Eco & Nature
Xinjiang has a unique ethnic charm and rich natural heritage. In Xinjiang, there are 3537 species of wild plants, and five classes, 39 orders, 104 families, 717 species of animals. Many of them are typical species of Xinjiang. Consequently, 109 species of animals are listed as the first and second level of national measures in protecting animals, making up 31% of the total of China. In order to protect the diverse typical eco-systems and rare wildlife resources, Xinjiang has set up 38 nature reserves of various kinds, including nine national, 21 regional, seven prefectural and one county-level nature reserve. It promises that ecotourism has a bright future in Xinjiang.
Mountain Scenic Zone
Example: Tianshan Mountains Tourist Zone
The tourist zone is located in the middle of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and on the northern side of the East Tian¬shan Mountains. It occupies an area of 120 square kilometers from Hanqi Gully in the east to Songshutang in the west and from Tianshan Temple in the south to Mingsha Mountain in the north. Within the tourist zone there are glaciers on high mountains, an immense forest, a boundless grassland, huge sand dunes, holiday resorts and a ski run. The tourist zone presents the colorful natural scenery particular to the far west of China.
Lake Scenic Zones
Example: Kanas Lake
Kanas Lake is located in the northern part of Burqin County in Altay Prefecture on the southern slope of the Youyi Peak of Altay Mountains. The alpine lake is 1,374 meters above sea level and occupies 44.78 square kilometers. It is 188 meters deep at the deepest spot. The only fauna and flora reserve of the Siberian system is found in this area. In spring and summer the color of the water changes along with the weather. The lake attracts tourists with a 1,000-meter- long embarkment of withered wood, tales about a monster in the lake, gorgeous sunglow on clouds and ancient villages of the Tuva people.
Forest Scenic Zone
Example: Tarim Diversiform-Leaved Poplar Forest Park
The forest park in Luntai County in Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture by the Tarim River is one of the largest forests of diversiform-leaved poplar trees in the world. Diversiform- leaved poplar is one of the oldest tree species on the earth and is called "living fossil of the Tertiary Period". The forest park with an area of 100 square kilometers is composed of the desert forest of diversiform-leaved poplar trees and the Tarim River scenic area. Tourists can appreciate the scenery of the forest, the desert and Swan Lake. They can row a boat to angle on the lake.
Grassland Scenic Zone
Example: Narat Grassland
Narat Grassland in Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture is one of the four largest river valley grasslands in the world. It has been a famous pastureland since ancient times. The flat and broad river valley is surrounded by high mountain peaks with deep gullies and dense groves of trees. The natural scenery and particular lifestyle of the Kazak people make the area a nice place for sightseeing, scientific research and holiday-making in summer.
Bird-Watching Scenic Zone
Example: Bayinbulak Nature Reserve for Swans
The nature reserve for swans is located in the west of Hejing County in Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefec¬ture. At an elevation of 2,400 meters the area is a typical pla¬teau wetland lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains which form a natural shelter for Bayinbulak Lake. The lake is fed with water from springs, streams and snow water. Weeds and feed are rich in the water. The climate is cool and wet. Around April every year, whooper swans, whistling swans, mute swans and other rare birds come to this lake to breed. Flocks of birds over the water and under the blue sky present a magnificent sight.
Ice-Snow Scenic Zone
Example: Heyuan No. 1 Glacier
The glacier on Tiangger Mountain southwest of downtown Umruqi is a mountain valley-type glacier. It is the source of the Urumqi River. There are more than 150 modern glaciers of vari¬ous sizes in its vicinity. The landform and sediment at the No. 1 Glacier are very typical, well-preserved and with distinct marks of ancient glaciers. The ice surface glows with a crystal light blue color, known as "living fossil of glaciers".
Special Landform Scenic Zone
Example: Urho Ghost Castle
The "Ghost Castle" is located at three kilometers northeast of Urho District in downtown Karamay. Weathering over eons of years from the Cretaceous Period cut the brown and grayish green sandstone and mudstone in this area into many gullies in various depths and forms. The area is in a wind gap. When wind blows sand flies and pebbles roll. The sky darkens. The blurred rocks look like ghosts and the whistling wind emits a sound like the cry of wolves. The frightening scene is stimulating for explorers.
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