Populus Forest in Ejin Banner (Tips, Photos & Map)

Euphrates Poplar Trees

Euphrates poplar (Populus euphratica), or Desert Poplar, is an ancient species of poplar tree in the willow family. The poplar trees change colors with seasons – green in spring and summer, yellow and golden on autumn, and red in winter.

The Euphrates Poplar trees (Also known as Diversifolius Poplar and Populus ) turning yellow in the deep summer offers a great photograph opportunity, very often attracting crowds of visitors.

Desert Populus at Ejina Qi

Populus Forest Geo-Area in Ejin Banner, Alxa League ( Alashan ) in the west of Inner Mongolia (内蒙古阿拉善盟的额济纳旗胡杨林) in China is one of the three remaining natural Euphrates Poplar Forests (Also known as Diversifolius Poplar) in the world with a total forest area of 30,000 hectares.

The other two huge areas of Euphrates Poplar Forests are Sahara Desert and Taklamakan Desert in Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang of China .

Ejina Populus Sightseeing District (Huyanglin Scenic Area)

The whole area becomes a sea of golden leaves, enticing a consistent flow of tourists to enjoy the amazing scenery each year. In 1992, the Ejna Banner Euphrates Poplar Forest Nature Reserve was established there.

Recently years the local governments at all levels have made great efforts building a tourist-friendly Euphrates Poplar Sightseeing District (Huyanglin Scenic Area 内蒙古阿拉善盟的额济纳旗胡杨林 in Chinese ). Now it has become a hot tourist destination for tourists and photographers who flock here to view the magnificent golden fairyland.

When you plan your Inner Mongolia Tour, or especially the West Inner Mongolia Tour, Ejina Euphrates Poplar Forests is a big draw that you should not miss.

The Best Time to Go

While plan your trip to Ejina Banner for viewing Euphrates Populus , you should understand the best time for the fall foliage.

Basically the half month from October 01 through October 15 is the most ideal period for seeing the yellow and golden leaves of the Euphrates desert Populus trees in Ejina.

How to Get There

Located far west of Inner Mongolia and bordering Mongolia, Ejina Banner is a bit tricky to reach by taking public transport. Self-drive is the most popular mode of travel visiting the poplar forests.

The location of Ejina Banner ( Google Map)

It is a scenic drive that allows you to see the massive and mesmerizing Badain Jaran Desert (巴丹吉林沙漠). You may drive to Ejina from Bayanhot (650km), Jiuquan (400km), and Hohhot (1062km) and Beijing (1540km).

Entrance Fee and Where to Stay

The Euphrates Desert Poplar Sightseeing District (Huyanglin Scenic Area) is just located on the east of Dalaihubuzhen Town (达来呼布镇) , the seat of the Ejina Banner Government. So you may book a hotel , or put up in a tent in the town of Dalaihubuzhen. Homestay is also a good alternative.

Entrance fee: RMB 170 ( including the shuttle bus service inside the scenic area).

How to Visit the Ejina Populus Sightseeing District

The Ejina Desert Populus Sightseeing District is called Huyanglin Scenic Area in Chinese ( 额济纳旗胡杨林 ). The paid sightseeing area is located on the east of Dalaihubuzhen Town ( the seat of Ejinan Banner).

The whole Huyanglin Scenic Area is about 20 km long, 15 km wide at the widest and one km at the narrowest. The whole belt is peppered with Euphrates poplar trees, red willow frees and desert bushes.

The Huyanglin Scenic Area ( Ejina Populus Sightseeing District ) Google Map

The whole desert poplar scenic area is mainly composed of eight sections – Yidaoqiao (一道桥 Bridge 1), Erdaoqiao (二道桥 Bridge 2), Sandaoqiao(三道桥 Bridge 3), Sidaoqiao(四道桥 Bridge 4), Wudaoqiao (五道桥 Bridge 5),Liudaoqiao (六道桥 Bridge 6),Qidaoqiao(七道桥 ridge 7) and Badaoqiao (八道桥 Bridge 8).

The Erdaoqiao Section (Bridge 2) is close to the west entrance ( adjacent to the town of Dalaihubu) and Badaqiao (Bridge 8) is the east end of the sightseeing belt on the east entrance to the sightseeing belt.

So the whole paid Ejina Euphrates Desert Poplar Sightseeing District is divided into 8 sections ranging from Bridge 1 to Bridge 8 from west to east). The Bridge 1 is close to the town of Dalaihubuzhen Town 达来呼布镇 ( the west entrance) and the Bridge 8 is close to the east entrance on the northern edge of Badain Jaran Desert (巴丹吉林沙漠) .

Basically people would take the shuttle bus first to visit the furthest section of Badaoqiao ( Bridge No.8), then either walk or take the shuttle bus back to other 7 sections.

The section No.8 (Badaoqiao) is the best place to see the sunrise over the desert. The sections No.1、2,4,7 are very interesting to visit with magnificent fall colors.

Ejina Qi Euphrates Poplar Sightseeing Tips

1. See Sunrise at Badaqiao (八道桥 Bridge No.8)

Badaqiao Sightseeing Area is actually the northern edge of Badain Jaran Desert, one of the best places to see the sunrise over sand dunes and play on the desert. This section is the furthest from the Town of Dalaihubazhen.

People are waiting on the desert dune for the sunrise

I recommend you get up early to catch the early shuttle bus from the west gate and go to the furthest section of Badaoqiao to see the sunrise, then come back to visit Qidaoqiao (No.7), Sidaoqiao (No.4) and Erdaoqiao (No.2) on a return trip.

Get ready for the sunrise over the Badain Jaran Desert

When we get to Badaqiao (No.8), we see many tourist standing on the sand dunes and waiting for the sunrise, busy shooting the rising sun with their cameras and mobiles.

Here comes the fresh desert morning sunrise!

The camel man riding a camel on a high dune is going back and forth to pose for the tourists on the scene.

Sunrise over the sand dunes with camels on the sand dune top

2. See Euphrates Desert Poplar at Qidaoqiao (七道桥 No.7)

After seeing the sunrise at Badaqiao and simple breakfast at the foot of the sand dunes, we continue to get on a shuttle bus for the next section of Qidaoqiao. Qidaoqiao is home to the youngest poplar trees in Ejina Euphrates Poplar Forest. They are the first poplar trees to turn yellow and golden.

Stroll on the boardwalk for seeing the colors

A wooden path winds through the Qidaqiao Area and you don’t have to retrace. Both entrances at Qidaoqiao have shuttle bus stations that brings you to the next destination.

A feast for eyes

People stroll on the board walkway, enjoying the scenery on the both sides.

People stroll on the board walkway, enjoying the scenery on the both sides.

Feeling as if you were in a wonderland of the golden world.

Feeling as if you were in a wonderland of the golden world.

3. Amazed by the “Heroic Euphrates Poplar” at Sidaoqiao (四道桥)

Take the shuttle bus from Qidaoqiao (No.7) to Sidaoqiao (No.4).

Take the shuttle bus from Qidaoqiao (No.7) to Sidaoqiao (No.4).

The Euphrates Polar trees at Sidaoqiao are old and massive, telling us a story of “audacity” in the face of the arid and hard land for centuries.

The old and massive poplar trees

Euphrates Poplar trees are said to “exist for three thousand years – live for one thousand years, dead for one thousand years and rotten for one thousand years”. Here you are able to feel the “Heroism” of the old poplar trees.

Fallen, but not collapsed

Fallen, but not collapsed

Collapsed, but not rotten.

Collapsed, but not rotten.

4. Desert Poplar Trees at Erdaoqiao (二道桥)

Erdaoqiao (No.2) is my favorite section to view the Euphrates Poplar trees. Here you are able to catch the wonderful views of Euphrates Poplar mirrored on water.

Euphrates Poplar mirrored on water

A row or Euphrates Poplar Trees are mirrored on the water, an amazing spectacle.

A row or Euphrates Poplar Trees are mirrored on the water, an amazing spectacle.

Golden Desert Poplar trees, drying river bed and wooden bridge.

Golden Poplar trees, drying river bed and wooden bridge.
A colorful wonderland

Posed in front of an old Euphrates Poplar tree by the river.

An old Euphrates Poplar tree by the river

Of the eight sections in the Huyanglin Scenic Area ( Ejina Euphrates Desert Poplar), I like Erdaoqiap ( No.2) most!

Erdaoqiao section (No.2) is my favorite!

The West Entrance to Ejina Euphrates Desert Poplar Sightseeing Area.

The West Entrance to Ejina Euphrates Poplar Sightseeing Area.

Tip:  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:

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 Historic Site (Khara-Khoto) in Ejin Banner (Tips, Photos & Map)
Guaishulin in Ejin Banner, Inner Mongolia (Tips, Photos & Map)
Populus Forest in Ejin Banner (Tips, Photos & Map)
Badain Jaran Desert (Tips, Photos & Map)

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.

3 thoughts on “Populus Forest in Ejin Banner (Tips, Photos & Map)

  1. Hi Leo Lazo,

    Sorry for our delayed reply!

    A few years ago, the answer was yes. But we are not sure in this pandemic era. Good luck to you!

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