
By Bus from Yushu
daily bus, with departure at 08:30am,
By Bus from Xining:
departure on singular day only, with schedule at 10:15am, distance: 873 kilometers, bus ticket: RMB 200.50 per person
Chartered car from Yushu
it usually costs RMB 800.00 – 1,000.00 one way
Distance from Qumarleb County to
- To Yushu : 250 kilometers, about 6.5 hours drive
- To Xining : 860 kilometers, about 13.5 hours drive
- To Zhidoi county : 50 kilometers, about 1.5 hours drive
- To Zadoi county : 455 kilometers, about 11 hours drive
As early as 4000 years ago, there were human activities in the area of Qumarleb County
During Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties, it belonged to Sum pa (Subi) kingdom
In Tang Dynasty and Song Dynasty, it was land of Tubo kingdom
Around the middle of 12th century, Nyentso tribe appeared in southern Qumarleb area
After 1921, herdsmen who moved from Golog region and Sichuan gradually formed 9 tribes.
In the 29th year of Republic of China (1940), Xingchuan bureaus were established, and governed Lower Golog region, Banma, and east of Eling Lake.
In autumn of 1941, Hajiang Yanchi Administration Bureau was established in order to prepare for establishment of Qumarleb local goverment. There were 1 Qianhu (thousand) households, 14 Baihu (hundred) households, and about 3,000 herdsmen.
In 1950, Qumarleb Administration Bureau was established, which was directly under jurisdiction of Qinghai Province.
In 1952, Qumarleb Administration Bureau was changed to Qumarleb District
In 1953, Qumarleb County was established,
In December 1953, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was established, and Qumarleb County was subordinate to it.