It was a joke, a bit of horseplay, literally, that became a much-loved song. In 1939, when songwriter Wang Luobin was with other crew members on a set in the Jinyintan Grassland in Northwest China's Qinghai province, he got to know a Tibetan girl who had a part in the film. One day Wang wanted to play a joke on her and whipped the horse she was riding. The horse bolted and she nearly fell off. The girl later got her own back on him. The experience, along with the beautiful scenery, became an inspiration for Wang to create his later famous work At A Faraway Place based on a folk song of the Kazak ethnic group.
The song became better known when it was subsequently translated into English and performed by famous singers like Paul Leroy Robeson, Diana Ross and Jose Carreras. The famous song made Qinghai a coveted destination for many people who lived, as the title suggests, far away.