Golog (Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
- Name: Golog (Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (果洛藏族自治州)
- Location: Guoluo is located in the interior land of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the southeast of Qinghai Province.
- Language: Amdo Tibetan
- Population: 211,599 (in 2019)
- Area: 78,000 sq. km. (30,116 sq. mi.), taking 10% of the total land of Qinghai Province.
Golog is a large prefecture with a low population, vast grassland, high terrain, and abundant resources. It is 440 km. (273 mi.) away from the capital city Xinning and it borders Gansu, Sichuan Province and Yushu, Hainan, Haixi, and Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province. It is a vast land famous as one of the agriculture and animal husbandry base in China.
The average altitude of Golog is more than 4,200 meters, in the northwest is mostly between 4,000 and 5,000 meters, in the southeast is between 3,500-4,000, but the terrain is undulating and generally between 1,000-2,100 meters, with a slope of 45 ° - 50 °, the maximum is more than 80 °. The entire terrain slopes from northwest to southeast. The northwest is high with many hills and the terrain is gentle; the southeast is low with many mountains and the slopes are deep.
Golog is of typical Continental Plateau Climate because of the high elevation. Temperature is very low all year round with an average temperature of 4℃ and it varies a lot between days. There are only two seasons in a year: the winter and the summer. The winter is long and cold with much windy and snow hail weather. The summer is short and cool with many rainy days. The natural condition is rough, if you want to pay a visit to this land, you need to be careful about the elevation reaction and dress in layers.
Plant resources: Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is rich in medicinal animal and plant resources. Cordyceps Sinensis, snow lotus, rhubarb, Rhodiola Rosea, fritillary, Gentiana macrophylla, Angelica, Codonopsis, Chuanxiong, Astragalus, Qianghuo and other medicinal plants are distributed in most of Golog.
Animal resources: Wild animals in Golog include Thorold's deer, red deer, musk deer, alpine snow chicken, etc. The precious fur beasts include otters, Himalayan marmots, leopards, and snow leopards; rare birds and beasts include wild ass, argali, macaques, and Sumatran serow, Black-necked Crane, White eared pheasant, Blue eared pheasant, etc. The main fish include Piebald Gymnocypris, Platypharodon extremus, Chuanchia labiosa, etc.
Mineral resources: The proven minerals in Golog include more than 10 types of gold, silver, copper, cobalt, sulfur, cadmium, coal, limestone, etc. Among them, gold, silver, copper, cobalt, sulfur, limestone, etc. have large reserves and high grades, also easy to mine. In addition, non-metals such as limestone, granite, and jade are also widely distributed.
The magical, rich, and beautiful Golog is abundant in its tourism resources. There are high snow mountains inserting into the whiter cloud, virgin forests covering up the sky, numerous lakes embellishing on the vast golden grassland, and millions of flocks and herds, which altogether leaves a gorgeous sight for Golog.
The Amnye Machen Snow Mountain: It is a famous snow mountain located at the Snow-covered plateau at an elevation of 6,282 m. (20,610 ft.). Looking from a far distance, you will surely admire the grand sight natural wonders of the snow mountain. Moreover, there are all kinds of precious plants, wild animals, and peculiar peaks in the mountain. It’s also a place for the Tibetan celestial burial.
Baiyun Temple: With a history of 140 years, it is a famous historical site and the largest and most influential temple left from ancient times. It is featured by the natural scene and exquisitely carved architectural buildings and large scale of Buddha.
Rakya (Ragya) Monastery: It is the most famous Gelugpa monastery along with the upstream of the Yellow River. Established in 1769, it has produced many eminent monks in its history, and many of their works have been handed down from generation to generation.
Gyaring (Zhaling) Lake: Zhaling means a white long lake in Tibetan. It is an asymmetric rhombus-shaped like a butterfly with an altitude of 4,294 meters. On the unnamed small island in the north of the lake, many of the migratory birds inhabit here. The original ecological environment is still maintained here, which is an ideal place to study the ecology of migratory birds.
Ngoring (Eling) Lake: It is a large brackish water lake on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It’s famous for fisheries, and an important breeding ground for cormorants, ducks, and gulls. Historically, the lake was the place where Songtsan Gambo married Princess Wencheng.
Other attractions: Tuosuo Lake, Makehe Virgin Forest, Mayu Cultural Center, Nyenpo Yutse (Nyainbo Yuze), etc.
Useful Travel Tips
- Xining is a good start city for travelers who plan to visit Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, no matter by overland or by flight. Right now there are 2 flights daily to Golog Maqin (capital city of Golog prefecture) Airport from Xining.
- The average altitude of Golog is over 4,200 meters, travelers should be fully prepared for the high altitude, as well as the sunburn due to the strong UV rays, and the large temperature difference.
- The best time to travel is from July to September when the weather is the most delightful.