Archive for the ‘Inner Mongolia Travel’ Category

Wulan Butong Grassland (Tips, Photos & Map)

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021
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Plan your Inner Mongolia tour? 500 km north of Beijing, Ulan Butong 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.

Wulan Butong Grassland is located about 500 km north of Beijing ( Google Map)

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

For more information on the grasslands in China, check out my another article 10 Most Beautiful Grasslands in China.

Ulan Butong 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

Sheep, Horse and Oxen at Huagulutai

On the north of Wulan Butong 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

Sheep, Horse and Oxen at  Donggou

As its name suggests,  “Donggou”, the East Gully”, is on the east of Wulan Butong 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 Wulan Butong 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.

The amazing fog

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.

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

Wulan Butong 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

Wild Flowers

Ulan Butong 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

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

Ulan Butong Grassland offers many photogenic opportunities for galloping horse shooting.

A galloping white horse
A galloping white horse

Wulan Butong Grassland in Autumn Hues

Wulan Butong Grassland is a mecca for viewing fall colour. The best time for fall foliage starts from early October to mid-October. Just get your eyes and camera ready for a fantastic view of the autumn hues on the hilly grassland.

Follow us to have an autumn virtual tour of Wulan Butong Grassland.

Wulan Butong Grassland in Autumn
Wulan Butong Grassland in fall colors
Leaf Peeping at Wulan Butong Grassland
Autumn Leaves on Wulan Butong Grassland
The horses are enjoying the fall season
A foggy morning under the sunrise glow
The Sunrise glow over Wulan Butong Grassland

Ulan Butong Grassland in Winter

If you come to Wulan Butong Grassland in winter, you will see a completely different world, a fairytale white wonderland with stunning view!

Wulan Butong Grassland covered with white blankets and soft rime
Otherworldly white landscape
Sunset over the white wonderland
Horses galloping on the snowy grassland

Tip:  Hassle-free Inner Mongolia  Guided Tours1

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Inner Mongolia:

Inner Mongolia Tour
Mid-Inner Mongolia Tour (Hohhot, Baotou, Ordos)
East Inner Mongolia Tour (Xanadu,Wulan Butong, Xilinhot, Chifeng)
Northeast Inner Mongolia Tour (Hulunbuir)
West Inner Mongolia Tour (Alashan “Alxa” League)
Hohhot Tour

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Hohhot
The Best Time to Visit Hohhot
Meidaizhao Temple
How to go to Hohhot from Beijing
Top Souvenirs in Hohhot
Hohhot Taxi: Hohhot Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Baotou Taxi: Baotou Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Ordos Taxi: Ordos taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
What to see in Hohhot, what to do in Hohhot

Top 10 Attractions in Alxa League
Heicheng Ruins in Ejina Qi, Inner Mongolia
Euphrates Poplar Forests at Ejina Qi
A Glimpse of Badain Jaran Desert

The Quiet Wusu Langzi Lake
Dujuan Lake in Aershan National Forest Park
Beihu Park Skyline at Night in Manzhouli
Architecture of Manzhouli

Sunrise Glow over Hulunbuir Grasslands.
Top 10 Places for Photography in Hulunbuir
Top 10 Attractions in Hulunbuir.
Road Trip from Ergun to Linjiang Village
Hulun Lake Travel Tips
World Anti-fascist War Hailar Memorial Park
Architecture of Manzhouli
Ergun Travel Guide
Aoluguya Travel Guide
Moerdaoga Travel Guide
Shiwei Travel Tips
How to visit Hulunbuir Grassland

Top 10 Attractions in Chifeng
Xanadu Sites Museum
Jinlianchuan Grassland
Wulan Butong Grassland
Asihatu Stone Forest
Gong Geer Grassland
Duolun Travel Guide
Xanadu Travel Guide – Shangdu Travel
How to visit Asihatu Stone Forest
Xi Wuzhumuqin Grassland

Any questions, just drop a line.

Road Trip from Ergun to Linjiang Village

Friday, October 29th, 2021
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plan your Inner Mongolia Tour? Ergun, or E’erguna (额尔古纳市) is part of the prefecture-level city of Hulunbuir in Inner Mongolia. The 200-km road trip from Ergun City to the beguiling Linjiang (临江), a village bordering with Russia, is the highlight of our 8-day photography Hulunbuir Prairie tour.

The road trip finds us see cottony clouds hovering so low it seems we could easily them with cattle grazing, sheep roaming and horses running wild with their masters.

On route we also have a short side trip to Shiwei, one of the smallest ethnic minority groups in China – the China’s Russian Ethnic Minority.  Finally we stay overnight at the quiet and serene bordering village – Linjiang.

One of the features of a photography tour is “off the cuff “,  stopping at the places where we see beautiful photogenic spots: rolling green hills, wild flowers, white clouds, grazing cattle and sheep. We don’t get off at those touristy and commercialized horse-riding and costume hiring camps and stations along the highways.

Not long after we leave Ergun City, we encounter the stupendous scenery of cottony clouds,  so low we are afraid they will hit our tour bus!

We are hit by cottony clouds.
We are hit by cottony clouds.

But what makes us stop and get off our bus is the undulating green hills that teems with grazing cattle on the right side of the highway! We lose no time, asking our bus driver to pull over and disembarking immediately.

Standing by the roadside, we zoom in and out for the stupendous view!
Standing by the roadside, we zoom in and out for the stupendous view!

Standing by the roadside, I use my long lens camera zooming in and out for the magnificent views of the harmonious beauty unfolded before our eyes, and exhilarated by the gift from the heaven.

Exhilarated by the gift from the heaven
Exhilarated by the gift from the heaven

The green hillslopes are dappled with changing sunlight and colors, mostly wanted by photography enthusiasts.

The green hill slopes are dappled with changing sunlight and colors
The green hillslopes are dappled with changing sunlight and colors.

Back to the bus, we continue to hit the road, busing on the highway to Shiwei Township, a bordering village only 11 km to the southwest of Linjiang Village – our destination.

Our choice of Linjiang Village for our overnight stay is mainly due to the fact that Linjiang Village has not succumbed to tourist mania that has affected the nearby Shiwei Village.

Ergun River cuts through the border area.
Ergun River cuts through the border area.

We are given only two hours sightseeing around Shiwei Township. Located on the east bank of Ergun River, Shiwei is now a lively border town abutting Russia inhabited mostly by the Chinese-Russian descendants. Shiwei was once  a cradle of multi-ethnic groups including Mongols.

Zoom in for a close look at the village on the Russian side.
Zoom in for a close look at the village on the Russian side.

About 10 years ago Shiwei was on the limelight for its natural and pristine beauty, and even elected as one of the 10 most beautiful villages in China at that time.

Even since, the village has been aways packed with tourists in high season.  Now Shiwe is no longer a laid-back village that has fallen to the victim of mass tourism.

The Russian-style wooden houses
The Russian-style wooden houses

But that doesn’t deter us from making use of the two hours snapping some pictures recording the best part of Shiwei. The town  features the Russian style in terms of architectures and living habits.

Stay overnight in a traditional Russian style wooden house is a top choice for many tourists.

Traditional Russian style wooden houses
Traditional Russian style wooden houses

Two hour later finds us heading to the bucolic hamlet – Linjiang, also a bordering village with Russia,  separated by Ergun River.

Before we reach the laid-back village, we are led to hike up a high viewing place for a soul-recharging glimpse of the big bend on Ergun River.

 Put up our tripods and set our cameras in right conditions
Put up our tripods and set our cameras in right conditions

We are also required by our instructor to put up our tripods and set our cameras in right conditions to catch the glowing sunset over the big curve of the sublime border river with the other side being Russia.

Catch the glowing sunset over the big curve
Catch the glowing sunset over the big curve

At the end of our road trip, we get to the anachronistic hamlet – Linjiang Village abutting Russia. This tiny hamlet is really a time wrap hemmed by rolling green hills without much modernity in sight. There is a quietness and serenity over the two-horse village.

We are arranged to stay overnight in a privately owned inn. After walking in the dimly lit village street and back to my room, I fall into sleep soon,  too tired to take a shower as usual after the exciting but exhausting day trip.

Next morning I wake up naturally, missing the sunrise over the charm village. But later I soon get to know that a thick fog has been hovering over the village and we don’t have sunrise on that morning.

One of my fellow travelers – Ms. Li Xin does get up that morning, climbing up on the hills over the village for a spirit-recharge view though she fails to catch the sunrise due to the heavy haze.  Below are the two pictures taken both by Ms Li Xin and the other fellow traveler on that foggy morning:

The fog-shrouded Linjiang Village in the early morning
The fog-shrouded Linjiang Village in the early morning
Ms Li Xin at work in the foggy morning
Ms Li Xin at work in the foggy morning

We are again only allowed a few hours walking around the serene village. The temptation to see the village is so great that I jump up from my warm bed,  putting on clothes, taking out my long lens camera and mobile phone, and darting to the streets to catch the beautiful morning of the bucolic village.

Linjiang Village
Linjiang Village
Linjiang Village
Linjiang Village

Hassle-Free Inner Mongolia Guided Tours

If you don’t want go the daunting do-it-yourself-route and prefer an organized hassle-free private tour to visit Inner Mongolia, no worry and we have the following options:

Inner Mongolia Tour
Mid-Inner Mongolia Tour (Hohhot, Baotou, Ordos)
East Inner Mongolia Tour (Xanadu,Wulan Butong, Xilinhot, Chifeng)
Northeast Inner Mongolia Tour (Hulunbuir)
West Inner Mongolia Tour (Alashan “Alxa” League)
Hohhot Tour
Hohhot Highlights & Grassland 3 Day Tour
Hohhot Highlights & Grassland 2 Day Tour

Further Readings


Top Places to Visit in Inner Mongolia
Top 10 Attractions in Hohhot
Best Time to Visit Hohhot
Meidaizhao Temple
How to go to Hohhot from Beijing
Top Souvenirs in Hohhot
Hohhot Taxi: Hohhot Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Baotou Taxi: Baotou Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Ordos Taxi: Ordos taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
What to see in Hohhot, what to do in Hohhot

How to visit Hulunbuir Grassland
Top 10 Attractions in Hulunbuir
Sunrise Glow over Hulunbuir Grassland
Top 10 Places for Photography in Hulunbuir
Hulun Lake Travel Tips
World Anti-fascist War Hailar Memorial Park

Road Trip from Ergun to Linjiang Village
Ergun Travel Guide
Aoluguya Ewenki Ethnic Township
Moerdaoga Travel Guide
Shiwei Travel Tips

Wusu Langzi Lake (Tips, Photos & Map)
Dujuan Lake in Aershan National Forest Park

Beihu Park Skyline at Night in Manzhouli
Night View of Manzhouli City
Architecture of Manzhouli
Top 10 Attractions in Manzhouli

Top 10 Attractions in Alxa League
Heicheng Historic Site in Ejin Banner (Tips, Photos & Map)
Guai Shu Lin in Ejin Banner, Inner Mongolia (Tips, Photos & Map)
Populus Forest in Ejin Banner (Tips, Photos & Map)
Badain Jaran Desert (Tips, Photos & Map)

Site of Xanadu (Tips, Photos & Map)
Xanadu Sites Museum
Jinlianchuan Grassland
Wulanbutong Grassland  
Asihatu Stone Forest
Gong Geer Grassland
Dalinur Lake
Duolun County
Asihatu Stone Forest
Grassland in West Ujimqin Banner
Top 10 Attractions in Chifeng

Any questions, just drop a line.

Top Attractions in Manzhouli

Friday, October 29th, 2021
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Plan your Inner Mongolia  Tour? The exotic Sino-Russian border city of Manzhouli (满洲里) is one of the big draws in Inner Mongolia. It is a laissez-faire border city where the Trans-Siberian Railway  crosses from China to Russia.Manzhouli has the mixed folk customs originated from the three countries including China, Russia and Mongolia and a blend of Chinese and Western cultures as well. I’ve just rounded up the top 10 things to do in Manzhouli, which could be useful for organizing your trip to Manzhouli.

Manzhouli Architectures 满洲里建筑

The layout of Manzhouli city center resembles a chessboard with chess-like European-style buildings scattered along the streets. There are approximatley 160 buildings lined on the 12 streets in the city center. Many buildings have been renovated and upgraded, featuring the  harmony between the outstanding single buildings and the uniqueness of each street.

The No.1 Street (East – West)

Manhzouli is small enough to walk around. You can still see the Russian wooden houses of over hundred years.  All the  street-front-store signs are in Chinese, Russian and Mongolian. Walking on the streets in Manzhouli, you have the feeling of being in an exotic city in a foreign country. Manzhouli does gives us a pleasant surprise in an era when China is bogged down in the situation where more and more Chinese cities look the same.  See Manzhouli Architectures for further reading.

Guo Men (Sino-Russian Border Crossing )

Guo Men, which literally means “National Gate”, is the Sino-Russian border crossing approx.9 km  west of Manzhouli’s city center.  This is the fifth “Guo Men” built in 2008 with a small museum inside telling the history of the area. Standing on the top of Guo Men, you are able to see the border crossing on the Russian side.

Entrance fee: RMB 80
Opening Hours: Jan 06 – Jan 25 ( 09:00 – 17:00); April 01 – October 31 (09:00-17:00)
How to get there:  take a taxi ( RMB 5-10)
Tel: 0470 – 6229068

 Guo Men (Sino-Russian Border Crossing )
Guo Men (Sino-Russian Border Crossing )

Russia Taowa Square 俄罗斯套娃广场

“Taowa” means “Russian Matryoshka Dolls”. Opened in 2006, the squqre has a giant Russian Matryoshka doll towering 30m surrounded by over 200 colorful nesting dolls representing different countries.

Russia Taowa Square is located halfway between the city center and the border crossing. Inside the giant Russian Matryoshka doll there is a largeRussian food resstaurant and a performance hall as well.  The whole square features the mixed cultures of China, Russia and Mongolia.  It is the largest Taowa doll in the world, a Guinmess world record.

Entrance fee: Free
Opening Hours: All year
How to get there:  take a taxi ( RMB 15 – 20)
Tel: 0470-8238664

Russian Matryoshka Dolls Plaza
Russian Matryoshka Dolls Plaza

Hulun Lake 呼伦湖

Hulun Lake, also known as Dalai Hu, and Hulun Nur in Mongolian.  this massive lake pops out of the landscape 36km south of Manzhoul, China’s fifth-largest lake.  Hulun Lake is located near the National Highway No.301 on the route from Hailar to Manzhouli. You can visit Hulun Lake either from Hailar or Manzhouli. The lake itself is under the jurisdiction of Manzhouli City, but it actually lies in the area surrounded by Manzhouli, New Barag Left Banner and New Barag Right Banner.

The Hulun Lake is an ideal summer resort in terms of cool climate, beautiful scenery and fresh air. If you come here in summer, you are able to participate in many activities such as boating on the lake, fishing on the lake shore, sunbathing, bird watching. You can also have a bite of the local all-fish feast with numerous delicious and nourishing dishes of fish.

Entrance fee: RMB 20
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
How to get there:  Hire a taxi from Manzhouli ( RMB200 return)
Tel: 0470-6530166
See Hulun Lake for more information.

Hulun Lake (Dalai Hu or Ulun Nur in Mongolian)
Hulun Lake (Dalai Hu or Ulun Nur in Mongolian)

Manzhouli Locomotive Square 满洲里火车头广场

Manzhouli Locomotive Square is located just on the west of Guo Men.  It was inaugurated in June, 2004.  The old locomotive was built in 1940s by the Japanese. The rails under the locomotive were built by the Russian, nicknamed Rail 43 which refers to the 43 kilograms for extended one meter rail.In 1949, Chairman Mao visited Russia passing by Manzhouli and his train was driven by this locomotive. The locomotive was numbered “1861”.

Entrance fee: Free
Opening Hours: all year round
How to get there:  by Guo Men ( taxi fare: 10 -15)

Manzhouli Locomotive Square
Manzhouli Locomotive Square

No.41 Boundary Marker 41号界碑

The Boundary Marker No.41 is located within the scenic area of Guo Men, about 10 km west of Manzhouli’s city center.  It is the 41th border marker listed in August, 1994 when the Sino-Russian Boundary Survey was finished.

Before 1993, this location was once a busy passage used both by passenger buses and lorries. With the increasing volume of goods on both sides, a new crossing was built elsewhere to take place the old one.  The Boundary Marker 41 stands on the former old passage.  The boundary marker is made of marble stones,  1.2 meters high, 0.4 meters wide and 0.25 meters thick.

Entrance fee: Free
Opening Hours: all year round
How to get there:  by Guo Men ( taxi fare: 10 -15)

No.41 Boundary Marke
No.41 Boundary Marke

Hassle-Free Inner Mongolia Guided Tours

If you don’t want go the daunting do-it-yourself-route and prefer an organized hassle-free private tour to visit Inner Mongolia, no worry and we have the following options:

Inner Mongolia Tour
Mid-Inner Mongolia Tour (Hohhot, Baotou, Ordos)
East Inner Mongolia Tour (Xanadu,Wulan Butong, Xilinhot, Chifeng)
Northeast Inner Mongolia Tour (Hulunbuir)
West Inner Mongolia Tour (Alashan “Alxa” League)
Hohhot Tour
Hohhot Highlights & Grassland 3 Day Tour
Hohhot Highlights & Grassland 2 Day Tour

Further Readings


Top Places to Visit in Inner Mongolia
Top 10 Attractions in Hohhot
Best Time to Visit Hohhot
Meidaizhao Temple
How to go to Hohhot from Beijing
Top Souvenirs in Hohhot
Hohhot Taxi: Hohhot Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Baotou Taxi: Baotou Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Ordos Taxi: Ordos taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
What to see in Hohhot, what to do in Hohhot

How to visit Hulunbuir Grassland
Top 10 Attractions in Hulunbuir
Sunrise Glow over Hulunbuir Grassland
Top 10 Places for Photography in Hulunbuir
Hulun Lake Travel Tips
World Anti-fascist War Hailar Memorial Park

Road Trip from Ergun to Linjiang Village
Ergun Travel Guide
Aoluguya Ewenki Ethnic Township
Moerdaoga Travel Guide
Shiwei Travel Tips

Wusu Langzi Lake (Tips, Photos & Map)
Dujuan Lake in Aershan National Forest Park

Beihu Park Skyline at Night in Manzhouli
Night View of Manzhouli City
Architecture of Manzhouli
Top 10 Attractions in Manzhouli

Top 10 Attractions in Alxa League
Heicheng Historic Site in Ejin Banner (Tips, Photos & Map)
Guai Shu Lin in Ejin Banner, Inner Mongolia (Tips, Photos & Map)
Populus Forest in Ejin Banner (Tips, Photos & Map)
Badain Jaran Desert (Tips, Photos & Map)

Site of Xanadu (Tips, Photos & Map)
Xanadu Sites Museum
Jinlianchuan Grassland
Wulanbutong Grassland  
Asihatu Stone Forest
Gong Geer Grassland
Dalinur Lake
Duolun County
Asihatu Stone Forest
Grassland in West Ujimqin Banner
Top 10 Attractions in Chifeng