Archive for the ‘Xilingol Travel’ Category

Site of Xanadu (Tips, Photos & Map)

Sunday, October 24th, 2021
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Xanadu, also known as Yuanshangdu in Chinese, literally means “Upper Capital”, which was the summer capital of Kublai Khan’s Yuan Dynasty (1274-1364) in China.

The Site of Xanadu encompasses the remains of Kublai Khan’s legendary capital city, designed by the Mongol ruler’s Chinese advisor Liu Bingzhdong in 1256.

A Stone Tablet “Site of Xanadu”

The Site of Xanadu is the site of a grassland capital characteristic of cultural fusion, witnessing clashes and mutual assimilation between the nomadic and agrarian civilisations in northern Asia (whc.unesco.org).

Location of Site of Xanadu

If you want to google “Site of Xanadu”, you’d better use the word “Yuanshangdu” ( Upper Capital in Yuan Dynasty in mandarin). Now Google Map recognizes “Site of Xanadu” as “Yuanshangdu Relic Site”.

Yuanshangdu Relic Site is located about 37km to the northwest of Duolun County, 27km to the northeast of Zhenglan Banner. See the map below:

The location of Yuanshangdu Relic Site

How to Get to Yuanshangdu Relic Site

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

Google Map uses Yuanshandu ( mandarin) instead of its old name Xanadu. So you can easily find the Yuanshangdu Relic Site on Google Map, which is also known as the Site of Xanadu.

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

About 460km north of Beijing by road

Yuanshangdu Relic Site is about 460km north of Beijing. You may arrange your own transport going to the relic site directly by road from Beijing. Overnight you may choose to stay either in Zhenglan Banner or Duolun County.

Virtual Tour of the Ruins of Xanadu

I take a taxi from my hotel in Duolun County and drive along the wide National Highway 510 to the west, then turn to the north along the provincial highway X517, soon I get to the Site of Xanadu, a scenic 38km drive.

A 38km scenic drive from Duolun County to Site of Xanadu

The ticket office is designated in a huge yurt. The entrance fee is 40 yuan per person. The electric golf carts within the relic site cost 10 yuan per person , good for those who don’t have strong legs since the relic site park is quite expansive.

The ticket office is designated in a huge yurt at Xanadu

In the ruins of Xanadu, a spectacular civilization, a masterpiece of the multi-culture mix was discovered. It was a green city built by the nomads in Yuan Dynasty incorporating multi civilizations. The site was a unique attempt to assimilate the nomadic Mongolian and Han Chinese cultures.

Mingde Gate ( the south gate of Imperial City) at Xanadu

The city, originally known as Kaiping, was later renamed Xanadu. The plan of Xanadu, with Palace and Imperial cities enclosed partly by the Outer City containing evidence of the nomadic encampments and royal hunting enclosure, comprises a unique example of this cultural fusion (whc.unesco.org).

The North-south axis of Royal Road in Palace City at Xanadu

Today, only the ruins remain, and surrounded by a grassy mound that was once the city wall.

The famous Venetian traveller Marco Polo visited Xanadu (Shangdu) in about 1275 was received by Kublai Khan in the city. In his book, He described the city of Xanadu: “A city called Xanadu (Shangdu), which was constructed by the Khan who is now in power.”

The ruin site of Da’an Pavilion at Xanadu

There are many palaces built out of stones in the city. All the houses are covered with gold and decorated with the pictures of birds, animals and flowers.

Many palaces built out of stones in the city at Xanadu

The Royal Road in the Palace City.

The Royal Road in the Palace City at Xanadu

These buildings and patterns are so pretty that they are appealing to the eye.” From what Marco Polo described, we can imagine how prosperous and luxury the city was at that time. Muqing Pavilion – the living place for emperors.

Muqing Pavilion – the living place for emperors at Xanadu

The design of the upper capital reflected the layout of a traditional Han Chinese city and at the same time incorporating the habit of Mongolians’ nomadic life style. The grassy mound that was once the imperial  city wall.

The grassy mound that was once the imperial  city wall at Xanadu

In 1369 Xanadu was taken and destroyed by the Ming army. The Site of Xanadu was abandoned in 1430. Today, only the ruins remain, and surrounded by a grassy mound that was once the city wall.

The City Wall and Royal Road at Xanadu

The plan of Xanadu, with Palace and Imperial cities enclosed partly by the Outer City containing evidence of the nomadic encampments and royal hunting enclosure, comprises a unique example of this cultural fusion (whc.unesco.org).

The vast expanse of the ruined palace city at Xanadu

Xanadu was immortalized as Xanadu by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who wrote the well-known poem titled Kubla Khan. Coleridge’s description of Xanadu has the elements of the works of both Marco Polo and Samuel Purchas.

In his description of Xanadu, Marco Polo wrote: ” The Palace circled by a wall, inside the Park there are fountains and rivers and brooks and beautiful meadows, with all kinds of wild animals”. Thanks to the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Xanadu has become a metaphor for splendour and prosperity.

On Friday, June 29, 2012, Xanadu (China) was listed as the World Cultural Heritage.

Jinlianchuan Grassland ( Xar Tala )

Jinlianchuan Grassland or Globeflower Grassland abounds in wild plants and animals. It is a natural pasture and a also resort for horse riding, hunting and taking shelter from summer heat.

The globeflowers (Trollius) on the Jinlianchuan Grassland at Xanadu

It used to be a summer resort for the emperors of Liao, Jin, Yuan and Qing dynasties. Now much part of Jinlianchuan Grassland is located within the ruins park of Xanadu.

Jinlianchuan Grassland at Xanadu

On the way from  the entrance to the actual site of the Xanadu ruins you will see the grasslands on both sides of the road dotted with golden globeflowers.

Golden globeflowers grassland

Xandii Gool ( Xanadu River)

Xandii Gool is the upper reach of Today’s Luan River with a length of 82 km. It is regarded as the ” Holy River” the local Inner Mongolian herdsmen. Now it is also the wetland among Jinlianchuan Grassland.

Xandii Gool Xanadu
Xandii Gool wetland at Xanadu

Add-on

Site of Xanadu (Tips, Photos & Map)
Xanadu Sites Museum
Jinlianchuan Grassland
Wulanbutong Grassland  
Asihatu Stone Forest
Gong Geer Grassland
Duolun Travel Guide
How to visit Asihatu Stone Forest
Xi Wuzhumuqin Grassland
Top 10 Attractions in Chifeng

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 
4-Day Beijing Xilinglo Glassland Shangdu Mongolia Culture Tour   

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 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

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)

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

Road Trip from Ergun to Linjiang Village
Ergun Travel Guide
Aoluguya Travel Guide
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

Any questions, just drop a line.

Xanadu Sites Museum (Tips, Photos & Map)

Saturday, October 23rd, 2021
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ABC of Xanadu Sites Museum

Xanadu Sites Museum is located about 7 km south of the Site of Xanadu ( or Yuanshangdu Relic Site as the name recognized by google map ).  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.

Note: There ere two museums relative to Xanadu. One is the Xanadu Sites Museum which we are now talking about; the another museum is called Yuanshangdu Museum ( Xanadu Museum) , which is located in the downtown of Zhenglan Banner ( Zhenglanqi County). When you google Xanadu Sites Museum, it will direct you to Yuanshangdu Musuem in the downtown of Zhenglan Banner. The old name of Xanadu literally means Yuanshangdu in Chinese ( Upper Capital in Yuan Dynasty).

How to get to Xanadu Sites Museum & Tickets

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 (Zhenglan Banner).

But at the time of my writing, I cannot locate Xandadu Sites Museum on Google Map. Instead the Google Mao directs you to another Xanadu Museum in the downtown of Zhenglan Banner since there are two museums relative to Xanadu.

Google Map uses Yuanshandu ( mandarin) instead of its old name Xanadu. So you can easily find the Yuanshangdu Relic Site on Google Map, which is also known as the Site of Xanadu. And the Xanadu Sites Museum is south of Yuanshangdu Relic Site. See the Google Map below ( Xanadu Sites Museum is unmarked, roughly just 7km south of Yuanshangdu Relics Site).

Xanadu Sites Museum is unmarked, roughly just 7km south of Yuanshangdu Relics Site. (Google)

You’d better off arranging your own transport to visit the two places since there is no public transport connecting Zhenglanqi (Zhenglan Banner) or Duolun Country 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.

Virtual Tour of Xanadu Sites Museum

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

Add-on

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

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 
4-Day Beijing Xilinglo Glassland Shangdu Mongolia Culture Tour   

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 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

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)

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

Road Trip from Ergun to Linjiang Village
Ergun Travel Guide
Aoluguya Travel Guide
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

Any questions, just drop a line.

Jinlianchuan Grassland

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby featherJinlianchuan, 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

Add On
3 Day Beijing Shangdu (Xanadu) Tour
Inner Mongolia Tour

Any questions, just drop a line.