The Yellow River, the Mother River of the Chinese nation, stretches for 5,464 kilometers across the wonderful land of China. The turn meandering for 843 kilometers and shaped like the Chinese character “几” in the northernmost Inner Mongolia is one of the most obvious geographical indications in the Yellow River Basin. It flows quietly and peacefully across the vast Hetao Plain, nourishing thousands of miles of fertile soil which is dotted and inlaid with some lakes such as Wuliangsuhai Lake, Daihai Lake and Wuhai Lake. The flocks and herds and horses are scattered on the Ordos grasslands, and the highest sand hill in the world stands in the Badain Jaran Desert. Here mountains, rivers, forests, farmland, lakes, grassland and desert coexist harmoniously, and the nomadic culture and the farming culture are integrated peacefully. The Yellow River flows here, contributing to a plenteous harvest of crops and the thriving animal husbandry as well as the happiness of local people.
Zhaling Lake and Eling Lake are two huge plateau freshwater lakes at the source of the Yellow River and at the northern foot of the Bayan Har Mountains. They are affectionately called the “Sister Lakes” in which many waters converge at the source of the Yellow River. What is rarely known is that the source of the Yellow River is called “Kariqu” which officially becomes the Yellow River only after meandering across Madoi County and the “Sister Lakes”. Located at the altitude of more than 4,300 meters, the two important lakes boast the alpine and humid terrain, a vast territory, rich pastures and magnificent natural landscapes, becoming an excellent scenic spot to visit the grassland scenery in the plateau. There are also legendary humanistic stories, in addition to the fascinating natural scenery. The colorful natural environment has created a rich ethnic culture. Tourists around the world are expected to enjoy the beautiful natural landscapes and simple folk customs in the pure land at the source of the Yellow River.
The first stop that receives the Yellow River on the Loess Plateau is Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province. Linxia covers a total area of 8,169 square kilometers, accounting for only 1.92% of the total area of Gansu, but is bestowed with a wealth of widely different landscapes. Standing at the junction of two steps, Linxia appears as a sloping basin in the whole, with the drop in elevation of nearly 3,000 meters, and is dotted by 163 large mountain ranges and 10,823 large or small valleys. It is unconstrained as the northwestern land, picturesque as the ranges of Qinling Mountains, and precipitous as the edge of Qinghai-Tibet. This is an ancient land where dinosaurs ever lived and multiplied, and where breathtaking cultural relics are well preserved. For thousands of years, this land remained a witness to the mingling and collision of multiple cultures.