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Journey along the Ili

As one of the popular travel destinations in Xinjiang, where you can visit the spectacular grassland, the magnificent Tianshan Mountains and the beautiful lavender fields.


What to visit?

Many local people say: " one wouldn't see the true beauty of Xinjiang if she or he hasn't been to Ili, hence Ili is also called the “Little Switzerland of the East." 

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Tuergen Xinghuagou (apricot valley):

The Tuergen Apricot Valley is located in Tuergen Town, Xinyuan County in Ili. It is the largest wild apricot forest left from the middle ages. Every spring, the seas of apricot blossoms there attract lots of tourists. 

The apricot blooms around 20th April when there is frequent rain in Tuergen, so please pay attention to the weather forecast and plan your trip. In June, the apricots will be ripe, so it will be a good time to taste the delicious fruits.


Best time to visit: Every Mid-April to early May is the best time to travel to Tuergen Apricot Valley. 

Best shooting time: One to two hours after the sun rises.

Good timing: The apricot blossoms only take about seven days from bloom to fade, so do keep up with local travel news and try your luck.

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Naraty Grassland:

Located at the foot of Tianshan Mountains and the east section of Ili River Valley. Naraty scenic area always knows how to attract more travellers to come here. It is one of the highest grasslands in the world nicknamed the "Sky Grassland.”

The River Valley grassland, also known as Panlong Valley Road, is the favourite pasture of Kazakhs with the rich landform, dense vegetation, abundant streams, warm climate and many grasslands on slopes. when you visit the grassland, you will be attracted by these splendid views such as the winter nests scattered among the valleys and jungles, the yurts of herdsmen on the two sloping grasslands, these elegant blue-and-white domes plus the green forests to name just a few.


When is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit Nalati Grassland is between June and September when the grassland is carpeted with colourful wildflowers and wandering herds of goats, sheep, and cows. 


Tips:

Entrance fee: 

Peak season: 95 RMB ( Jun. - Sept ).

Off-season: 75 RMB ( Apr. - May ), (Oct. - Nov). 47 RMB (Dec. - Mar).

Best visiting time: June - September

Opening time: 8:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

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Dushanzi to Kuqa Highway:

As one of the stupendous highways in Xinjiang, Dushanzi-Kuche Highway, 561 kilometres in length, is a highway connecting Xinjiang's southern and northern areas. It stretches across steep mountains and passes through deep mountains and valleys, connecting numerous ethnic communities.


What to visit?

The highway has greatly shortened the transport distance between southern and northern Xinjiang and is regarded as a monument in the history of highway construction in China. The road runs through the middle part of Tianshan Mountains, throughout the journey the intrusive rocks, volcanic rocks, sedimentary rocks and their metamorphic rocks of various periods and some Several large-scale tectonic lines of Tianshan Mountains can be observed. The ophiolite suite of the North Tianshan Mountains consists of peridotite, gabbro diabase, Pillow Basalt and radiolarian siliceous rocks, and the ultramafic belt near the Hashilgen fault, Carboniferous volcanic rocks in the eastern margin of Yining Basin and Jurassic coal-bearing rocks in the eastern margin of the basin, Eyeball-shaped mixed gneiss, actinolite schist and mylonite of the Middle Proterozoic in Laertundaban, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous associated salt and clastic rocks of the Harkeshan Mountains and abundant corals, brachiopods, stratiform foraminifera and fossils, and integrated contact relationship of the Silurian-Devonian System Early Devonian pillow basalts, radiolarian siliceous rocks and ferromanganese ore beds, wind erosion landforms and neotectonic movement traces formed in Mesozoic and Cenozoic of Kuqa Basin, along the Gobi Oasis, alpine tunnels, modern glaciers, beautiful forests, grasslands, alpine lakes and Swan nature reserves can be sightseeing.

The "road of heroes" has become an important tourism road. Stretching through Tianshan Mountain and connecting natural scenic spots such as the Bayanbulak Grassland and Tianshan Mysterious Grand Canyon, the highway attracts more and more tourists.


Tips:

Opening time: June to October

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Tekesi Bagua Town:

Tekesi Eight-Diagram Town is one of the world's largest and best-preserved towns built according to the "Bagua" design, meaning "eight trigrams" in Chinese. There is a "Bagua" cultural square in the town centre, representing the tai chi “yin and yang.” Eight streets are stretched out according to the "Bagua" architectural style. Each street is about 1,200 metres long and there is a ring road connecting the eight streets every 360 metres. If you get a chance to fly over the city, you can enjoy the bird view of the unique city layout.


Tip:

Transportation: The town has no traffic lights after the local government decided to abolish them in 1996.

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