China province bans tourists from Yellow River source

Yellow river

Farmers harvest corn along a part of the Yellow River. Source: Shutterstock

THE source of China’s second longest river is off limits to tourists. 

The area’s management committee recently announced tourism has been banned in the Bayan Har Mountains where the Yellow River begins.

The 19,100-square-kilometer nature reserve, home to the source, can be found in the central Chinese province of Qinghai.

The region is thinly populated mainly by Tibetans and Mongolians who know how to live on the sparse Tibetan plateau.

However, the lack of bustling high streets and people hasn’t stopped hoards of tourists visiting the delicate environment.

Surrounding the river’s source are lush pastures, swamps, and knolls all perfect for nature-loving tourists.

The improvement in transportation to the area over the last decade has increased visitor numbers, leading to disturbed wildlife and carbon footprints when the buses drive off.

Xinhuanet reported the management committee of the area is toying with the idea of allowing visitors to apply online for small-scale ecological experiences in the future.

But only when necessary infrastructure is built, and who knows how long that may take.

Despite the Qinghai province being one of the less visited tourist destinations in China, there’s still plenty of fun to be had.

Qinghai province is known as the “Summer Capital of China” for its cool temperatures.

Situated high above sea level, Qinghai provides the perfect climate for wildflowers to blossom and for leopards and bears to roam free.

Birds Island

Located in the largest saltwater lake in China, Bird Island can found teeming with owls, birds of prey, larks, cranes, geese, wagtails and plenty of gulls.

Xining Dongguan Mosque

Take a tour of the biggest mosque in the Qinghai Province and discover its 600-year-old history.

Combining traditional Chinese art and Islamic architecture, all three acres of the mosque truly is a sight to behold.

Menyuan Rape Flower Scenic Spot

The acres of yellow rapeseed flowers against the striking blue sky and snow-covered mountaintops is like something from a masterpiece painting.

Take time to explore the magnificent history, culture, and nature which awaits in the Qinghai province.

With a little luck, the nature reserve encompassing the Yellow River’s source will receive the TLC it needs and tourism will once again boom but with a more sustainable approach.