Bayingolen Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture
Bayingolen is the largest administrative region in China, accounting for one-fourth of the total area of Xinjiang, shaped like a big-fat "U-boat" lying in the southeast of Xinjiang, neighbor to Gansu and Qinghai in the East, Tibet in the south, Khotan and Aksu in the West, along Tianshan Mountain in the north to ILI, Tacheng, Changji, Urumqi, Turpan, and Hami.
Generally, the weather of the region is hotter and more humid in summer than that of Urumqi and warmer in Winter.
Why visit the region
1. The largest freshwater lake of Xinjiang
It is a pleasant surprise to see the lake. For one reason, Xinjiang is a place of Gods' grace with grasslands, mountains, lakes, grand canyons, gobi, deserts, forests, but a place without a sea. For the other, the freshwater lake is so huge that it is the lost twin of an ocean. We have everything.
2. The nine curves and eighteen turns of Tongtian River.
They look like a crystal green jade belt winding through the vast grassland to the far end of the sky. They make eyes on them like a giant coquettish python devouring desire. When the sun sets down, people might see nine suns at different turns.
3. The swan's Lake
The swans are not the swans in Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake. They don't suffer for life and death, hatred and love, but they are as graceful as the swans in Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake. Clean Lake is its happy music. Freedom is their movement.
4. Populus euphratica foresT
Here is the world's largest, the most densely distributed, and best surviving "tertiary living fossil" - more than 267 square kilometers of natural populus euphratica forest. The trees' lifespan can be more than 3000 years. After 3000 years of death, the trees don't get rotten but remain immortal".
5. Precious wildlife
If you are a wild animal lover, you might come to see the wild animals in Aerjin Wildlife Nature Reserve. The first-class national protected animals include yak, Tibetan wild ass, Tibetan antelope, snow leopard, argali, Tibetan snow rooster, and a black-necked crane; second-class protected animals include lynx, brown bear, Tibetan antelope, snow rooster, golden eagle, and jade belt Sea eagles, vultures, rabbits, rock sheep, green sheep, peregrine falcons.
6. Barbecued fish in Lop Village
Tarim River and Kongque River flow through Lop Village and make the village in the desert full of life. Lop people rely on Lop Nur water by fishing, wetlands, and primitive populus euphratica forests to make a living generation by generation. Roasted fish has become a unique delicacy. Only salt, cumin, and red pepper powder are used to retain the flavor to the greatest extent. Fishes taste crisp outside and tender inside with a long fragrance.
7. The lost city
Luolan ancient city used to be affluent and a transportation hub of silk, tea, horses, grapes and jewelry from 176BC to 630 BC. Now it is a ruin, only leaving broken earthy yellow walls standing alone. It is particularly desolate and solemn.
8. Strong ethnic culture
Taking Ruoqiang County as an example, it has been a multi-ethnic area since ancient times. There are 15 ethnic groups, including Han, Uygur, Hui, Mongolian, Manchu and Dongxiang. Each group has its own unique culture and traditions. It is imperative to respect each other. As we know, many ethnic conflicts in history lead to war.
1. Bayinbuluk Prairie
Located in the northwest of Hejing County and in the hinterland of the southern foot of the Tianshan Mountains with a total area of about 1259.47 square kilometers. The prairie has a large-scale intermountain basin, alpine meadow grassland, and alpine swamp wetland ecosystem as a whole. To specific points, it has a number of swans gathering in Swan Lake, summer colorful flowers in blossom on the boundless grassland, fat-ass cattle and sheep everywhere, and such golden Autumn painted by Van Gogh like in The idyllic Scenery in Harvest. Once you've been here, you will always remember it. Among them, 9 Curves and 18 Turns and Swan lake are most famous.
2. Curves and Turns
The clear Tongtian River wriggles on the vast green grassland with thousands of twists and turns like a jade belt in dancing steps to a distant horizon. It looks so beautiful and spectacular that it makes my words plain. At sunsets, the river bends could reflect a few rays of the setting suns. The whole picture is hard to imagine what an enchanting charm it is. The twisted boa constrictor is too simple to be comparable with the gorgeous rotation that makes the heart beat faster; the jade belt is too realistic to convey the touching beauty of 9 Curves and 18 Turns.
I first knew about the place by a poem when I was little. Luckily I still remember it because of its catchy rhymes and expressing melancholy of farewell. It goes, "see you off at East Gate of Luntai. when the snow covers the mountain road. You are not seen in the mountain circuits, but the horse's footprints are on the snow". On an autumn day of 2019, I went to Luntai not for farewell but for populus euphratica forest, covering 267 square kilometers. Unlike the towering trees, Populus euphratica forest is a medium-sized shape, fat and robust. In the joy of Autumn, they flash their golden coats to show their enchanting charming off, co-existing with the desert.
4. Aerjin National Nature Reserve
The Reserve is known for Wild Animal Reserve as the largest one in China. It is located in the south of Aerjin mountain and the north of East Kunlun mountain. It starts from the boundary of Ruoqiang and Qiemo counties in the West, and reaches the junction of Xinjiang and Qinghai provinces in the East. Surrounded by mountains and glaciers, lakes, and gobi, it is known as the wild animals' zoo. In the deep mountains and dense forests, you can see snow leopards catching mice and rabbits, argali sheep fighting fiercely for their spouses, and golden eagles circling down from the sky to catch pheasants and then flying into the sky. You can also see wild camels, Tibetan wild donkeys, wild yaks, Tibetan antelopes, argali and red deer walking leisurely along the river in the moonlight.
5. Luo Nur and Luo Lan
Two lost spots are gone forever. Luo por used to be a blue lake and home for happy fishes. In 1972, Lop Nur dried up. China's first atomic bomb was successfully detonated in Lop Nur. Located in the West of Luo Nur, Luolan ancient city disappeared mysteriously. Although they are gone, it is worthy of exploring for history.
When to come
Summer is the best for touring Bayinbuluk Prairie when is also the most beautiful season of grassland. Too early and too late are not right. At summer sunsets, 9 Curves and 18 Turns shows the world her endless charm.
Eight airlines are operating multiple flights at Korla Airport. For example, Korla direct flight to Qiemo County, Chongqi, Urumqi, Beijing, Shanghai etc. It is really convenient to take flights from Urumqi to Kashgar via Korla Airport.
Korla is a transportation hub for connecting North Xinjiang to South. So railways and long-distance coach have developed well to meet needs for both sides.
To reach scenic spots, I would like to recommend to take private cars with other tourists. It is a little expensive but faster with good service.
As an essential tourist land, Bayinguolen has fine chain hotels. Please check the following hotel to see if you will expect to stay nights
Korla Luolan hotel
Korla Pear City Garden Hotel
Korla Tianyuan Business Hotel
Maps of Bayingolen you might need