XINING — During her summer vacation, Gao Yong'e had just one day to spend in Xining, capital of Qinghai province, and she knew exactly where she was going to go: the Qinghai Tibetan Culture Museum.
"I wanted to spend the day learning and experiencing the rich and diverse traditional culture of my country," said the 31-year-old, who hails from Anhui province.
Inspired by the sheer beauty and historical significance of the objects in the museum, Gao raced to photograph the array of treasures, including Tibetan costumes, glass incense bottles and even ancient coins that were once used along historic trade routes.
The Qinghai Tibetan Culture Museum boasts a collection of more than 50,000 works, spanning Tibetan medicine, literature, calligraphy, folk culture, art and astrology. Many items are national-level cultural relics.
"The number of visitors to the museum has reached a historic high during the summer vacation. In July alone, nearly 200,000 people visited the museum, while the daily flow of tourists has reached over 6,000 since August began," said Dorje Gyal, deputy director of the museum.
"We hire out all of our audio guides within an hour of opening each day, and there is an overwhelming demand for guided tours," he added.
The museum also features interactive activities, including thangka painting and traditional costume photo booths, to give visitors a more hands-on experience while exploring the vast collection.
Sun Xinyi and her mother made the museum their final stop after enjoying the breathtaking natural landscapes in the plateau province.
"The unique Tibetan culture is an important part of our Chinese culture. Therefore, we should learn and understand it well," the 9-year-old said.
Dorje Gyal said he welcomed the attention the exhibits are drawing from young visitors.
"Currently, more and more young people are enthusiastic about museums, consciously seeking to understand the profound historical heritage of our country. This is due to their identification with traditional culture, and this identification leads to their fondness," he said. "The 'museum tourism fever' has enriched cultural and tourism activities, demonstrating the charm and confidence of traditional Chinese culture."
Data from the provincial culture and tourism department showed that in the first half of the year, Qinghai received nearly 18.22 million visitors, up 98 percent year-on-year. During the same period, the province earned 16.23 billion yuan ($2.27 billion) in tourism revenue, a year-on-year increase of 146 percent.
Qinghai province has 41 museums, including 25 at the national level.