Urumqi attractions

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Updated: 2011-08-15

Nanshan Mountain Pastures And Terai Camp

Urumqi attractions

Nanshan Mountain Pastures Photo from www.162635.com


It is a large natural area and pasture region with many streams and a waterfall on Nanshan Mountain in the Kelawucheng Mountain range about two hours south of Urumqi.

Overview If you like nature and ethnic culture, the South Pasture on Nanshan Mountain in the Kelawucheng Mountain range has both. It is a mountain region about 70 kilometers south of Urumqi that is kind of like Colorado high-mountain grassland, but greener, and there are evergreens. It is about two hours away from Urumqi, and people like to go there in the hot summers.

There Kazaks continue to herd sheep, cattle and horses like their ancestors in a landscape of snow-covered peaks and emerald-green grasslands. The Kazakhs will guide you on tours on their horses, and you can have exotic meals and stay in their yurts inexpensively. A highlight in the Nanshan Mountain Pasture area is a glacier in the higher elevations of Nanshan Mountain that is called Number One Glacier that you can travel to see by automobile. Ycan also enjoy great mountain scenery, hike and ride horses, experience some of the Kazakh way of life, and dine and stay in a yurt relatively cheaply not far from Urumqi.


1. Sort of like highland Colorado pasture area and evergreen woods.

2. Kazakhs.

3. Economical accommodations in yurts and ethnic Kazakh meals.

4. There is high glacier on Nanshan Mountain that you can ride up to go to see.

5. Many streams and a waterfall.

6. Enjoy hiking and horseback riding.

7. Enjoy the high-protein, meaty Kazakh food.

8. Close to the attractions in Urumqi, the Heavenly Lake, and a new luxury ski resort called Ping Tian Resort.

A Glacier!

A highlight in the Nanshan Mountain Pasture area is the Number One Glacier that is about 2,200 meters long and descends from 4,474 meters atop a ridge down to 3,730 meters at its tongue. It is a big, white glacier. It is south of the South Pasture. It can be reached by car from Hou Xia for an hour's ride.

This glacier is said to be melting. A few kilometers away from the glacier, Kazakhs rent yurts and sell meals to travelers. You can experience the authentic Kazakh life, and the price is relatively low. Few tourists go there, but there are spectacular views. Keep in mind that at that high altitude it might freeze or snow or there may be a snowstorm at any time in the summer. The hiking might be a little treacherous. Climbing to the top of the mountain is dangerous.

Touring Activities

1. Hiking, riding horses and staying in yurts.

2. Enjoy the Kazakh food.

3. Go to the Number One Glacier.

4. Learn about Kazakhs.

5. Go to the attractions in the Tianshan Mountain range including the Heavenly Lake and Tian Ping Resort.

Travel Essentials

1. Location: The South Pasture is on Nanshan Mountain in the Kelawucheng Mountain range about 60 or 70 kilometers south of Urumqi. It is about two hours south of Urumqi on a bus.

How to go there: During the day, buses leave for Nanshan Mountain from a bus station south of People's Park. The bus trip takes about two hours and costs about 10 or 30 yuan ($1.5 to 4).

3. Season: It is best to go in the late spring, summer and fall when it isn't freezing.

4. Accommodations: During the summers, there are a lot of economical yurts that cost about 75 yuan ($11) for one night. Food is included or costs a dollar or two more. Juhua Tai, Chrysanthemum Terrace, has yurts, pastures and flowers.

5. Gear: A number of stores sell outdoor gear, camping supplies, and hiking supplies on Renmin Lu, east of Nanmen in Xinjiang.

6. What to bring: Bring a heavy coat for cold nights. It might be a good idea to bring clean sheets or your own sleeping bag.

7. Fee: Going to the South Pasture is free.

8. Glacier: To go to the Number One Glacier, ride the Nanshan Mountain bus to Houxia Valley for about 13 yuan ($1.5), and then hire a driver for about 200 yuan ($29). From Houxia Valley, the ride takes about an hour, and then there is some hiking on trials to the tongue of the glacier itself.