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Southern Pastures (West White Poplar Gully)

The word 'Urumqi' originally means 'Beautiful Pastures' in Mongolian. Fortunately in the suburb of the city of Urumqi there lies the Southern Pastures, a beautiful pasture the pastoral Kazakh inhabit and graze in summer.

Covering an area of 119 square kilometers (about 45 square miles), Southern Pastures, the natural large and famous summer resort, 75 kilometers (about 46 miles) away from the city, is located in the Southern Mountain, the area at the northern foot of Karawuquntag Mountain.

Southern Pastures, Urumqi
Southern Pastures, Urumqi
   
A barbecue in the Southern Pasture
A barbecue on the Southern Pasture
                    Southern Pastures Pictures

It takes you about one hour by bus from Urumqi to get to West White Poplar Gully which is one of most typical sights. On the way, you can see the bright snowcapped Karawuquntag Mountain, the wandering valleys, hear the gurgle of springs, and smell the lush spruce trees. In the thicket of the lush spruce trees, let your eyes delight in the traditional villas and the scattered Kazakstan yurts as they paint the grassland.

As you stand there, you can see the forest of emerald green spruce on a chain of undulating grass hills dotted with combined flocks and herds. As you immerse yourself in this beautiful site, the singing of the Kazakh may envelop you and inspire you to sing with them. You can visit one of the traditional yurts locating in the spruce forest where you will be welcomed by a generous host with fragrant milk tea, mare's milk, cheese and roasted lamb. If you are lucky enough, you will be able to observe the amazing horseracing and traditional Kazakh dancing.

Ride a horse in the pasture
Ride a horse on the pasture
   
The inside of tent in the pasture
The inside of a tent on the pasture
After you walk 2 kilometers (about 1.2 miles) north into the Gully you will come to a natural cliff that is a 2-meter (6.6 feet) wide waterfall. As it roars down a 40 meters (131 feet) drop, it creates mist and a floating rainbow, both of which help to refresh and relax you. If you are reluctant to leave this delightful spot, you can stay at the yurt rest house. But remember that the weather is cold at night in mountain areas so you should bring more clothes and a flashlight which is a necessity.

Additional beautiful spots there from west to east are respectively Chrysanthemum Tai (a table-board of alluvial fan), East White Poplar Gully, Zhaobi Mountain, Miao'er Gully and Da'xi Gully. With the embellishment by these other sights, Southern Pastures is even more beautiful and fascinating.

West White Poplar Gully is the preferred place in the Southern Pastures for touring on horseback so that you can enjoy a relaxing but invigorating summer holiday.

Admission Fee: CNY 15