Bayanbulak Grassland, Bayingolin
(巴音布鲁克景区 bā yīn bù lǔ kè jǐng qū）
Situated at the foot of Tianshan Mountain in the northwest of Hejing county, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Bayanbulak Grassland is a great prairie boasting luxuriant verdant grass, numerous flocks of sheep and varied plants, making it the second largest grassland in China.
Actually, Bayanbulak means ‘‘abundant spring’’ in Mongolian. Being a far-flung and level prairie, it abounds in varieties of grass, and is studded with numerous lakes, large and small. It is also surrounded by mountains. The prairie teems with Yanqi Tianshan horses, Bayabulak dawei (large tail) sheep, Chinese meilinu sheep and yak (otherwise known as the ‘‘tableland tank’’), which make up its ‘‘Four Treasures’’.
In midsummer, flowers are in full bloom, vying with each other in beauty; flocks of sheep graze leisurely, resembling white clouds floating in the blue sky; yurts, circular domed tents used by Mongolian nomads, stud the landscape like the snow lotus of Tianshan Mountain.
The well-known Swan Lake is located in the prairie. In fact, it is home to many small lakes and is the only nature reserve for swans in China. Every year, around April, swans and other rare birds return from the south to live and breed here. At that time, it is quite exciting to witness the splendid spectacle of the sky full of flying swans. In the sun, flying swans, glittering lakes, surrounding peaks and clouds collectively create a picturesque and breathtaking view.
Nadam Fair, a big event on the prairie, is held from June 4th to 6th in the lunar calendar every year. At this time, locals and tourists are entertained by various activities such as horse racing, wrestling, dancing, singing and archery. It is a good opportunity for visitors to experience local customs.
Scenic Spot Level: AAAAA
Ideal Sightseeing Season: September
Opening Hours: 7:00 – 19:00
Ticket Price: 30 yuan ($4.35) for Bayandulak Grassland, 65 yuan for Swan Lake
Address: Hejing county, Bayingolin, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
1. The temperature in the prairie is low, so you need to cover yourself with a thick quilt in the evening, even though it might be summer.
2. You can take a bus from Urumqi Bus Station bound for Bayanbulak Grassland, along Wuyi highway via Duku highway, for about 460 kilometers when you arrive in Hejing county. Then you may start out from Hejing county to the west, along the mountain road which is about 300 km long to enter the beautiful prairie.
3. Bayanbulak provides hotels and rest houses for visitors, and in the prairie, tents are provided for visitors to live in.