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4 Days Ejina Populus Euphratica Forest Photography Tour

Catch the Best Color of Autumn in Northwestern China


Are you an enthusiastic shutterbug seeking for the unparalleled subject to photograph in northwestern China? If your answer is Yes, don’t miss Ejina Populus Euphratica Forest. There is something undeniably scenic and artistic in the way the Populus euphratica landscape unfolds in the desert. Especially from late-September to mid-October, the forest becomes a golden sea. Against the background of blue sky and yellow sand, this sea of golden leaves of Populus euphratica shows an indescribable grandeur.

This 4 days tour takes you to Ejin Banner to see the Populus euphratica trees in their most brilliant time. You will get enough opportunities to admire the beauty of magical species of plants and then translate these awe-inspiring visions onto the sensor of your camera. Besides, some other attractions in Ejina also give you great subjects to shoot, including Ruoshui Populus Euphratica Forest, Heicheng Historic Site, Strange Forest and Juyan Lake, where you can fully appreciate the wildness and bleakness of nature as well as record the most mind-blowing moments for a lifetime-cherishing memory.

During your tour, our professional travel guide will always escort you to the best shooting site to create an ideal image. Besides, This tour can be customized according to your own interest and it’s possible to stay some places longer to wait for the best light for photography. Just contact us to be an early bird to book this amazing tour and you will never be disappointed at what waits your discovery.

Highlights of this tour

  • Step into the mysterious Populus Euphratica Forest and admire the heroic poplar with amazing ability of resisiting fabulous drought, wind sand and salt alkali;
  • Shoot different Populus euphratica trees with thick trunk and strong branches in various postures against various backgrounds – desert, sky and river;
  • Be awed at the desert scene of the Eighth Bridge while its beauty and spirituality have tugged at the hearts of artists and wanderers;
  • Enjoy a breathtaking view of sunset from Strange Forest and sunrise in Juyan Lake.

Basic Trip Information

from Request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
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Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Ejin Banner Arrival

Today is free for you to get to Dalaihob Town, the official seat of Ejin Banner (Ejina) which is known as the paradise for photography.

It is available to take a 4 hours’ flight (with a stop in Alxa Left Banner) from Xian or a 15 hours’ normal train from Hohhot to Dalaihob. Many travelers choose to visit some nearby cities in Gansu first and then transfer to Ejin Banner. Popular gateway cities include Jiuquan (380 km, about 5.5 hrs’ drive), Jiayuguan (400 km, about 6 hrs’ drive) and Zhangye (500 km, 7 hrs’ drive). It is quite convenient to get to Lanzhou by flight and then take a high speed train to these gateway cities to Ejin Banner. Our tour guide and driver will pick up you from the airport/train station, then transfer to Dalaihob.

Day 2 Heicheng Ruoshui Huyang Scenic Area Sightseeing (B, L)

After breakfast, you will drive about 30 minutes to Heicheng Ruoshui Huyang Scenic Area. It is a huge scenic area with many amazing attractions, including Ruoshui Populus Euphratica Forest, Heicheng Historic City and Strange Forest. You will firstly visit Ruoshui Populus Euphratica Forest, a less-crowded forest combining the natural beauty of the desert, the river and the Populus euphratica. The trees are just located on the bank of Ruoshui River, so it is available to shoot the Populus euphratica trees and their beautiful refection in the water if the weather permits.

Then turn to Heicheng Historic Site, the ruins of a historical city in Xixia Kingdom (1038~1227). Heicheng, also called Khara Khoto which means Black City in Mogolian, once was an important frontier stronghold of Xixia and then became a rich trade center after Gengis Khan. Now the only remains of the city are the outer walls with some observation towers on one corner and a little of the Buddhist temple battling with the desert’s sand which tries to cover everything. Just enjoy the emptiness around the old city and imagine the hoards of the Great Khan getting close.

After discovering the mystery of Heicheng City, you will visit Strange Forest with numerous dead Populus euphratica. Though the populus euphratica trees are dead, their bodies still stand firmly in the desert and become the static dancers with graceful postures, forming an awful scene. You are sure to be greeted with a unique view of sunset for your photo album and this may touch the deepest strings of your heart. When the night falls, the trunks and branches of Populus euphratica trees become black silhouettes against the colorful evening glow.

Drive back to Dalaihob Town for accommodation.

Ruoshu Populus Euphratica Forest Heicheng Historic Site Strange Forest Sunset
Day 3 Ejina Populus Euphratica Forest Sightseeing (B, L)

There comes the most astonishing scenery of Ejina today, namely Ejina Populus Euphratica Forest. There are several spots in the forest named from the First to the Eighth Bridge and you will just focus on the best highlights.

Your first stop is the Second Bridge (Erdaoqiao) which is the largest area in the forest. With an open waterway, the magnificent forest makes you feel like entering the world of Populus euphratica. The reflection is a big highlight of Erdaoqiao and it is quite easy to shoot the forest with reflection from the other bank. You will also visit Juyan Oasis, where China’s largest, thickest and oldest Populus Euphratica tree is located.

Next, visit the Fourth Bridge (Sidaoqiao), the place where Populus euphratica is most concentrated in the entire Ejin Banner. Because one scene of Chinese film Hero was shot here, Sidaoqiao is also known as Hero Forest. The trees here are characterized by being strong and tall. The golden foliage creates a gorgeous scene of autumn in traditional Chinese aesthetic. Even if the trunks of some trees have been bent or broken, the branches reappear on the old trunks, fully showing the beauty of vicissitudes.

Then, go to the Seventh Bridge (Qidaoqiao) which is covered with younger Populus euphratica with smaller but straighter trunks. This area looks like a wetland grown with Populus euphratica. There is a wooden plank road across the river that makes a wonderful place to photograph travelers.

At last, it’s time to enjoy a distinctive scene of desert in the Eighth Bridge (Badaoqiao). The Eighth Bridge is the junction of Poplus euphratic forest and desert landscape. It is located in the northern part of Badain Jaran Desert. Without going deep into the desert, you are able to experience the spectacular desert view here. Moreover, you will appreciate a terrific sunset. Because of the pristine environment of the desert, the vividness of a sunset is more apparent. (Optional Activities: interesting activities like sliding sand, ride camels, etc. at your own expense)

Get back to your hotel in Dalaihob Town and take a good rest.

Ejina Poplus Euphratica Forest The Seond Bridge in Ejina Poplus Euphratica Forest The Eighth Bridge in Ejina Poplus Euphratica Forest
Day 4 Juyan Lake Sunrise & Departure (B)

Get up in the early morning and drive about 1 hour to Juyan Lake for a lifetime-cherishing sunrise. The sunrise here has been rated as one of the ten most beautiful sunrises in China by the Chinese Photographers Association. As the sunrise blooms on the horizon, the golden rays of the sun give a bright color to the clouds, reed marshes and lake.

Juyan Lake, also known as Juyan Sea, once was a big lake with grasslands in the desert. The famous poet Wang Wei once passed by and wrote a masterpiece that A smoke hangs straight on the desert vast, A sun sits round on the endless stream. The lake surface has been shrinking due to the decrease of water supply source from Ejina River. Now, it becomes beautiful again because of people’s protection. Besides the remarkable sunrise, the reeds and the birds are also highlights of Juyan Lake. There are many reeds in Juyan Lake forming a contiguous reed swath as well as flocks of seagulling flying to and fro, adding natural music to the peaceful world.

After that, you will be escorted to catch your flight or train for your next destination. If you need a private transfer to the nearby destinations, feel free to tell your needs to your travel consultant.

Juyan Lake Sunrise Seagullings in Juyan Lake

Recommended Add-on Options

+2 more days to explore cultural and natural miracles in Dunhuang

Located in the northwest of Gansu and the westernmost of Hexi Corridor, Dunhuang is the most brilliant pearl along the ancient Silk Road. The city has sealed huge art treasury and created oasis in the desert. You can closely see the fantastic Buddhist sculptures, murals in World Cultural Heritage - Mogao Caves, visit Crescent Lake surrounded by Mingsha Mountain, view unique Yardang landform, ancient passes and more impressive scenery here.

You can take a 2-day brief trip to Dunhuang covering top highlights. On the day 1, you can go to Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent LakeE together, witness the wonder of nature, try some exciting activities, like desert camel riding, sand sliding, motorcycling, etc., later return to Dunhuang city to hunt for local flavors at Shazhou Night Market. Day 2 is fully for your Mogao Caves tour. First watch introduction movies about the caves in the Digital Exhibition Center, and then visit specific caves in Mogao Grottoes one by one, learning Buddhist story, Chinese culture and history, which you can’t help admiring this precious land of art.

the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang
+2 more days to see the rainbow mountains in Zhangye

Zhangye is located in central Gansu along the Hexi Corridor between Lanzhou and Jiayuguan. It is full of history and legends, and diverse in natural scenery. Here you can see the world famous Rainbow Mountains (the Danxia Landform), beautiful deserts, mysterious canyons, vast grasslands, lofty snow mountains, etc.

You can take an in-depth Danxia landform exploration with morning visit to Binggou Danxia and afternoon visit to Danxia Geopark in the Day 1; On the Day 2, you can visit the Giant Buddha Temple first, then go to visit Matisi Temple. After that, you still have enough time to take a flight or train to next destination.

Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains

Recommended or Similar Tour Packages You May Also Like

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6 Days Hexi Corridor Discovery Tour(Zhangye/Jiayuguan/Dunhuang)

Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang

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