Xining is the biggest city in the west of China before the great solitude of Qinghai and Tibet begins. The city is already at 2300m above sealevel. On one side, this place is pretty unspectacular but it still has it's charmes. For us, this 4 million metropolis is a typical example of an overpopulated city which consists mostly of apartment blocks and a small business area. We're waiting here for our Tibet permits and kill the time relaxing and with mental preparation for the 24h-trainride to Lhasa (hard seats again!).