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Grasslands in Xinjiang: The Most Beautiful Grasslands to Visit in Xinjiang

Last updated:Nov 17,2022; By: Alice; Hits: 190

In China, beautiful grasslands are not only to be found in Inner Mongolia. Other places like Xinjiang, Sichuan, Qinghai and Ningxia have fantastic grasslands for you to explore as well. Here we would like to introduce some popular and beautiful grasslands for you to explore in Xinjiang!

Xinjiang Grasslands cover over 4 million hectares, making it one of the largest and most pristine grasslands in the world. Its unique blend of flora and fauna, coupled with the rich cultural heritage of the Uighur people, makes Xinjiang Grasslands a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic and awe-inspiring experience.

Xinjiang Grasslands is renowned for its unparalleled beauty, with rolling hills, vast meadows, and crystal-clear rivers that create a mesmerizing and tranquil atmosphere. The region is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species, including rare and endangered wildlife such as the snow leopard and the Tibetan antelope. The grasslands are also an important habitat for migratory birds, making it a paradise for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. The unique ecosystem of Xinjiang Grasslands has been preserved for centuries, offering visitors a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in an unspoiled natural environment.

Best time to visit Xinjiang Grasslands

The best time to visit Xinjiang Grasslands largely depends on the traveler's preferences and the experiences they seek. Each season offers a unique and captivating experience, allowing visitors to witness the ever-changing beauty of the grasslands throughout the year. Spring is a wonderful time to visit for those who wish to see the meadows come alive with vibrant wildflowers and witness the birth of new life in the grasslands. Summer is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and camping, as the weather is warm and the grasslands are in full bloom. Summer is always the peak season for Xinjiang grasslands visit while it is always summer vacations for schools in China

Autumn paints the grasslands in a breathtaking palette of gold, red, and orange, making it a favorite season for photographers and nature enthusiasts. The mild temperatures and clear skies create a perfect setting for exploring the diverse landscapes of Xinjiang Grasslands. Winter transforms the grasslands into a serene and magical wonderland, offering a unique opportunity to experience the region's pristine beauty in a completely different light. The snow-covered meadows and frozen rivers create a picturesque and tranquil atmosphere, making it an ideal time for those seeking a peaceful and contemplative retreat.

Regardless of the season, visitors to Xinjiang Grasslands can expect to be greeted by the region's warm hospitality and rich cultural heritage. The local festivals and traditions add an extra layer of charm to the grasslands, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the vibrant tapestry of Uighur culture and traditions. With its ever-changing beauty and diverse experiences, Xinjiang Grasslands is a destination that can be enjoyed year-round, offering something special for every season and every traveler.

Exploring the 10 most beautiful places in Xinjiang Grasslands

1.    Sayram Lake: Nestled at the foot of the Tianshan Mountains, Sayram Lake is a stunning natural wonder that captivates visitors with its crystal-clear waters and picturesque surroundings. The lake is surrounded by lush meadows and snow-capped peaks, creating a tranquil and breathtaking setting that is perfect for photography and relaxation.

2.    Kanas Lake: Known for its mesmerizing shades of blue and green, Kanas Lake is a jewel of Xinjiang Grasslands that offers a mesmerizing and serene atmosphere. The lake is surrounded by dense forests and rolling hills, making it a popular destination for hiking, boating, and wildlife spotting.

3.    Tianchi (Heavenly Lake): Situated at the base of Bogda Peak, Tianchi is a pristine alpine lake that reflects the surrounding mountains in its clear waters. Visitors can take a cable car ride to the lake and enjoy panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks and lush forests that envelop Tianchi in a timeless and tranquil embrace.

4.    Gurbantunggut Desert: The Gurbantunggut Desert is a vast and captivating landscape that offers a dramatic contrast to the lush meadows and mountains of Xinjiang Grasslands. Visitors can explore the desert on camelback or enjoy a thrilling sandboarding experience, witnessing the mesmerizing beauty of the desert at sunset or sunrise.

5.    Tianshan Grand Canyon: Carved by the forces of nature over millions of years, the Tianshan Grand Canyon is a breathtaking natural wonder that offers stunning vistas and unique rock formations. Visitors can hike along the canyon's rugged trails and marvel at the sheer cliffs and deep gorges that have been sculpted by the elements.

6.    Bayanbulak Grassland: Known for its vast expanse of rolling hills and pristine meadows, Bayanbulak Grassland is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can witness the nomadic way of life and immerse themselves in the tranquil and unspoiled beauty of the grasslands.

7.    Altay Mountains: The Altay Mountains offer a majestic and rugged landscape that is perfect for adventurous travelers seeking thrilling outdoor experiences. The snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, and alpine meadows create a picturesque and awe-inspiring setting that is ideal for hiking, mountaineering, and wildlife spotting.

8.    Nalati Grassland: Nalati Grassland is a hidden gem nestled in the Tianshan Mountains, offering a serene and picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The grasslands are dotted with yurts and grazing livestock, providing visitors with an authentic and immersive experience of the nomadic way of life.

9.    Hemu Village: Hemu Village is a charming and traditional settlement set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks and dense forests. Visitors can explore the village's wooden houses, visit local craftsmen, and immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the Kazakh people who call Hemu Village home.

10.   Xinjiang Tianchi (Tian Shan): Xinjiang Tianchi, also known as Heavenly Lake, is a stunning alpine lake nestled at the foot of Bogda Peak. Visitors can take a scenic cable car ride to the lake and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and forests, creating a serene and enchanting atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation and contemplation.

There are several Xinjiang Grasslands that is of the most popularity and great scenary that needs to be specially adressed about.

Hemu Grassland

At the intersection of Kanas River and Hemu River lies the Hemu Grassland. It has been divided into two parts by the Hemu River running from northeast to southwest. Rare animals such as red deer, marmot and snowcocks live peacefully with cows and sheep. The best time to visit is June and September.

Nalati Grassland

Located to the east of Nalati Town of Xinyuan County, the Nalati Grassland is the sub-alpine meadow of the Gongnaisi Grassland that is one of the four largest grasslands of the world. Owing to its high altitude and steep terrain, it is also called ‘The Sky Grassland’. From June to September, the vast expanse of lush grassland is dotted with colorful wild flowers. The surrounding snow mountains, white clouds, blue sky make this grassland more charming. Thus, this period is the best time to visit this wonderland. Many activities are held in this ‘Cradle of Kazaks’. The hospitable Kazak herdsmen receive guests with their particular custom and culture.

Bayanbulak Grassland

Situated at the foot of Tianshan Mountain in the northwest of Hejing County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Bayanbulak Grassland is a great prairie boasting luxuriant verdant grass, numerous flocks of sheep and varied plants, etc, making it the second largest grassland in China. Bayanbulak means “rich with spring” in Mongolian. It is surrounded by snow-covered peaks, winding rivers and sunny meadows. The famous "Swan Lake" is the only Swan Nature Reserve in the country. If you want to see swans here, the best time to visit Swan Lake is between May to August.

Tangbula Grasslands

Tangbula Grasslands is located in Nileke County in Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the northwest of China. As one of top four most beautiful grasslands in Asia, Tangbula Grassland has attracted a great number of painters and photographers in summer and autumn. It is the shoot site for a once popular movie Tianshan Red Flowers.

Jiang Braque Grasslands 

Jiang Braque Grasslands is located in Qitai County in Xinjiang. Jiang Braque Grassland Scenic Area features with the natural landscape and water scenery. It has snow mountains, sub-alpine meadows, thick forests and unending grassland, etc. The best time to visit here is July and August, when the grasslands are decorated by unknown blooming flowers. You can take horseback ride to reach a highland, where you can have a bird view of the grassland and the villages in the distance. 

Activities and experiences in Xinjiang Grasslands

Xinjiang Grasslands offer a wide range of activities and experiences that cater to every type of traveler, from adventure enthusiasts to culture seekers. One of the most popular activities in the grasslands is horseback riding, allowing visitors to explore the vast meadows and rolling hills while immersing themselves in the region's natural beauty. Guided horseback tours offer a unique opportunity to witness the diverse landscapes of Xinjiang Grasslands and experience the nomadic way of life firsthand.

Hiking is another popular activity in Xinjiang Grasslands, with a network of trails that lead visitors through pristine meadows, dense forests, and rugged mountains. The Tianshan Grand Canyon and Altay Mountains are particularly renowned for their scenic and challenging hiking routes, offering breathtaking panoramas and a sense of adventure for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can also enjoy birdwatching, wildlife spotting, and photography, capturing the diverse flora and fauna that thrive in the grasslands.

For those seeking a cultural experience, the grasslands offer a wealth of opportunities to connect with the rich heritage of the Uighur people. Traditional yurt stays provide a unique insight into the nomadic way of life, allowing visitors to stay in cozy and authentic accommodations while learning about the customs and traditions of the Uighur people. Local festivals and cultural events offer a vibrant celebration of music, dance, and culinary traditions, providing visitors with a deeper understanding of the region's cultural tapestry.

Accommodation options in Xinjiang Grasslands

Xinjiang Grasslands offer a diverse range of accommodation options that cater to every type of traveler, from luxury seekers to budget-conscious adventurers. Traditional yurts provide a unique and authentic experience of the nomadic way of life, allowing visitors to stay in cozy and comfortable accommodations while immersing themselves in the natural beauty of the grasslands. Yurt stays often include traditional meals and cultural activities, providing visitors with a rich and immersive experience of the Uighur culture.

For those seeking a more luxurious retreat, boutique hotels and eco-resorts offer modern amenities and scenic surroundings, allowing guests to relax and unwind in the lap of nature. Many of these accommodations are designed to blend seamlessly with the natural landscape, creating a harmonious and sustainable environment that respects the pristine beauty of Xinjiang Grasslands. Campgrounds and guesthouses provide budget-friendly options for travelers who wish to experience the grasslands in a more rustic and adventurous way, offering a unique opportunity to connect with nature and fellow adventurers.

Tips for visiting Xinjiang Grasslands

1.    Respect the local culture: When visiting Xinjiang Grasslands, it is important to respect the customs and traditions of the Uighur people. Dress modestly, seek permission before taking photographs of locals, and participate in cultural activities with an open and respectful attitude.

2.    Pack for the weather: The weather in Xinjiang Grasslands can be unpredictable, so it is important to pack clothing that can accommodate a range of temperatures and weather conditions. Layers, sturdy footwear, and waterproof gear are essential for a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

3.    Stay hydrated and protected: The high altitude and sun exposure in Xinjiang Grasslands can be challenging for some visitors. It is important to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and protect yourself from the elements to ensure a safe and healthy journey.

4.    Plan for transportation: Xinjiang Grasslands cover a vast expanse of land, so it is important to plan for transportation between different attractions and accommodations. Rental cars, guided tours, and public transportation options are available, allowing visitors to explore the grasslands at their own pace.

5.    Be mindful of conservation: As a pristine and ecologically sensitive region, Xinjiang Grasslands rely on responsible tourism practices to preserve its natural beauty. Visitors should minimize their environmental impact, avoid littering, and support local conservation efforts to ensure the sustainability of the grasslands for future generations.

Conservation efforts in Xinjiang Grasslands

Conservation efforts in Xinjiang Grasslands are essential for preserving the region's unparalleled beauty and rich biodiversity. The grasslands are home to a diverse range of plant and animal species, many of which are rare and endangered, making it crucial to protect their habitats and ensure their long-term survival. The local government and conservation organizations have implemented various initiatives to safeguard the grasslands, including habitat restoration, wildlife monitoring, and sustainable land management practices.

Community-based conservation programs play a vital role in engaging local residents and nomadic communities in the protection of Xinjiang Grasslands. These programs support sustainable livelihoods, promote environmental education, and empower local communities to become stewards of their natural heritage. By involving local stakeholders in conservation efforts, Xinjiang Grasslands can benefit from the knowledge and traditional practices of the Uighur people, ensuring that their cultural and ecological heritage is preserved for future generations.

Visitors to Xinjiang Grasslands can also contribute to conservation efforts by supporting eco-friendly accommodations, practicing responsible tourism, and participating in local conservation projects. By raising awareness about the importance of preserving the region's natural beauty and biodiversity, travelers can help ensure that Xinjiang Grasslands remains a pristine and enchanting destination for generations to come.

How to get to Xinjiang Grasslands

Xinjiang Grasslands are accessible via several transportation options, allowing visitors to reach this remote and captivating region with ease. The most convenient way to access the grasslands is by flying into the major cities of Urumqi or Kashgar, which serve as gateways to the region. Both cities have international airports with regular flights from major cities in China and neighboring countries.

Once in Urumqi or Kashgar, visitors can arrange for guided tours, rental cars, or public transportation to explore the grasslands and its surrounding attractions. Guided tours offer a convenient and hassle-free way to experience the highlights of Xinjiang Grasslands, with knowledgeable guides who can provide insights into the region's natural and cultural heritage. Rental cars provide flexibility and independence for those who wish to explore the grasslands at their own pace, while public transportation options such as buses and trains offer affordable and convenient ways to reach different parts of the region.

For those seeking a more adventurous journey, overland travel from neighboring regions such as Gansu and Qinghai provinces can provide a scenic and immersive experience of the grasslands. The rugged and remote landscapes of Xinjiang Grasslands can also be accessed via trekking and hiking routes, allowing visitors


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