county-level city in Haixi Prefecture, Qinghai Province, China

Golmud (格尔木; Ge'ermu) is a city in Haixi Prefecture, Qinghai Province, China.

Understand edit

With more than 200,000 people, Golmud is the second biggest city in Qinghai province. The city is worth visiting only if you are en route to Tibet. Golmud is in the middle of dry desert without anything, built up just to mine natural sources as salt, magnesium etc. The population is more than 90% Han Chinese who moved here to work.

The elevation of the city is approximately 2,890 meters. Altitude stress is not the major concern, but dryness is. In the city and surrounding areas, air is extremely dry and sunlight is very strong. Summer is the best season, and winter is excruciating. In summer, tourists flock into the city, packing the hotels, as they see Golmud as the last possible rest stop on the way to Lhasa.

The government tries to complicate trips for foreigners; there are just a few (of course most expensive) hotels where foreigners can stay. It isn't worth staying here longer than to manage permission and leave. Beware you don't arrive on a Friday afternoon because PSB is closed during weekend.

Get in edit

By plane edit

  • 1 Golmud Airport (GOQ IATA). Operates flights to and from Xining and Xi'an. The flights are often reduced in winter and increased in summer.    

By train edit

See also: Qinghai–Tibet railway

Golmund station (Qinghai Huochezhan) is on Jiangyuan Road and has direct connections with the following major cities:

Beijing (34 hours), Chengdu, (28 hours), Chongqing (28 hours), Guangzhou (46 hours), Lanzhou (16–17 hours), Lhasa (14 hours), Shanghai (37 hours) and Xining (14–16 hours), Xi'an (20–22 hours)

By bus edit

The following cities are connected to Golmud by direct bus links:

Dunhuang (11 hours), Lhasa (30–42 hours), Mangya (=Huadugou) (10 hours), Delingha (5 hours) - city is closed to foreigners, you can get there from Tianjun, Xining, Ruoqiang (sleeper bus, if you want to enjoy the view on the way, make sure you get a window upper bed).

Get around edit

Taxis are a cheap and convenient option.

See edit

Do edit

Eat edit

  • Yak beef
  • Mutton

Drink edit

  • Homemade Yogurt
  • Soda

Sleep edit

Budget edit

There are a few cheap hotels located around the train and bus stations, but they tend to be noisy and grubby. Hotel business in the city is seasonal.

  • Jindi binguan (金地宾馆), next to the train station, singles from ¥50, doubles from ¥120.

Mid-range edit

  • Golmud Hotel (Center of town). Clean. Rooms from ¥300 (to few thousands). One of a very few hotels where you can stay in Golmud. Twin ¥40 off season.

Splurge edit

Double Tree Hilton. Rooms from ¥1400 to ¥2800 in summer; ¥350 to ¥800 in winter.

Go next edit

NB: On the way north or south no tickets can be bought without an Aliens' Travel Permit (Lüxing zheng, 旅行证), which are issued by the PSB office for 50Y in a matter of minutes. The PSB Office is on the right side, in front of the gate to the main police building. (Closed on Saturday and Sunday.) make sure you bring a passport sized photo with you if you intend to make the 9am bus to Dunhuang. The PSB opens at 8:30am so its pretty tight, impossible if you have to go off to get a photo done. Going to Xining raises no problems.

Routes through Golmud
XiningQinghaihu Lake  N   S  Lhasa

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