Qinghai Province (青海)
Qinghai is one of China’s poorest provinces, and it is also one of the smallest in terms of foreign tourism. But that may be beginning to change, thanks in part to the construction of the Lhasa railway. Xining, the capital of Qinghai, is becoming a popular spot to wait for your Tibet Travel Permit. If you can’t get to Tibet proper, Qinghai’s population is roughly 20 percent Tibetan. You can get a taste of Tibetan culture at the monasteries in Tongren or around Xining. For those in Gansu already, Qinghai is just a quick hop across the border.