The Jintan and Yintan Grasslands are spread over an area of massive 1100 sq km. It is located 90 km from Xining City, the capital of the province. To the east and north of the grasslands are beautiful mountains while the Qinghai Lake is located towards the west.
For generations, Tibetans have been living on this grassland along with their horses and cattle. It is considered to be among the best preserved grasslands today in China.
Highlights of the Jintan and Yintan Grasslands
The Jintan and Yintan Grasslands or pasture is situated in the Hiayan County in Qinghai Province. It is believed that Haibei had been the home of Qiang, the forebears of Tibetans and an ancient group. The Han troop had entered the area in 120 BC, making the Qiang people shift towards the foot of the Qilian Mountains. In 4 AD, administrative bodies had been established in the area. In 1953, the Tibetan Autonomous Region of Haibei had been founded and was later renamed in 1995 as the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
The Jintan and Yintan Grasslands are located next to the Qinghai and Baoshan Lake. Towards the north and east are beautiful mountains. The south connects the grasslands to the Sanjiao City in Haiyan County. The Sanjiao City is Xihai Prececture’s relic and had been built during Wang Mang’s regin in the Han Dynasty. The Halilu and Mapi Rivers cross the beautiful grasslands.
Gold Beach and Silver Beach
The Jintan and Yintan Grasslands is divided into two parts, Yintan is the Silver Beach while Jintan is the Gold Beach. Jintan is named so because the northern bank of the grassland grows typical small flowers that are fragrant and golden yellow in color. These flowers are known as Jinlumei. The name of Yintan was due to the silver white Yinglumei which abundantly grows on the grassland’s southern grasslands.
Idea visiting time
The best time to visit Jintan and Yintan Grasslands is from July to September since there are several birds soaring in the sky and plenty of flowers blooming in the season. The songs of the larks add to the beauty of this place. The area is home to fertilized soil, melodious pastorals, scattered camps, herds of sheep and cattle, white clouds, blue sky and lush sky.
During this season, flowers blossom and send out mild fragrance with gentle breeze. Birds sing happily, herds dot the grasslands and graze throughout the pasture. Mangolian yurts decorate the green pastures as far as the eye can see. The Tibetans that call Jintan and Yintan Grasslands home have unique costumes and are seen leisurely wandering on horseback. It is a serene location where you can enjoy the magnificence of nature and feel harmonious and tranquil.
The local specialty
Other than the breathtaking scenery in Jintan and Yintan Grasslands, another local specialty is the local yoghurt. Yoghurt is homemade locally and is made with milk and vegetable oil over it. The delicate white layer of yoghurt along with the golden touch of oil is tastier and healthier than store bought yoghurt. Another reason why Jintan and Yintan Grasslands became popular is when Wang Luobin, the king of country songs, composed his song by getting inspired by the rustic Tibetan songs, the Qinghai Lake and the beauty of the grasslands.
The Jintan and Yintan Grasslands are a marvel of nature and definitely a place that should be visited by anyone in the province.
You can first take a bus from Xining to Xihai Township of Haiyan County and then go to the Jintan and Yintan Grasslands. Alternatively, you can take the bus near Qinghai Lake to Jintan and Yintan Grasslands of Haiyan County.