Qiangtang Prairie, one of the five largest pastures in China, is located between the Kunlun Mountains, Tanggula Mountains, and the Gangdisi Mountains. With an average altitude of over 4500 meters, Qiangtang Prairie is the largest natural grassland in Tibet. It is a paradise for wildlife. It covers an area of more than 600,000 square kilometers. The Qiangtang Grassland was officially promoted as a national nature reserve on April 4, 2000. With an area of 247120 square kilometers, it is the second largest nature reserve in the world.
Qiangtang means "the highland of the north" in Tibetan. In the past, Qiangtang was described as a spooky place. It was deserted except for a few wild animals. There are vast tracts of no man's land, inhabited only by a small number of herdsmen in the south. The grassland mainly refers to the part of the northern Tibetan plateau grassland in Nagqu region. The Qiangtang Prairie has now developed into a famous tourist attraction. Nagqu, which means black river, is the most representative area of the Qiangtang grassland. There are countless sacred mountains, sacred lakes and big rivers flowing all around. There are vast grasslands, glaciers, hot springs and geothermal energy.
Best Time to Visit
Every year in July and August, it is the most beautiful time for Qiangtang Grassland. At the end of August and the beginning of September, the grass begins to turn yellow. By September, the Qiangtang Grassland has officially entered the long winter. In winter, the sky is blue, the mountains are silver, and the grass is golden. Walking around the Qiangtang Prairie in winter, you will feel the beauty of emptiness.
How to Get to
From Lhasa, follow the Qinghai-Tibet Highway to the north for 99 kilometers and pass the Yangbajing Geothermal Power Station to the Nianqing Tanggula Mountains. The north of it is the vast Qiangtang Grassland.
Tips of Qiangtang Prairie：
- Qiangtang is a sparsely populated place. You need a guide who knows the area well. Otherwise, it's easy to get lost.
- Qiangtang Grassland is more than 4500 meters above sea level. Although it is rich in vegetation, it is a plateau after all. The environment is low in oxygen content. Travelers to the Qiangtang Grassland should also pay attention to the altitude sickness.
- In order to make the Qiangtang Grassland more beautiful, please take your garbage with you.
Recommended Tours Including Qiangtang Prairie
It’s a good idea to take a train to Lhasa from Beijing, the heart of China. Not only for the much cheaper price compared with flight but also for the awe-inspiring scenery along the way. The train crosses from the north to southeast of China, which shows you the half splendid landscape of this mysterious country within 40:45 hours. It’s quite attractive, isn’t it?
The first station is to visit Qinghai Lake, the largest inland and salt lake in China. Then take the train from Xining to Lhasa, which will take you around 22 hours. You can enjoy the most beautiful landscape of Qinghai-Tibet Railway along the way. Short stay in Lhasa, you will visit Mt. Everest and Namtso Lake to enjoy the breathtaking natural scenery.