China's Top 6 Spectacular Grasslands and Pastures
Have you ever been to any of China's grasslands? Most are located on the plateaus, where the air is clean and fresh. Taking a deep breath and enjoying the fresh air on the grassland can be a fantastic experience, and summer is the best time to visit as the weather is comfortable and cool.
China Highlights has listed the six most-spectacular grasslands and pastures in China here for you. You can also contact us for a customized tour of any of the grasslands to have fun and explore these natural gifts.
1. Hulunbuir Grassland 呼伦贝尔大草原
Hulunbuir Grassland was spoken highly of in an ancient Chinese poem as a place where "the sky is blue and the grass is boundless; when the grass bows in the wind, the horses and sheep will appear" (天苍苍，野茫茫，风吹草低见牛羊).
Located in the northeast of Hunlunbeir, Inner Mongolia, northern China, and covering a large area of 250, 557 square kilometers, Hulunbuir Grassland is well protected and praised as one of China's most beautiful and amazing grasslands. It is famous for its two large lakes -- Hulun Lake and Buir Lake of Inner Mongolia.
The grass is vigorous and lush during the summer on Hulunbuir Grassland. The sunset on the far horizon, as the grassland turns gold, is intoxicating. It is really a magical and wonderful experience for travelers. In addition, summer is the best season to go horseback riding, to view wrestling matches on the grassland and to have and enjoy a close experience with the Mongolian minority culture.
- Note: Winter is the off season for traveling to Hulunbuir Grassland, as it may snow severely. Furthermore, the transportation conditions are not convenient to access the area.
Interested in planning a relaxing trip to Hulunbuir Grassland? China Highlights can help you design a trip including this natural beauty and more. Contact us for a personalized tour of the grassland or elsewhere in Inner Mongolia.
2. Xilingol Grassland 锡林郭勒草原
Located in the center of Inner Mongolia, Xilingol Grassland (translation: the rivers on the highlands) is another fabulous grassland area on the Inner-Mongolian plateau and covers an area of 10,786 square kilometers. Xilingol Grassland consists of sand dunes, wetlands, more than 1,200 plant species and many species of animals.
Sunset on Xilingol is an excellent choice for sight-seeing and avoiding the heat. You can also go horseback riding and experience the country life of the rural Mongolian culture. People living on the grassland especially like to enjoy mutton and dairy products such as yogurt and Mongolian milk tea.
- Note: Winter is not a suggested time to visit the Xilingol Grassland, as it may snow severely.
3. Qilian Mountain Grassland 祁连山草原
At a distance of 120 kilometers from Ganzhou city and located at the foot of Qilian mountain, Qinghai province, in the northwest of China, Qilian Mountain Grassland has an average elevation of between 4,000 and 5,000 meters above sea level.
"Qilian" is a Hun Chinese term referring to the "heavenly mountain." Nowadays, Uighur people still call Qilian the "heavenly mountain." The good climate and weather of the grassland has earned the grassland the name of "golden lotus prairie," as it has much water and is lush and fresh.
- Note: Please be aware of altitude sickness when visiting Qilian Grassland. Also, there are no obvious seasonal differences in weather on the grassland, which makes traveling at any point of the year a good proposition.
Located about 12 kilometers to the west of Ordos prefecture and about 70 kilometers to the east of Shizhenyuan Tourism Zone, Ordos Grassland combines beautiful natural scenery with a fascinating local ethnic culture. The grassland is divided into many parts, including the Performance Zone, Catering Service Zone, Rest Zone and others.
Many ethnic performances can be seen on the grassland during different seasons. Wrestling and archery are the most typical activities and enjoy a great popularity around the world.
In addition, some Mongolian yurts are also scattered on the grassland, looking like many little stars embellishing the sky. These tents are used as dining locations as well as accommodations for visitors.
- Note: The difference in temperature between day and night is significant on the grassland. Preparation of both warm and cool clothing is necessary. Furthermore, Ordos Grassland is a desert area in China, and it is important to bring adequate water and moisturizing lotions.
5. Narat Grassland 那拉提草原
"Narat" means "the place where sunshine first appears". Narat Grassland is like a golden blanket when the sun rises in the morning. A part of Yili Grassland and located in Xinjiang province, Narat Grassland's 180 kilometers stretch along the riverbed, with the Tianshan mountains surrounding on three sides.
Many streams and springs cross the grassland, and vigorous forests cover the lion's share of the area. Forest grows better on the grassland as the soil is very fertile. Cattle and horses as well as some Mongolian yurts are sporadically scattered across the land as well.
- Note: It is too cold to visit in winter as the temperature can fall to -40 degrees.
6. Sangke Grassland 桑科草原
Lying about 10 kilometers from Xiahe City, Gansu province, in the northwest of China, Sangke Grassland is one of the most popular grasslands in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, with an average elevation of 3,000 meters above sea level. It is famous for its amazing pastures and spectacular Buddhist ceremonies.
"Sangke" is a kind of flower that extends far off into the horizon like a huge beautiful carpet on the grassland. Numerous sheep, horses and cattle as well as some tents resting on the grassland can be seen from a good view.
You can go horseback riding or travel by bicycle on the grassland. Staying in a tent, enjoying some authentic, delicious local food and experiencing the culture of the grassland, such as yak-butter tea and roasted mutton, can be very fantastic.
- Note: Transportation to get to Sangke Grassland is convenient. You can take a bus or bicycle from Xiahe City. This is perfect for appreciating the beautiful scenery along the road.
Recommended Tours for Visiting the Grasslands in China
- Essence of Northern Inner Mongolia Tour
- Essence Tour of Hohhot
- The Nadam Grassland Festival of Mongolia
- Inner Mongolia Xilamuren Grassland Tour from Beijing
- Six Most Beautiful Mountains in China
- China's Top 7 Hot Springs
- Cruises in China
- China's Top Hiking Trails
- China's Famous Waterways
I updated this article on March 1, 2013
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