A Tibetan teenager and his yak on the shores of Qinghai Lake.
A Tibetan teenager and his yak on the shores of Qinghai Lake.

A view of Qinghai Lake, located in the north-eastern Tibetan Plateau.
A view of Qinghai Lake, located in the north-eastern Tibetan Plateau.

Tenzin (27), a young Tibetan man prostrating around Qinghai Lake. The lake is sacred to Qinghai Tibetans and according to Tenzin, "by circling it seven times, we can clear our sins and wrongdoings."
Tenzin (27), a young Tibetan man prostrating around Qinghai Lake. The lake is sacred to Qinghai Tibetans and according to Tenzin, “by circling it seven times, we can clear our sins and wrongdoings.”

A tourist sleeps on the highland grasslands near Qinghai Lake.
A tourist sleeps on the highland grasslands near Qinghai Lake.

A nomad resettlement village under construction near Qinghai Lake. It is estimated that up to 100,000 nomads have been removed from the grasslands and forced to move into these newly built towns and villages.
A nomad resettlement village under construction near Qinghai Lake. It is estimated that up to 100,000 nomads have been removed from the grasslands and forced to move into these newly built towns and villages.

A Tibetan woman tends to her yak on the shores of Qinghai Lake. Passing tourists pay to have their photo taken with the yaks. On the horizon is China's first torpedo testing station. Decommissioned, it is now a tourist destination.
A Tibetan woman tends to her yak on the shores of Qinghai Lake. Passing tourists pay to have their photo taken with the yaks. On the horizon is China’s first torpedo testing station. Decommissioned, it is now a tourist destination.

A young Tibetan woman in her tent near the shores of Qinghai Lake. She and her husband are nomdic herders who spend winters in the mountains and summers next to the lake.
A young Tibetan woman in her tent near the shores of Qinghai Lake. She and her husband are nomdic herders who spend winters in the mountains and summers next to the lake.

Tibetan men stand near a elaborately painted wall in a village near Qinghai Lake.
Tibetan men stand near a elaborately painted wall in a village near Qinghai Lake.

A female Tibetan monk and a Han businessman conduct a transaction near Qinghai Lake. Relations between the two ethnic groups in the west of China are historically tense.
A female Tibetan monk and a Han businessman conduct a transaction near Qinghai Lake. Relations between the two ethnic groups in the west of China are historically tense.

Two tourists look out onto the shores of Qinghai Lake. The lake has shrunk in recent decades, experts believe as a result of overuse of water run-off from local rivers that feed into the lake, couple with rising temperatures.
Two tourists look out onto the shores of Qinghai Lake. The lake has shrunk in recent decades, experts believe as a result of overuse of water run-off from local rivers that feed into the lake, couple with rising temperatures.

Bird Island on the western coast of Qinghai Lake. The island serves as an important migratory stop-off point for birds in central Asia. I
Bird Island on the western coast of Qinghai Lake. The island serves as an important migratory stop-off point for birds in central Asia. I

A flock of sheep belonging to a local farmer graze near Qinghai Lake.
A flock of sheep belonging to a local farmer graze near Qinghai Lake.

Tourists ride a horse through sand dunes near Qinghai Lake. Desertification is becoming an increasing problem on the Tibetan Plateau.
Tourists ride a horse through sand dunes near Qinghai Lake. Desertification is becoming an increasing problem on the Tibetan Plateau.