About YushuNamed for the Jyekundo Gompa monastery towering above the town, Yushu is a cultural and trading town influenced by Tibetan residents. Markets offer religious and artisan wares from local craftspeople while nature reserves spread throughout the connecting counties.
Things to do
The primary market in the corner of the city’s T-junction thrives with local culture, arts and food. You can pick up everything from tar-choks prayer wheels to brass bells, incense and chanting mechanisms as well as Nepalese imports and rungs. Seek out authentic Tibetan clothing, such as tailored chubas jackets, and pick up loose-leaf teas wrapped in bamboo.
To visit the monasteries and nature reserves in the region, you’ll need to book a minibus trip with local guides. The Three Rivers Source National Natural Reserve spreads across the Southern Qinghai Plateau, providing spectacular views of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lanchang Rivers.
At the UNESCO-listed Hoh Xil Nature Reserve, keep an eye out for the endangered Tibetan antelope and more than 200 species of rare wild animals living in the biggest and highest plateau in the entire world. You can cycle through the reserve along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway.
Trek to the Gyanak Mani Stone Field to encounter the largest praying stone pile in the Tibetan regions. It contains an astounding two billion-plus praying stones inscribed with prayers, pictures and carved Buddha sculptures.
Unless you are travelling with a tour group, renting a car is best for getting around. Pick up a vehicle at Harbin Taiping International Airport, about 150 kilometres from Yushu. Private jeeps and minibuses are available in the central square of Jiegu Town.