Jinlianchuan Grassland

July 20th, 2016
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Jinlianchuan, literally “Globeflower Plain”, is the name given to the grassland in Zhenglan Qi, Xilingol, Inner Mongolia. Jinlianchuan Grassland, as its name suggests, is strewn thick with bright yellow globe flowers.

The local globeflower in Mongolian is called “Xar Tsetseg”,  is generally 30-10 cm tall. The flower is similar to the shape of  lotus flower – with seven petals around its heart. It tastes cold and bitter, a good Chinese herbal medicine, a cure for diseases caused by internal heat.

Jinlianchuan Grassland used to be the summer resort for the emperors in Liao (926-1125), Jin (1115-1234), and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties. Xanadu, the “Upper Capital” of Yuan Dynasty was built on Jinlianchuan Grassland, the most elegant and splendid grassland city in the world. It was the summer capital of Kublai Khan’s Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368) in China.

Part of Jinlianchuan Grassland is a wetland where the headwater of Luan River is originated, locally known as Xandii Gool or Lightening River with a length of 82 km and drainage area of 1325 square km. It is an important water source for prairie and livestock.

Now the part of Jinlianchuan Pasture open to the public is within the Site Xanadu, the ruins park where the  grand “Upper Capital” was built. So you need to pay the entrance fee RMB 40 to enter the park. From the entrance gate to the actual site of the ruins, you will see the patches of the golden pasture on both sides of the road.

There is a wooden walkway protruding into the prairie for people to further see, feel and touch the golden grassland. People are not allowed to tread on the pasture. For a short trip to Jinlianchuan Pasture, you need to go with the visit to the Site of Xanadu. Check out Xanadu Travel Guide for more information on how to get there.

Jinlianchuan Grassland

Jinlianchuan Grassland

 

 The bright yellow globe flowers.

The bright yellow globe flowers.

 

seven petals around its heart

Seven petals around its heart

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Xanadu Sites Museum

July 19th, 2016
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Xanadu Sites Museum is located about 7 km south of the Site of Xanadu ( or Ruins of Shangdu ).  Xanadu, literally “Upper Capital”, was the summer capital of Kublai Khan’s Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368) in China.

The museum is specialized in showing the relics and artifacts relative to the once magnificent “Upper Capital”, the most elegant and magnificent city ever built on grasslands in the world.

The two-story museum is built into the east slope of the Aobao Hill of Wulantai, harmoniously matching the surrounding environment. It has four exhibition halls which display the history  of Xanadu in four main themes with discovered relics and pictures in Chinese and English subtitles.

Basically, people usually combine Xanadu Sites Museum and the Site of Xanadu on  a day trip. The two attractions are 7km apart. You may come to visit Xanadu Museum from Duolun County or Zhenglanqi  County.

You’d better off arranging your transport to visit the two places since there is no public transport connecting Zhenglanqi or Duolun with the two sites.  Even there is no bus service between the Site of Xanadu and Xanadu Sites Museum.

The museum is free of charge, but you need to take your free entrance from the ticket office not far from the parking lot. When you get the ticket, you are requested to pay 5 yuan for the golf cart taking you to the site of the museum, which is built into the east slope of the hill.

A huge stone sign engraved with the words “Xanadu Sites Museum” in Mongolian, Chinese and English.

The huge stone engraved with the words "Xanadu Sites Musuem"

The stone engraved with “Xanadu Sites Museum” in Mongolian, English and Chinese

The vermilion museum is built into the hill slope, featuring the harmony between the museum and the surrounding hills and grasslands.

The vermilion museum is built into the hill slope

The vermilion museum is built into the hill slope

When you enter the museum,  you will see a high hall with giant relief sculptures, depicting the history of Xanadu.

Giant relief sculptures

Giant relief sculptures

The model of Xanadu, imperial palace and the imperial city, the most magnificent city ever built on grassland in the world.

The model of Xanadu

The model of Xanadu

There are four major showrooms displaying the artifacts and pictures with English captions.

There are four major showrooms.

There are four major showrooms.

Glazed tiles discovered from the buildings in the Site of Xanadu.

Glazed tiles discovered from the buildings in the Site of Xanadu.

Glazed tiles discovered from the buildings in the Site of Xanadu.

Maps, Pictures and Artifacts are combined to illustrate the splendid history and culture of Xanadu.

Maps, Pictures and Artifacts

Maps, Pictures and Artifacts

The gold saddles on display.

The gold saddles on display.

The gold saddles on display.

The four great god beasts

The four great god beasts

The four great god beasts

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Xanadu Travel Guide

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Wulanbutong Grassland Photography Tour

July 14th, 2016
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500 km north of Beijing, Wulanbutong is a typical hilly grassland perched on the high lands (Bashang) between the remaining hills of the Greater Xing’an Range and the Yinshan Mountains.

The Wulan Butong Grassland is one of the most ideal destinations for summer vacation. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the stretch of grasslands as well as riding horses freely on the grassland.

Wulan Batong Grassland has rich variety of plants, countless colorful wild flowers, and limpid lakes, an ideal place for landscape photography tour.

Sunset and Sunrise at Jiangjun Pond
“Jiangjun” literally means “General”, named after General Tong Guogang who gave his life here on the battle field during the fight against Galdan Boshugtu Khan in Qing Dynasty ( 1644 – 1911 ).

Qing Emperor Kangxi personally commanded a successful battle against Galdan Boshugtu Khan.

Sunset at Jiangjun Pond

Sunset at Jiangjun Pond

Jiangjun Pond is surrounded by the hills on its four sides, with dense reeds and water weeds,  now a good spot for sunset and sunrise shooting.

Sunrise at Jiangjun Pond

Sunrise at Jiangjun Pond

Shooting Sheep, Horse and Oxen at Huagulutai
On the north of Wulanbutong Township (also locally known as Hongshan Army Horse Farm), Huagulutai is a vast and green valley with dense grasslands for the herding of sheep, horses and oxen.

Grazing Sheep

Grazing Sheep

On a summit of the hill overlooking the valley, you have the photogenic opportunity to shoot the cattle on the grassland below your eyes.

Walking Horses

Walking Horses

Shooting Sheep, Horse and Oxen at  Donggou
As its name suggests,  “Donggou”, the East Gully”, is on the east of Wulanbutong Township, also a favorite place for photographers.

Horses grazing on the hilly grassland

Horses grazing on the hilly grassland

Standing on the top of the hill overlooking the gullies circling the hill, you are bestowed with the photogenic opportunities to shooting the sunset and returning sheep or oxen.

Returning Oxen

Returning Oxen

Early Morning Fogs at Wulanbutong Film and TV Studio
Nicknamed as “Grassland Film City”, Wulanbutong Film and TV Studio is a well-known film and TV production base both at home and abroad.

It sits on the expansive grassland with curving and undulating hills.

Early Morning Magical Fog

Early Morning Magical Fog

An incomplete estimate shows that in the past 10 years there are over 60 films and TV series produced here.  With each film or TV finished, leaves one rock engraved with its name.

Beside its leisure and recreational functions in the absence of non-film-shooting time, this is a popular place for shooting the magical and mesmerizing fog scene.
The amazing fog
Early morning it has the big chance to be covered by heavy and white clouds flying like white silk  white silk scarves due to its featuring geological formations, a favorite spot for photography enthusiasts.

Birch Trees
Birch trees are a landscaper’s prize specimen. They have the attractive qualities such as colored bark, graceful branches and gorgeous fall foliage.

Birch Tree and Wild Flowers

Birch Tree and Wild Flowers

Wulanbutong Grassland is dotted with birch trees growing on the water’s edges or in a birch forest, attracting a growing number of photography enthusiasts.

Birch Trees Growing on water edges

Birch Trees Growing on water edges

Shooting Wild Flowers
Wulanbutong Grassland is also a big warehouse of flowers throughout centuries as there are more than 300 kinds of flowers or herbs with extremely high medicinal value to be found here including the golden-needle flower and canary creeper.

Shiooting Wild Flowers on Wulanbutong Grassland

Shooting Wild Flowers on Wulanbutong Grassland

Galloping Horse Shooting
Horse are beautiful creatures and one of the most amazing animals to take photographs of. Having beautiful pictures of horses is a dream for every photographer.

Galloping Horses on Jiangjun Pond

Galloping Horses on Jiangjun Pond

Wulanbutong Grassland offers many photogenic opportunities for galloping horse shooting.

A galloping white horse

A galloping white horse

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Inner Mongolia Tour

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