The whole of the area around Golmud, spanning along the Qinghai/Tibet plateau, is a highly saline area, and this is highlighted by the many salt lakes (most picturesquely the Da Buxun Salt Lake to the north and the Qinghai Lake to the east) and the Potash Plants that are situated here. A further sign of this lies in the Salt Bridge (Wangzhang yanqiao) near to the town.
The Salt Bridge is in fact not a bridge but a 32km stretch of the road that leads from Golmud to Dunhuang, crossing the above mentioned Da Buxun salt lake. The road itself is made from piled up salt, at a depth of between 15 to 18 meters. The road is as flat as satin, and is said to resemble a jade belt that tightens on the belly of the lake. The "lake" itself made up of 100% salt.
The Salt Bridge is an amazing sight, although only really worth visiting for those on the bus heading on towards Dunhuang and the amazing Mogao Grottoes.
The travel service in the Golmud Hotel can organize trips to see the Salt Bridge, although it is probably not worth the journey for anyone but those heading on to Dunhuang. You may buy a bus ticket (RMB88 for foreigners, plus RMB30 for a travel permit) to Dunhuang (departing 6:30am, 13 hours) at local travel agents.
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