Xining (ཟི་ལིང, Silung in Tibetan), the city I called home for five years before I left for England, is the capital of Qinghai Province on the Tibetan plateau (see photos of Xining here).
The province governs eight prefecture-level divisions – two prefecture-level cities, one Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and five Tibetan autonomous prefectures. One of the five, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, is of course where I’m originally from.
Although Qinghai Province is ranked fourth largest in size with rich resources of oil, natural gas, and salt, it only houses about 5.6 million people and is third smallest by population.
Xining is a city of 2 million inhabitants. Because of 2,000 years of history, and many ethnic groups, including Chinese Han, Tibetans, Hui (Muslim), Tu/Monguors, Mongols and Salars (Oghuz Turks) and others who call it home, the city is a cultural hub, a melting pot.
And my favorite part of it was the food, the street food, indeed. My two sisters and I walked literally for only five minutes along Mojia Street in the center of the city and saw many appetizing goodies.