Archive for the ‘Inner Mongolia Travel’ Category

A Glimpse of Badain Jaran Desert

Monday, July 23rd, 2018
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A visit to West Inner Mongolia, or specifically Alashan (Alxa) League, has long been one of my dreams. This beautiful dream has come true this October. We (together with other 6 travelers) made a round trip drive from Hohhot to Ejina Qi ( Ejina Banner), an over-2000 km crazy drive, passing by Yinshan Mountains and Kubuqi Desert 库布齐沙漠 , through Ulan Buh Desert 乌兰布和沙漠 and Badain Jaran Desert (巴丹吉林沙漠).

Badain Jaran Desert is definitely the highlight of the adventurous drive. Badain Jaran Desert boasts the highest stationary dunes in the world (the tallest dune over 450 meters, extending over 5 km in length) and the third the largest desert in China with an area of over 49,000 sq.kilometers.

Badain Jaran literally means ” mysterious lakes” in Mongolian. As its name suggest,  Badain Jaran Desert is dotted with over spring-fed 140 lakes. All  the lakes reside among the gigantic sand dunes, creating the most mesmerizing desert landscapes in the world.

In addition to the megadunes and lakes, Badain Jaran Desert is mainly composed of barren and sandy desert, a combination of solid bedrock, loose gravel and  a few oases with limited vegetation growing.

Driving along the provincial highway No.312 allows people to have a  glimpse of the north edge of Badain Jaran Desert.  Though unable to enter the heartland of Badain Jaran Desert, a visit to its northern rim does give us a real feel of the mysterious and beautiful desert.

Driving through the barren and sandy desert with limited vegetation

Driving through the barren and sandy desert with limited vegetation

Driving through the barren and sandy desert with limited vegetation

Come across a group of grazing sheep with a backdrop of the soft-silk like sand dunes

Come across a group of grazing sheep with a backdrop of the soft-silk like sand dunes

Come across a group of grazing sheep with a backdrop of the soft-silk like sand dunes

Run into a group of grazing camels

Run into a group of grazing camles

Run into a group of grazing camles

Driving through Gobi ( solid bedrock, loose gravel)

Driving through Gobi ( solid bedrock, loose gravel)

Driving through Gobi ( solid bedrock, loose gravel)

Soft dunes with beautiful water reflections

Soft dunes with beautiful water reflections

Soft dunes with beautiful water reflections

Sand dunes with limited vegetation

Sand dunes with limited vegetation

Sand dunes with limited vegetation

Golden poplar trees on the desert and lake

Golden poplar trees on the desert and lake

Golden poplar trees on the desert and lake

Dead poplar trees on the desert due to the lack of water

Dead poplar trees on the desert due to the lack of water

Dead poplar trees on the desert due to the lack of water

Get up early to catch the sunrise over the desert

Get up early to catch the sunrise over the desert

Get up early to catch the sunrise over the desert

Sunrise over the sand dunes with camels on the top

Sunrise over the sand dunes with camels on the top

Sunrise over the sand dunes with camels on the top

 

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Inner Mongolia  Guided Tours
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:

Beijing Yinchuan Alxa Highlight 7 Day Tour

3 Day Beijing Shangdu (Xanadu) Tour from US$ 305 p/p.
4-Day Beijing Xilinglo Glassland Shangdu Mongolia Culture Tour   from US$ 399 p/p.

Beijing Hulunbuir Classic Loop 6 Day Tour from US$959 P/P 
 Beijing Hulunbeier Folk Culture 4 Day Tour  from US$845 P/P

Further Readings


Sunrise Glow over Hulunbuir Grasslands.
Top 10 Attractions in Hulunbuir.
Road Trip from Ergun to Linjiang Village

Heicheng Ruins in Ejina Qi, Inner Mongolia

Sunset over Guaishulin
Euphrates Poplar Forests at Ejina Qi

For any questions, just drop a line.

Best Night Views of Manzhouli City

Saturday, May 12th, 2018
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If you are a newbie in Manzhouli City, or a tourist passing through, I’m happy to recommend you to hang out one night to look at the splendid night views of the exotic and largest border city in China,  a  border crossing which connects China, Russia and Mongolia.

Beautifully Lit up Buildings
Manzhouli has the mixed folk custom of the three countries including China, Russia and Mongolia, a blend of Chinese and Western cultures. The city is crisscrossed with intriguing buildings of Russian, European, Mongolian and Chinese styles.

The Chessboard-like Layout of the Illuminated Manzhouli City

The Chessboard-like Layout of the Illuminated Manzhouli City

At nightfall,  all the 162 buildings of different styles lined on the 12 streets in the city center, are lit up brightly, turning the remote and far-flung border city into an otherworldly wonderland.

The European Style Buildings in Manzhouli

The European Style Buildings in Manzhouli

Beihu Park Skyline at Night
Beihu Park is a perfect place for an evening stroll while enjoying its brilliant night skyline. Beihu Park, literally “North Lake Park”, is located north of the Fifth Avenue in the city center of Manzhouli.

Beihu Park Skyline at Night

Beihu Park Skyline at Night

Its lake shoreline is set in brilliant lights with high-rises standing above, also brightly lightened, posing the magnificent night skyline in Manzhouli. The Beihu Park skyline is not to be dwarfed by  the world-famous Pudong Skyline.  It’s worth your visit on your night trip.

Beihu Park Skyline at Night

Beihu Park Skyline at Night

The Lively Pedestrian Street in the Evening
What makes Manzhouli unique is not only its exotic buildings, but also the mixed diversity of its people. Yes, the pedestrian street, officially known as “Sino-Russian Street”, is a bit touristy, but it is really a nice place, especially in summer. You sit down at a cafe and just enjoy people watch.

The Lit-up Sino-Russian Street

The Lit-up Sino-Russian Street

 

A Pretty Russian Girl

A Pretty Russian Girl

You will see beautiful Russian girls standing on the street for photo taking; Russian women sit on the street-side benches for relaxation; lovers, family members, friends or lonely travelers all come together, creating a peaceful night view.

The street makes a lovely walk in the evening.

The street makes a lovely walk in the evening.

The street makes a lovely walk in the evening and offers a great opportunity for Street photography.

A Panoramic View of Manzhouli at Night
Yingshan  Orthodox Church is a good spot for a bird’s-eye view of an overall view of Manzhouli City. The church is perched high on Yingshan Hill, about 5km southeast of the Sino-Russian Pedestrian Street.

The illuminated Yingshan Orthodox Church

The illuminated Yingshan Orthodox Church

Yingshan Orthodox Church is a newly built landmark, a replica of Russian-style orthodox church. It is mainly used for holding local wedding ceremonies and tourist sightseeing as well.

A Panoramic View of the Lightened Manzhouli City.

A Panoramic View of the Lightened Manzhouli City.

Standing on the high compound of Yinshan Church, people can have a clear and overall view of Hanzhouli City. The best time to view the whole city is in the evening when neon and lights are lit up on the streets and buildings.

Add On
Manzhouli Architecture
Beihu Park Skyline at Night in Manzhouli
Inner Mongolia Tour

Any questions, just drop a line.

Xanadu Sites Museum

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018
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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

 

Hassle-Free Private Tour to Visit Xanadu and other parts of Inner Mongolia
If you don’t want go the daunting do-it-yourself-route and prefer an organized hassle-free private tour to visit  Xanadu and other parts of Inner Mongolia, no worry and we have the following options:

3 Day Beijing Shangdu (Xanadu) Tour from US$ 305 p/p.
4-Day Beijing Xilinglo Glassland Shangdu Mongolia Culture Tour   from US$ 399 p/p.

 

Further Readings


 

Xanadu Travel Guide

Wulanbutong Grassland  .

Jinlianchuan Grassland.

Inner Mongolia Tour .

Any questions, just drop a line.