Golmud is a county-level city in Qinghai Province, Western China. Administrated by Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, it is the second largest city in Qinghai and the third largest in the Tibetan Plateau (after Xining and Lhasa). The population is now about 205,700. The name of the city derives from Mongolian, and its literal meaning in the local Western Mongolian is "Rivers".
Golmud covers a total area of 124,500 square kilometres (48,100 sq mi). This includes an urban area of 72 square kilometres (28 sq mi). Golmud is located in the central-south part of the Qaidam Basin with an elevation of 2,809 metres (9,216 ft). Around the city there are more than 20 salt lakes of various sizes.