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

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 in Southern Pastures, 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.

How to get to Southern Pastures

Take a bus from Urumqi Nanjiao Bus Station to Southern Pastures directly.

Admission Fee CNY 30
Opening Hours All day

 You may like: Top 10 Things to Do in Urumqi

- Last updated on Apr. 12, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Southern Pastures (West White Poplar Gully)
Asked by Arch from THAILAND | Jan. 08, 2020 07:59Reply
Weather in april
How about the weather in april?
Answers (1)
Answered by Alex from UNITED KINGDOM | Jan. 08, 2020 19:28

Urumqi temperature in April will be around 5C-20C. You can bring some long-sleeve shirts, hoodies, jackets, etc.
Asked by Rieng | Oct. 12, 2019 08:44Reply
If I stay 1 night in yurt and back Urumqi next morning.
Are there public buses from Nanshan return to bus station at south of people's park Urumqi in the morning, 8.00 - 9.00 am?
Answers (1)
Answered by Austin from UNITED KINGDOM | Oct. 14, 2019 02:08

Sorry, there isn't.
Asked by michelle from MALAYSIA | Oct. 06, 2016 23:54Reply
nanshan & centre of asia marker

i will have only one full day in urumqi , is it possible to visit the Musuem in the city then proceed to nanshan after lunch time? how far from Regional Museum area?which is the fastest and most convenient way of reaching both the nanshan & stopover centre of asia marker?
i will be going this November 2
Answers (1)
Answered by Tiana from CANADA | Oct. 07, 2016 01:25

Hi, just leave early in the morning and time can be enough to cover both of the museum and Nanshan Scenic Area. They are around 60km apart. To improve the efficiency of your travel, I suggest you hire a car or taxi for a round trip for the visit of Nanshan. Of course, it may also enable you to have a stopover at the market.

Have a good trip!
Asked by K from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 12, 2016 03:04Reply
Hi, couple of questions about Nanshan:
1. How do you get to there from Urumqi? I read online that its possible to take a bus from the peoples park in Urumqi, but there are no details as to what time the bus leaves or what the destination of the bus is?
2. the admission fee still only 15y?
3. Are there any other places around this area that you would recommend?
I'm hoping its a nice, quieter and cheaper alternative to Tianchi lake.
Answers (1)
Answered by Mia from ITALY | Aug. 15, 2016 01:18

1. You can take a direct bus to Nanshan from City Suburb Passenger Transport Center at No. 62, Hotan Street. The bus station is adjacent to the south gate of People's Park, so you can easily find it. The buses are available from 9:00 to 19:00 at hourly intervals. They reach the pastures directly.

2. The combo ticket of the pastures costs CNY 30, and it includes West White Poplar Gully, Juhuatai Grassland, Wulasitai Grassland, Observatory, Golden Spring Gully, and Xiaoquzi.

3. Yes, you can go to the nearby Tianshan Grand Canyon or Zhaobi Mountain. Have fun!
Asked by Katya from RUSSIA | Oct. 21, 2013 16:16Reply
Getting to and staying in Yurts
I would like to visit Urumqi and its beautiful surroundings in two weeks. Are all the natural sights are going to be available?
Is it possible to go to the lake early in the mornig and from the lake- to the Southern Pastures to spend a night there?
Is this yurt rest house some tourist-purpose built facility or does one experience the authentic stay?
Thank you in advance.

P.S.- I've lived in China for 1 year and am planning to spend 3 more years soon. I simply fell in love with the country. And yours was a great share in it. Your website has been helping me explore this magnificent country on my own. Thank you very much for your job)))))
Answers (1)
Answered by Miller from USA | Oct. 22, 2013 01:52

It is hard for you to make that trip in one day.
In my opinion, hiring a local car or join a local tour may help you a lot when traveling in Xinjiang, because the local transportation is not so good.
The yurts are built for tourists to enjoy the authentic stay.
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