A glittering cluster of salt crystals - Qarhan Salt Lake

6:20 PM Tina 0 Comments

Qarhan Salt Lake is the largest inland salt lake in the world, located northeast side of Golmud, which is also known as Geermu or Ge'ermu, a county level city in the Qinghai province in the People's Republic of China. The salt lake is spread about 5,856 square kilometers and is instrumental in developing quite lot of salt related chemical factories in and around the Qarhan Salt Lake area.  The reserves of salt resources are estimated over 15 trillion Yuan shows the magnanimous mineral resources available in this belt. The salt deposits are not limited to Sodium Chloride but presence of heavy concentration of other mineral elements such as potassium and magnesium are also confirmed here.



Castle of wonders

The salt lake is situated in the Qaidam Basin. The salt lake stretches like a rectangle shape of 160 x 20-40 kilometers, which means from east to west 160 kilometers and south to north 20-40 kilometers. The estimated reserve of various salts can be last for more than 1,000 years. The largest potassium industry of China is located here. The geological conditions add up to the get the crystallization of salt much faster.  The climate in this part of land is dry and hot and as a result, the salt concentration is fast and salt crystals forms like beautiful white glittering salt clusters. They are formed in different shapes such as pagodas, pavilions, corals, flowers, animals, pearls etc., and you name it anything you can find those shapes here. The formation of crystals and their natural modifications resembles like a castle of wonders attract tourists from all over the world and from China too.

Ten thousand Zhang Salt Bridge

Ecological evidences confirm that millions of years before, Qaidam Basin was covered by sea. And today we have this huge salt lake, beyond our imagination as a reality in front of our eyes. Another attractive peace one can vouch here is the Ten thousand Zhang Salt Bridge which is also known as Lofty Salt Bridge. The bridge is 32 kilometers long, which is equal to ten thousand Zang in Chinese measurement, built to cross the entire salt lake from one end to the other end.  This bridge is part of Qinghai-Tibet Railway that connects Qinghai with Golmud and Dunhuang and also part of Qinghai-Tibet Highway. This bridge is made of solid salt crystals, which has the strength to hold the heavy load of railway and highway.



How to visit the location:

There are excellent train services available from Beijing Lanzhou, Lhasa, Xining or Chengdu to Golmud. After reaching Golmud, you can either take a tourist bus or hire a taxi to the Qarhan Salt Lake area. Also you can hope on to any of the regular bus services operated from Mt.Everest Building in Golmud.  The bus will take you to the Development Branch of Qinghai Salt Lake Industrial Company.  From there it is only a walking distance. You need to prepare yourself to spend minimum half day to complete you tour. The entry is free.  The best season to visit the lake is during April to October.

Precautions:


Yes, the lake premise is a heat vulnerable area. You are advised to keep or apply sun protective creams to save yourself from the extreme heat conditions.  Wear cooling glass and other sun protective gears such umbrellas or hats. Carry enough mineral water. Wish you a wonderful journey!

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