Guide is a city in Qinghai.
Guide (Guìdé, 贵德) is a small Tibetan city located south of Xining. Because of its name, you will find it hard to search for information about it in English. It is near the origin of the 3 rivers (Yellow, Yangtze and Mekong).
As of 2016, new highways mean that Guide is an easy 3-hour return day trip from Xining. Book your return ticket when you arrive!
Buses for Guide leave from the Xining West Bus Station every 40 min or so between about 07:00 and 18:00. Cost is about ¥30 Yuan and the journey takes around 1½ hours. Returning buses to Xining Are from Guide Bus Station (贵德汽车站). The last return bus leaves at 17:45.
Taxis start at ¥5 within the city. You can also get around in 3-wheel cars or on the back of a trailer for slightly less.
- Yellow River Scenic Area (黄河大桥风景区) (just before the bridge over the Yellow River to the south of town take a right; follow the road (Nanbinhe Liu) until you see a big wooden wheel and a park/amenity area). Scenic spot on the Yellow River. Easy to get to by taxi. Hitchhiking back to town is no problem.
- Qing Dynasty Walls (surrounding the Yuhang Pavilion at the end of North Street). Some old city walls dating from the Qing Dynasty remain in Guide. They are out in the open and are refreshingly devoid of an entrance fee or any tourist infrastructure.
- Yuhang Pavilion, North Street (Walk along north street past all the tourist shops). Possibly the old city of Guide or a temple, it's surrounded by the aforementioned Qing dynasty walls. ¥60.
Guide received massive investment in the tourism sector in the 2010s. As of 2016, a five-year plan to "refurbish" the old town within the city walls has resulted in the creation of "Guide Old Town" - a modern take on what was clearly once a beautiful historical place. The refurbishment is almost complete and with it has come the demolition of many of the towns old buildings. The walls are still there, but they now contain a large museum and new temples seemingly devoid of believers.
Hire a cab to the Zha Chang hot springs (扎仓温泉) about 20 km outside of town in a small Tibetan Village. The water is very very hot in the summer and locals indicate it's better in the winter. Be prepared for naked old Tibetan men and women. As of 2016, there is a fee for entry.
- Rent bikes and cycle around (on north street). Explore this city and enjoy being stared at, should be feasible to see most of the place in a day.
This is the rare town where genuine interactions with locals is possible. Enjoy!
Lots of cheesy Tibetan stuff.
Hand made square noodles are a popular local dish. Restaurants seem to be located close to the bus station.
Turn left out of the Bus Station and there is a hotel with decent doubles for about ¥100 (after bargaining) about 50 m up the road. This hotel can take foreigners.
Wen Quan Binguan (hot spring hotel, 温泉宾馆) is a more upmarket option with a hot spring heated swimming pool and spa. This is the default location for foreign tourists. Doubles start at about ¥200. Outside of summer you should be able to bargain hard.