Literally meaning the grassland on the ridge in Kazakh language, Karajun (Kalajun) has long been a peaceful place where people lived a simple nomadic life. It is a national AAAAA scenic area offering travelers a wonderful sightseeing experience. One traveler reviewed that “In normal cases, grassland of Mongolia is the best, until you see here.” on TripAdvisor after he visited Karajun Grassland. Undoubtedly, Karajun Grassland must be listed in the most recommended ones among Xinjiang's various grasslands with different spectacles. The whole scenic site covers an area of 2,848 square kilometers and stands between 2,000 and 3,600 meters above the sea level. It enjoys dense forests, gorgeous canyons, snow peaks, charming rivers, etc., as well as tessellated meadow. It was praised as The Rare Natural High-quality Prairie in The World and The Grassland in the Clouds. If you are interested in exploring the authentic natural scenery and escaping the bustle of the modern city life, it is an ideal place.
Karajun Scenic Area can be divided into five parts, including East Karajun Grassland, West Karajun Grassland, Kuokesu Canyon, Middle Heavenly Mountain Snow Peak Scenic Area, and Tianlai Forest Scenic Area.
East-West Karajun Grand Grassland consisting of East Karajun Grassland and West Kaljun Grassland is the most popular part of the whole area. Many travelers also choose to visit Kuokesu Canyon to savor the amazing landform and unbelievable view. For travelers with plenty of time almost spend 1 ~ 2 days visiting the two scenic areas. Only a few travelers visit the latter two scenic areas because of the inconvenient transportation.
Tickets: CNY 140/person, including CNY 70 for admission and CNY 70 for sightseeing car.
The East Karajun Scenic Area is the core scenic area of whole Karajun Grassland. As an important part of the Xinjiang Tianshan (Heavenly Mountain) World Natural Heritage site, East-West Karajun Grassland is the area with the richest biodiversity and the highest aesthetic value. The snowy peaks and canyons in the scenic area are inlaid with forests and grasslands. This beautiful gift from nature makes people go straight into the endless dream.
Karajun Grassland is a typical alpine grassland with multi-colored flowers and Flower Terrace is the best place to admire the wild flowers. In every May, purple primroses bloom all over the grassland. Followed by a variety of wild flowers, such as nasturtium, anemone, thyme, aconitum, geranium etc., all show the beauty of spring. From Flower Terrace, you can walk to Five Flower Meadow (五花草甸). It's quite easy to soak in this colorful carpet spreading all the way to the foot of snow-capped Heavenly Mountain. The unique natural ecological and geographical environment here also create suitable living conditions for wild animals and plants. In other months, you may not see so many flowers in Flower Terrace, but the meadow with flocks and herds is fascinating as well.
Falcon Terrace was a traditional eagle training place for Kazakhs located in Kurdai Forest Canyon. The breathtaking canyon scenery always makes visitors enjoy themselves so much as to forget to leave Falcon Terrace. The canyon has a total length of more than 50 kilometers, and the altitude difference between its two ends is more than 2,300 meters and the average valley depth is about 350 meters. Walking into the canyon, you will see undulating mountains, steep cliffs and flowing river. From spring to early autumn, the canyon is covered with green forests. In late September, the leaves of poplar trees and birch trees begin to turn yellow and orange gradually. In October, the dazzling scarlet foliage of different tress makes Falcon Terrace a perfect place for autumn view photography. Everyone here can deeply feel the tranquility and long-term coexistence with nature.
Dielang Valley is a big highlight of Karajun because of the hilly prairie. Climbing to the highest point as you can, you will get an awe-inspiring view. When the sun falls, the meadow seems rolling waves which adds dynamic beauty to the tranquil nature. The undulating grassland with naturally-formed ravine is a showcase of the curves which mimics the shape of a human body. Many shutterbugs climb to higher place of Dielang Valley and wait for the best time to catch an unobstructed vista.
Tickets: CNY 155/person, including CNY 35 for admission, CNY 40 for sightseeing car and 80 for boat (round trip)
Originated in the middle of Tianshan Mountains, Kuotesu Grand Canyon was formed by the interaction of geological movements and the snowmelt water from rock layers deposited over hundreds of millions of years. The landscape features of the scenic spot are high gorges, flat lakes, snow-capped mountains, primitive vegetation, peaks and cliffs, and streams and strange rocks. Here, you can cruise, raft and explore as well as experience the unique Kazakh folklore and Bingtuan culture. It is worth mentioning that the Kuokesu Grand Canyon has impressive autumn scenery at the end of September and early October. The golden grassland, green water and blue sky make a strong contrast.
Crocodile Bay is located in the middle of the Kuokesu Grand Canyon Scenic Area. It is named after the mountain which resembles two crocodiles lying on the bottom of the valley. Crocodile Bay Valley is about 360 meters deep, about 1600 meters long from north to south, and about 1400 meters wide from east to west. Here you can see quite steep cliffs and water flowing through the bottom of the valley. In clear days, the river magically presents on three colors - milky white, dark green and emerald green.
Kuokesu River twists and turns at the broad bottom of the Kuokesu Grand Canyon like a dragon crossing the border and winding forward, forming Nine Curves Eighteen Bends with a length of 5,600 meters from north to south and a width of 2,000 meters from east to west. There is a painting-like scene: the smooth lines of the mountains looming in the mist in the morning, the winding river with rippling waves, the lush vegetation, the white yurts, etc. Human Grassland is located on the west side of the Nine Curves and Eighteen Bends.
Middle Heavenly Mountain Snow Peak Scenic Area (中天山雪峰景区) is one of the five major scenic spots in the Karajun Scenic Area. The altitude increases from 1,000 meters to 3950 meters. Along the tortuous plateau mountain roads, it reaches the foot of the snow peaks all year round. The Qiongkushitai National Historic and Cultural Village in this area is an important post road of the ancient Wusun Ancient Road. It retains the long-standing Kazakh wooden house architecture and traditional lifestyle. Many people call it well-preserved modern civilized society and the living fossil of the original ecological life of the Kazakhs.
Tianlai Forest Scenic Area (天籁之林景区) is most famous for its original forest covered with tress, especially picea schrenkianam. It is the place where picea schrenkianam origins and is concentratedly distributed in.
The sightseeing car in East-West Karajun Grassland starts in Bulake Tickets Center, then enters West Karajun Grassland and gets to East Karajun Grassland. It stops in some specified spots. The ticket for sightseeing car needs CNY 70/person.
Many travelers like to travel East-West Karajun Grassland and Kuotesu Grand Canyon in one go. You can take a sightseeing car from Falcon Terrace to the Karajun Cable Car Station (喀拉峻索道站) and then take a cable car to Kuertai Cable Car Staion (库尔台索道站) in Kuotesu Grand Canyon Scenic area. The cable car will cross the canyon and you are able to hear the big sound of the wind and river. The ticket for cable car needs CNY 30/person.
If you want to visit Kuotesu Grand Canyon directly from the entrance or leave directly after your Kuotesu Grand Canyon trip, taking a boat is a must. There are high speed boating between Kushitayi Wharf (库什塔依码头) and Kuertai Wharf (库尔台码头). The ticket for speed boat car needs CNY 40/person/single trip.
For travelers interested in biking, it is available to bike from Falcon Terrace to Baihua Slope. If you want to experience a challenging hiking, you can hike from Flower Terrace to Qiongkushitai Village, stretching about 19 kilometers and needs 7 hours usually. Mountaineering equipment such as hiking shoes and alpenstocks is necessary.
Karajun Scenic Area is located in Tekes County, Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang. The entrance of East-west Karajun Grassland - Bulake is:
There is no flight or train running to or around Karajun Grassland directly and you need to get to Yining first. Yining Airport mainly receives provincial flights from Urumqi (about 1h), Korla, Kuqa, etc., and Yining Railway Station receives daily high speed trains from Urumqi and normal trains from Hotan, Kashgar, Aksu, Korla, Turpan and some other cities in Xinjiang. From Yining City, you can take a long-distance bus to Tekes County (特克斯县) , and then take another bus to Bulak.
Travel with China Discovery: As Karajun Grassland is not convenient in public transportation, it is highly recommended to find a reliable travel agency such as China Discovery to help with the transfer. Actually, if you book a private tour package with us, the sightseeing, dining, accommodation and transfer will all be covered. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Karajun Grassland with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing. Contact us to customize a worry-free tour package now!
It is available to visit Karajun Grassland all the year around but the best time is from May to October because of the fertile soil, suitable temperature, abundant rain fall and dense pastures. In May, the grass becomes green and dripping, and the ground begins to be covered with green blankets. From June to July, there is a variety of wild flowers blooming in the ocean of prairie and it won't be too hot in Karajun Grassland. From August to October, the autumn grasses turn yellow gradually. Besides, it is quite suitable to enjoy some interesting activities in these months, such as hiking, biking, boating, etc. If you plan to travel during November to next early April, remember to keep warm, especially at night. Due to the high altitude of Karajun Grassland, the temperature is usually lower than the city area. Therefore, pay attention to the weather forecast to make sure you bring enough warm clothes. Besides, we suggest you take some sun protection measures and bring rain gears in that the high altitude area always receives strong sunlight and rainfall.
For a better accommodation with well-equipped facilities and superior service, hotels in Yining City is top recommended. But if you want to spend more time enjoying the superb scenery, accommodating in the grassland is needed. There is no authentic hotels in Karajun Scenic Area, but you can easily find some interesting stay as well during May ~ October. In Wusun Xiadu (乌孙夏都) in West Karajun Grassland and Kuerdai River Garden (库尔代河风情园), there are many Kazak Yurts which incorporating the unique way of artistic and aesthetic values of Kazakhs.
For travelers drive to Karajun Grassland, their cars can only park in the tourist center and then it needs to take a park bus to Bulake Ticket Center which is the entrance of East-West Karajun Grassland. If you take a bus from the town to Karajun, you can get to Bulake directly.
Most parts of the road from Yining to Karajun are in good condition and the scenery along the way is quite good. In the scenic area, the road turns in bends and switchback and motion sickness medicine will be helpful.
How to Get to Xinjiang: Urumqi is the transfer hub of Xinjiang, and it receives flights from Beijing (4h), Shanghai (5h), Xian (4h), Chengdu (4h), Chongqing (4h), Changsha (4.5h), Xining (2.5h), Dalian (4h), Guangzhou (4.5h), Lanzhou (2.5h), Yinchuan (3h), etc., as well as high speed trains from Xian (13.5h), Lanzhou(10.5h), Xining (9.5h), Zhangye (7.5h), Jiayuguan (6h), Dunhuang (4h), etc.
Best Time to Visit Xinjiang: It is available to visit Xinjiang all year round, but May ~ October is the best time for the most comfortable weather and most beautiful scenery
A longer Xinjiang trip is more recommended and worthwhile because of its large scale. Most travelers start a Xinjiang tour from Urumqi – the tourist distribution center equipped with convenient airlines. Some travelers also unveil a Xining experience from Kashgar – the transfer hub in southern Xinjiang.
A classic Xinjiang tour takes 6 ~ 8 days, including 2~3 days in Urumqi (Xinjiang Regional Museum, Nanshan Passture) and Heavenly Lake, 1~2 days in Turpan (Jiaohe Ancient City, Karez System, Bezeklik Thousand Buddhas… ), and 3 ~ 4 days in Kashgar (Kashgar Old City, Karakul Lake, Tashkurgan Fort…). Don’t miss Kanas - the God’s private garden, and it takes at least 3 full days to enjoy its beautiful lakes, bays, forests, rivers and villages.
Many travelers prefer a Silk Road tour involving Gansu and Xinjiang discovery together. It needs about 2~3 days to explore Dunhuang highlights, 2~3 days to visit Zhangye essences and 1~2 days to enjoy Jiayugan landmarks. It is also recommended to spend 1 ~2 days visiting Xining and Qinghai Lake.
☛ 10 Days Classic China Silk Road In-depth Tour (Xian – Dunhuang – Turpan – Urumqi - Kashgar)
☛ 411 Days In-depth Wild Silk Road Adventure Tour (Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi - Kashgar)
In fact, the Silk Road broke into three routes in Xinjiang, and they passed through many cities in Xinjiang. For adventurous travelers looking for something different along the glorious road, just spend about 2 weeks visiting legendary Turpan, Korla, Kuqa, Kashgar, Tashkurgan, etc.
☛ 13 Days In-depth Xinjiang Silk Road Adventure Tour (Urumqi - Turpan - Korla - Kuqa - Takilamakan Desert - Minfeng - Hongtan - Kashgar - Tashkurgan)
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☛ 9 Days Taklamakan Desert Ancient Silk Road Tour (Kashgar - Karakul Lake - Hotan - Ala'er - Kucha - Urumqi)
Many travelers visit Xinjiang for the extraordinary scenic beauty. It is easy to find some places to envelop yourself in nature or capture some excellent photography, such as grasslands, lakes, villages, and some other geographical wonders in 1 ~ 2 weeks.
☛ 10 Days Stunning Ili Apricot Blossom and Naraty Grassland Tour (Urumqi - Sayram Lake - Qingyuan - Naraty - Kuitun - Urumqi)
☛ 11 Days Best Xinjiang Landscape Tour (Urumqi - Burqin - Kanas - Karamy - Sayram Lake - Karajun Grassland - Kuitun - Urumqi)
Top 3 Ili tours chosen by most customers to explore Ili in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
Urumqi / Hemu / Kanas / Burqin / Fuyu / Urumqi
Urumqi / Turpan / Korla / Kuqa / Taklimakan Desert / Minfeng / Hongtan / Kashgar / Tashkurgan
Urumqi - Wu'erhe - Kanas - Burqin - Urumqi - Turpan - Urumqi
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