The 31 must-visit attractions along the Northern Xinjiang Grand Loop (Part 2)

This two thousand kilometer route, crossing the Gobi Desert, delving into the mountains and exploring the border areas, along the way, the scenery is either majestic and magnificent, or exquisite and beautiful, as if to include every inch of the local customs and scenery of northern Xinjiang, never letting you leave with regrets.

Aletai Burqin Ashan Reindeer King Cultural Park

During the journey from Buerjin County to Kanas, you will pass through Ashan Luwang Cultural Garden and Baisha Mountain Desert Scenic Area. If you have enough time, you can take a rest and explore along the way. After driving about 60 kilometers along the S232 route, you will come across Chonghuer Town in a basin between two mountains. You can have lunch here and visit the farmer's market.

Baisha Mountain Desert Scenic Area

Driving north along the Burqin (Burqin-Kanas) Highway for more than 10 kilometers, observant people will be pleasantly surprised to find a row of silver sand dunes of varying heights and sizes extending into the distance on the right side of the road. This is the unique landscape of Burqin - the Bai Sha Shan (White Sand Mountain).
Jiadaoyu National Forest Park is located in Burqin County, Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang. It features dense forests, vast grasslands, winding mountains, and the harmonious blend of blue skies, white clouds, forests, and prairies, displaying the typical natural scenery of Xinjiang. The low mountain valleys below 1500 meters above sea level are narrow and steep, with steep cliffs, deep valleys, treacherous rapids, gorges, rivers, and green trees, forming picturesque corridors.
Kanas Lake is famous for its "water monster". The lake water is crystal clear and surrounded by mountains. In summer, the lakeside is covered with lush green trees, while in autumn, it turns into a golden wonderland, comparable to a fairy tale world. The Observation Fish Pavilion is the best viewpoint in Kanas Lake scenic area, offering a panoramic view of the beautiful landscape. There are three ways to reach the pavilion: hiking from the transfer center, which takes 2 to 3 hours one way; renting a horse at the transfer center and riding up the mountain; or taking a ticketed shuttle bus to the halfway point and then hiking up thousands of steps to the top.
Three bays - Wolong Bay, Moon Bay, and Fairy Bay. These are the highlights of the Kanas River landscape: three scenic spots with different widths and drops, each with its own unique features. Wolong Bay has a wide river channel, with the water surface like a mirror, and a small island resembling a lying dragon in the middle. Moon Bay meanders along the mountain, forming a beautiful arc. Fairy Bay is the most magnificent, with clouds and mist often lingering among the mountains, trees, and water, giving people a feeling of being in a fairyland.

Fairy Bay

Shenxian Bay is the highlight of Sanwan, with clouds and mist often lingering among the mountains and trees, creating a fairyland-like atmosphere. The altitude here is 5,380 meters, with an average annual temperature below zero. The temperature difference between day and night can exceed 30 degrees. The winter lasts for more than 6 months, and windy days above 17 meters per second account for half of the year. The oxygen content in the air is less than 45% of that at sea level, but the UV intensity is 50% higher. It is truly the "plateau on the plateau".
Moon Bay winds along with the mountain and forms a beautiful arc; Moon Bay is the most famous attraction in Kanas, located about 1 kilometer north of the Hanaas River along Wolong Bay. It is an extension of the meandering Wolong Bay river, and the beautiful and tranquil Moon Bay changes with the water level of Kanas Lake, like a pearl embedded in the Kanas River.

Fish Observation Pavilion

Fish-Viewing Pavilion is the best observation point in Kanas Lake scenic area, offering magnificent views that should not be missed. There are three ways to get there: hike from the transfer center, which takes 2 to 3 hours one way; rent a horse at the transfer center and ride up the mountain; or take a ticketed shuttle to the halfway point and trek up thousands of steps to the top.

Baihaba Village

Baihaba Village retains its primitive way of life, with pointed wooden houses, wooden fences for livestock, and a rustic atmosphere permeated with the smell of firewood and earth. Behind the village, birch, pine, and poplar trees form a forest, creating a picturesque view of golden hues during autumn. If you choose to stay overnight in Baihaba, remember to prepare for cold weather and keep warm.

Hemu Village

Hemu Village is a village inhabited by the Tuva and Kazakh ethnic groups, with large white yurts, log houses, and Kazakh felt houses scattered throughout the village, complemented by the distant mountains, grasslands, and birch forests. Hemu River flows to the west of Hemu Village, which can be crossed via either the Hemu Qiao on the southern side of the village or the Yuanjiang Bridge on the northern side. On the other side of the river is a large area of birch forest. Hemu Bridge is the iconic building of this village, having withstood the impact of the Kanas Glacier meltwater for centuries, remaining quaint and solid. Walking through the birch forest, you can hike up to the observation deck or choose to ride a horse up the mountain. It is the best location to capture the sunrise over the Hemu River Valley.