Xilingol Grassland is located in Xilin Gol League in the central area of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the northern China. It not refers to merely one grassland area, but a cluster of primitive grasslands in this league, including Xilingol Grassland Nature Reserve in the central, Jinlianchuan Grassland in the south, East Ujumuqin Grassland in the northeast, West Ujumuqin Grassland in the southeast, Wulagai Grassland in the northeast and so on. These grasslands are collectively known as Xilingol Grassland. Almost everyone knows that Hulunbuir Grassland is the largest grassland in China, but very few people know that Xilingol Grassland is just the one after Hulunbuir. Xilingol Grassland is also one of the 6 Most Beautiful Grasslands in China. It is never that famous than Hulunbuir Grassland, however, thanks to its less popularity, there are less tracks of human beings and less crowds, giving perfect possibilities for self-driving tours and private tours.
Xilingol Grassland Nature Reserve covers an area of 580,000 hectares. It is composed of meadow steppe, typical steppe, sandy sparse forest steppe and valley wetland ecosystem. In 1987, it was listed as a member of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. It is now the only one in China to receive the honor. The grassland area namely Nine Turns Tourist Area, which is about 18 kilometers southeast of Xilin Hot City (the center of the league), is one of the main tourist areas of Xilingol Grassland Nature Reserve. The beautiful stream with nine turns winding through the green grassland often evokes people's imagination, with lots of photography enthusiasts having left immoral masterpieces here. In 1983, the historical blockbuster Marco Polo co-produced by China and Italy also once shot here.
Driving further south for about 25 kilometers and half an hour from the Nine Turns Tourist Area (锡林九曲), there is the Xilingol Grassland Volcanic Geopark, where you will get a cluster of spectacular volcanic mountains popping up from the vast grasslands.
Jinlianchuan Grassland spans for about 60 kilometers from east to west and 20 kilometers from south to north. The grassland, as its name implies, is famed for the large areas of the golden troll flowers. Every July and August, the whole grassland area will be decorated with beautiful golden troll flowers, which is very impressive.
About 800 years ago, this region was once the Peidu (a city established as a second capital besides the capital) of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The nowadays Char People living in Jinlianchuan Grassland is said to be the descendants of the golden family of Genghis Khan, the great founder of the great Mongolia Kingdom. Therefore, the customs there is the most representative of Mongolian Culture, and the language of this region is considered to be the standard pronunciation of the whole Mongolian nation. The capital of the Yuan Dynasty - Site of Xanadu, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2012, is also located in this grassland. Visitors usually visit the Jinlianchuan Grassland with Site of Xanadu in one trip.
Though Wulagai Grassland is the farthest grassland from Xilinhot City (the center of the league), it is the super star of this region. It even enjoy a higher reputation than Ujumuqin Grassland and Xilingol Grassland. What makes it stands out from the endless prairie in Xilin Gol League is a film named The Wolf Totem, which was directed by the French director Jean-Jacques Annaud. Wulagai Grassland is the story of Wolf Totem took place and where it was filmed. The film introduces the intoxicating landscape of Wulagai, attracting flocks of visitors to come. Nine Turns Bay (Jiuqu Bay) is the most notable attraction of the grassland. When you take a panorama view of bay and the nearby grassland, you will get stunning pictures of the winding Wulagai River, which is just like an emerald dragon lying in the epic grassland with groups of white sheep and horses moving around him and amazing clouds floating above him. In addition to the splendid grassland scenery, Wulagai Grassland also boasts many lakes, white birch forests, Wild Wolf Valley, etc. Besides, there is a Bulinquan Scenic Area (布林泉). Bulinquan is built in the theme of the beautiful grassland scenery and the strong Mongolian culture. It is very rare to see exquisite temples and gardens in the grassland area, but Bulinquan makes it happen.
Ujumuqin Grassland is the most gorgeous and magnificent part of the grasslands in northern China, with a beautiful reputation of "Paradise Prairie". It is also the only grassland that collects nine features of Inner Mongolia Grasslands. Ujumu, or called Wuzhumu, means grapes in Mongolian language. Qin means people. It is said Ujumuqin once referred to the tribe in Grape Mountain of the Altai Mountains in Outer Mongolia, hence the name. The large Ujumuqin Grassland is divided into two major parts, namely West Ujumqin Grassland and East Ujumqin Grassland. The former grassland is under the administration of West Ujumuqin Banner, and the later is managed by East Ujumqin Banner. When it comes to Ujumuqin Grassland, it normally refers to the West Ujumuqin Grassland. The East Ujumuqin Grassland is mostly famous for its Wulagai Grassland.
West Ujumuqin Grassland is closer to Xilinhot City (the center of the league) and Beijing. Highlights in this grassland area not only include the vast grassland with groups of adorable sheep, cattle and horses but also The Mongol Khan City (蒙古汗城) - once a filming site but now a comprehensive tourist palace in the grassland, Guzigestai National Nature Reserve (古日格斯台国家级自然保护区) - a forest and grassland system in the southern part of Great Khingan, Phoenix Racecourse (凤凰马场) - The Mongolian Horse Shooting Base in China, and so forth.
The vast Xilingol Grassland spans the entire Xilingol League in the central area of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the northern China. Normally, self-driving and going with private cars are the best ways to get there and travel around. There are visitors starting their Xilingol Grassland self-driving tour or private car tour from Xilin Hot (the center of Xilingol League), Hohhot (the capital of the whole Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region), Chifeng City (the bustling city with high speed trains and flights to/from Beijing), Holingol City (a tiny city close to Wulagai Grassland), Beijing (the capital of China), etc. The place where to start your Xilingol Grassland depends on which part of the grassland you are heading for and how long you are going to spend for a Xilingol Grassland tour.
In a vast land, self-driving is never an easy thing, especially in Xlingol, where you will find yourself in endless grasslands with very few signs to guide your way. For safety reasons, it is also not a wise choice to drive by yourself in Xilingol, because it may be dangerous if you get some trouble on the way, such as having tire punctured, getting surrounded by sheep groups, losing your way and so forth. To help visitors to travel Xilingol in the most free and safety way without losing the joy of self-driving, we China Discovery offers private car tours! We arrange day by day itinerary with your preferences, and we have experienced local driver and guide accompanying you all the way. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us!
If you want to visit the Xilingol Grassland Nature Reserve and Xilingol Grassland Volcanic Geopark in the central region of the league, you are suggested to start from Xilin Hot City (0.5 hour), Hohhot City (from 7.5 hours) or Chifeng City (from 4.5 hours). Xilin Hot City is recommended for those who are only going to visit Xilingol, Hohhot is recommended for the visitors coming from Hohhot side after a desert tour near Hohhot, and Chifeng is recommended to the tourists getting from Beijing by high speed train and looking for primitive landscapes along the way from Chifeng to Xilingol.
If you want to visit Jinlianchuan Grassland and the Site of Xanadu, Xilin Hot or Beijing is the best pick. Driving from Beijing via Heibei to the Site of Xanadu is a popular choice to trace the history of Yuan Dynasty, because you will visit three major cities in that time, including the Great Capital of the Yuan Dynasty (nowadays Beijing), the Middle Capital of the Yuan Dynasty (nowadays Zhangbei County in Zhangjiakou, Hebei) and Site of Xanadu. You can also get to Xilin Hot by flight first, and then drive to Jinlianchuan Grassland and Site of Xanadu. This way gives you a shorter driving on the way.
Wulagai Grassland is located in East Ujumuqin Banner in the northeast area of Xilingol League. Compared with Xilin Hot City, it is closer to Holingol City (霍林郭勒市), which needs only 1 hour around by car (63 kilometers). If you are driving from Shenyang, Changchun, Harbin, etc., you will also pass through Holingol City along the way.
Xilinhot Airport has frequent flights to Beijing (1 hour), Hohhot (1 hour), etc. And from Xilinhot Airport, you are required to drive or book a private car service to the grassland. The distances and travelling times are as follows:
Being the capital of Inner Mongolia, Hohhot enjoys the best traffic system. You can get there by flight from Beijing (1.5h), Shanghai (2.5h), Harbin (4.5h), Guangzhou (3.5h), etc. or high speed train from Beijing (2.5~3h), Datong (2.5h), etc. From Hohhot to Xilingol Grassland, you can catch a flight to Xilinhot Airport first and then drive to the grassland. Also, you can drive from Hohhot to Xilingol Grassland in direct, which takes at least 7.5 hours.
How to plan a Xilingol Grassland Tour also refers to how to plan a self-driving or private car tour to Xilingol Grassland. There are tons of available itineraries to follow with, because everything can be customized in Xilingol. According to our experiences and our former guest's suggestions, we would give you 3 best choices.
For most visitors who are visiting Xilingol for the first time, you are suggested to visit it from Beijing, and spend 2 days around to explore the strong history and culture of Mongolia at the Site of Xanadu and get the grassland beauty at nearby Jinlianchuan Grassland.
This itinerary not only includes the grassland, but also the volcanic landform, Mongolian culture and the white birch forest scenery in the grassland.
Looking for a Xilingol tour but feel hard to arrange your day by day itinerary and site to site transportation? Travel with us China Discovery and let our experienced travel consultant help you. We know Xilingol and Xilingol Grassland much and we have helped numerous visitors to enjoy a tour there. If you go with us, we will customize an Xilingol Tour for you! Your guide will accompany you all the way and show you the best viewing and photography spots. And your driver will take you to cross the grassland along the driving road in the middle of the grassland.
The tour is tailor-made according to your interests, budget, group size and every special need! If you are interested, please feel free to contact us!
Top 3 Xilingol tours chosen by most customers to explore Xilingol in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
Hohhot / Huitengxile Grassland / Yemingsha of Kubuqi Desert / Hohhot
Hohhot / Ulanqab / Huitengxile Grassland / Hohhot / Baotou / Yemingsha of Kubuqi Desert / Ordos
Hohhot / Huitengxile Grassland / Ordos
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