The remote town of Golmud has grown to become the second largest city in Qinghai almost solely due to the huge quantities of potassium, in the form of potash that can be found near to the town. The vast majority of the mostly Han migrants to the city came here to work in the Qinghai Potash Plant (Qinghai jiafei chang), that is located around 60km from the town. The locals are rightly proud of the Plant, mainly because most of they work there.
Although only a sight for those not quite ready to move on, the Potash Plant is an interesting trip through some desolate countryside. The incredible concentrations of minerals, mainly potassium, within the soil mean that plant life is non-existent within proximity of the three reservoirs that make up the Potash Plant. Such concentration of minerals can only really be matched by the areas around the United States' Salt Lake City and the Israeli Dead Sea.
The Plant itself was originally set up with US technical support, and the finished reservoirs are now with a depth of around six meters and with a total area of three square kilometers.
The only way to obtain a tour of the plant is through the Potash Company Office (Jiafei chang bangongshi). This can be found near to the Golmud railway station, the most modern looking building here. Managers in the General Engineering Office (Zonggong ban) will help you organize the trip.
Shanghai, Huangshan Mountain, Wuyuan, Jingdezhen, Beijing
Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Xi'an, Guilin, (Hong Kong)
Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guilin
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