Xinjiang Attractions

Cloud Sea with Buddhism Light

On September 8, 2011, in Lakes, Mountain Areas, Nature Scenery, Xinjiang, by Jack Li

If you get to the Guanyu Pavilion to see the sunrise in the Kanas Lake, you can also witness how the clouds and frogs move slowly. Sometimes the cloud sea are with light similar to Buddhism light in the Mount Emei. Mount Emei is a famous attraction in Sichuan province. In August when it rains, […]

If you get to the Guanyu Pavilion to see the sunrise in the Kanas Lake, you can also witness how the clouds and frogs move slowly. Sometimes the cloud sea are with light similar to Buddhism light in the Mount Emei. Mount Emei is a famous attraction in Sichuan province. In August when it rains, the Kanas area is covered by thick frogs. The only thing you can see through the Guanyu Pavilion is the top peak higher than 2000 meters above the sea. When it is sunny, you can see a huge sun not far from you. During nine to ten, the sun has risen to a certain angle and the clouds look as though they are opposite to the sun. At this time a half-round light ring appears. There are seven colors in this ring. The light ring changes with the quantity of the clouds and frogs. This Buddhism light can also last for a quarter of an hour. If you happen to see it, you will never forget it. It is really that breath-taking. The Guanyu Pavilion is the best place to see this view.

Kanas Lake (Kanasi)

Tuvas Village

Tuvas is an old minority ethnic group. People of Tuvas live mainly by hunting and moving about in search of pasture. For the last 400 years, the Tuvas people have settled in the Kanas Lake. The people are known for their strength and bravery. They are very good at horse riding, skiing, dancing and singing. […]

Tuvas is an old minority ethnic group. People of Tuvas live mainly by hunting and moving about in search of pasture. For the last 400 years, the Tuvas people have settled in the Kanas Lake. The people are known for their strength and bravery. They are very good at horse riding, skiing, dancing and singing. The houses they live in are log cabins, which are spread randomly across the Tuvas Village. With small bridges and flowing water, it is quite a nice picturesque place to live. The landscape of the Tuvas Village is as mysterious as the Kanas Lake. Tuvas people have their unique living habits and they speak their own native Tuvas language. The Tuvas language is similar to Turkish and Kazakh in the Turkic group. Normally, the Tuvas people can speak Kazakh, which is different from the modern Mongolian language. The Tuvas people celebrate Aobao Festival and Lugu Festival. They also enjoy the spring festival and celebrate it similarly to the Han people. The majority of Tuvas people practice Buddhism. Another religion that is popular in this region is Saman. The log cabins in the village are built with wood with a square main body on the base and tower structure on the top. When they move about in search of pasture, they live in Mongolian yurts. There are made out of the pines and silver birches that surround the village. The boundary mountain between China and Russia lies towards the back of the Tuvas village. There is always cold wind blowing from the Siberia area.

Kanas Lake (Kanasi)

Changdi Dam

On September 8, 2011, in Lakes, Nature Scenery, Xinjiang, by Jack Li

Changdi Dam is in the mouth of the lake to the north of Kanas Lake in Burqin County, Xinjiang Province. The Changdi Dam is well known for there being more than one kilometer of dead wood. There used to be big pieces of driftwood in the Kanas Lake. Then some very strong wind came from […]

Changdi Dam is in the mouth of the lake to the north of Kanas Lake in Burqin County, Xinjiang Province. The Changdi Dam is well known for there being more than one kilometer of dead wood. There used to be big pieces of driftwood in the Kanas Lake. Then some very strong wind came from a deep valley and moved it against the current. Muds in the lake deposited the wood tightly along the dam. Generally speaking, Changdi Dam is a big wood. However, it will not stay there forever. Gradually there will be some movement of wood. Nevertheless, for years the dead wood hung there on the very upper stream of the sixth gulf in the Kanas Lake. Some villagers suggest that the dead wood could be put in the fifth gulf. However, the dead wood is not the wood that needs to be moved. It is always together with the Changdi Dam. This is because when it floods in the Kanas Lake in the summer, the flood will bring more muds from the up stream to hold the dead wood even more tightly to the dam. The valley winds are also very strong and they push the driftwood together, keeping the trend of going up. As time passed by, the special landscape you see today has been formed.

Kanas Lake (Kanasi)

Moon Gulf

On September 8, 2011, in Lakes, Nature Scenery, Rivers & Gorges, Xinjiang, by Jack Li

Moon Gulf lies within a kilometer to the upper stream of the Wolong Gulf. The Moon Gulf is quite and beautiful. It changes a little bit as seasons change. There is actually a precious pearl in the Kanas Lake. The riverbed of the Kanas Lake is formed by S shape gulfs. One of them is […]

Moon Gulf lies within a kilometer to the upper stream of the Wolong Gulf. The Moon Gulf is quite and beautiful. It changes a little bit as seasons change. There is actually a precious pearl in the Kanas Lake. The riverbed of the Kanas Lake is formed by S shape gulfs. One of them is like a half moon. That’s where the Moon Gulf gets its name. The Moon Gulf is located in the valleys. The water there is clear and clean. The upper gulf and the down gulf look like two footprints. They are quite unique and local villagers call them the ‘footprints of the fairies’. There are a few stories about those two huge footprints. One of them is about the Dragon King in the west sea. It has been said the Dragon King in the west sea left the footprint after he stepped on the river monster in the moon gulf. The footprint worked as a roof that the river monster would never come out of the water again. Another story is that Chinese ancient goddess Chang E went there to steal lucid ganoderma. It took a long time for her to do this. So she headed back in such a hurry that she left her two footprints there. The third story is about Genghis Khan. It is said he left his footprints there when he led his army fighting with enemies. No matter these stories are true or not, they all add mysterious and colors to the Kanas Lake. Peaks around the Moon Gulf are very magnificent. They are covered with big trees and grass. There is a stage along the road which is 1500 meters high above the sea level. That’s the best place to enjoy the views in the Kanas Lake.

Kanas Lake (Kanasi)

The Lake That Changes Colors

On September 8, 2011, in China Attractions, Lakes, Nature Scenery, Xinjiang, by Jack Li

Another amazing thing about Kanas Lake is that it is a lake that changes color. The color changes according to different seasons and weather from April to November.During May, the ice just melts and the water in the lake is green and grey. In June, the water changes to green or sometimes dark blue, because […]

Another amazing thing about Kanas Lake is that it is a lake that changes color. The color changes according to different seasons and weather from April to November.During May, the ice just melts and the water in the lake is green and grey. In June, the water changes to green or sometimes dark blue, because all the plants around the lake are green. In July the river is flooded, there is white water coming from the upper stream of the lake, so the water is shell white. In August the water is dark green as there is much more rain. When autumn comes, the water is jade green. During September and October this is a beautiful color. The water supply of the Kanas Lake is from the Kanas Glacier which is in the south slope of Youyi Peak. When summer comes, some of the ice melts and flows into the lake. Water from the nearby White Lake also comes and joins this lake. That is partly the reason why the lake is shell white during July and Autumn. Every December, the face of the lake freezes, and the Kanas Lake looks like a crystal mirror. Local villagers can use plows to transport goods, or go skiing there. In addition, the Kanas Lake is surrounded by mountains, a blue sky and white clouds. Water in the lake reflects the sunshine and the clouds. The lake is extremely nice and beautiful.

Kanas Lake (Kanasi)

Mazha Tomb

On September 8, 2011, in Caves & Canyons, Historical Relics, Tombs, Xinjiang, by Jack Li

Mazha Tomb is the first ancient religious relic you will see in the south mouth of the Tuyugou Canyon. It is a tomb of ancient saints. The Mazha Toms has a histore of more than 1300 years. Back to the 7th century when Mohammed created Islam, his six disciples came to China to preach their […]

Mazha Tomb is the first ancient religious relic you will see in the south mouth of the Tuyugou Canyon. It is a tomb of ancient saints. The Mazha Toms has a histore of more than 1300 years. Back to the 7th century when Mohammed created Islam, his six disciples came to China to preach their religion. They had been through a harsh and tough trip and finally gotten to Tugugou Canyon. With the help of the local sheepherder, they lived there for a long time and did a very good job on publicizing Islam. After the sheepherder died, the six Islam disciples buried him at the cave. It is now called the Mazha Tomb. There are records in a Germany explorers’ book that even in the early 20th century Moslems still went to the Mazha Tomb and worship. They were from Turkey, India and other countries. Nowadays Moslems from Xinjiang, Ningxing, Qinghai, Gansu, Turkey, Hongkong and Macao come to the Mazha Tomb every year. It is a very important holy land for Islam in Xinjiang. It is also called China’s Mekka.  Before Moslems at the Tuyugou Crayon go to worship at Mekka, they come to Mazha Tomb first.

Tuyugou Canyon

Thousand-Buddha Cave

On September 8, 2011, in Caves & Canyons, Towers, Pagodas & Grottoes, Xinjiang, by Jack Li

In the middle part of the Tuyugou Canyon, the Thousand-Buddha Cave is one of the top three Buddhism Grottoes in Xinjiang. It started to build at the Jin Dynasty (265-420). It is among the first list of protected cultural relics in Xinjiang autonomous region. In the Jin Dynasty, the Tuyugou Grottoes are important for the […]

In the middle part of the Tuyugou Canyon, the Thousand-Buddha Cave is one of the top three Buddhism Grottoes in Xinjiang. It started to build at the Jin Dynasty (265-420). It is among the first list of protected cultural relics in Xinjiang autonomous region. In the Jin Dynasty, the Tuyugou Grottoes are important for the hierarchy in Gaochang Kingdom in Xinjiang. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), there were great progresses on Buddhism wall paintings in the Tuyugou Grottoes. It was into a new era. The book ‘Xizhou Paintings’ in the Tang Dynasty recorded that the Tuyugou Grottoes at the time was a fairy land. The describes at the book are as followed:There are numerous temples in the Tuyugou Crayon. Back in the temples are usually steep peaks. In front of the temples are always clean waters. Big green trees are around the temples and monasteries. More than 1700 years can be divided into two periods. The first period is that the Tuyugou Grottoes were destroyed by human movements. The second period is that the grotto was ruined by natural disasters. Nowadays there are 96 Grottoes with only eight of them keeping wall paintings. There existed paintings show ancient civilization to the public and still attract experts and scholars from different countries to visit the Tuyugou Canyon and do researches. There researches and fruits provide immeasurable vales of history and art. The ancient name for the Thousand-Buddha Cave was Dinggu Temple which is the earliest temple in the Turpan area. The Tuyugou Grottoes’ most prosperous time was between the year 443 and 450. 90 percent of the wall paintings were robbed and taken when imperialism countries invaded China. The No.1, No.2, No.3 and No.4 Grottoes still keep the wall paintings of Uighur scripts.

Tuyugou Canyon

Tuyugou Ancient Village

Tuyugou Ancient Village lives a very old and quiet Uygur ethnic group. It is a village with over 1700 years of history. UP till now, the Tuyugou Ancient Village is the oldest Uygur village. It spread in the surrounding area of Islam mosques. There are in all over two hundred households in the village. In […]

Tuyugou Ancient Village lives a very old and quiet Uygur ethnic group. It is a village with over 1700 years of history. UP till now, the Tuyugou Ancient Village is the oldest Uygur village. It spread in the surrounding area of Islam mosques. There are in all over two hundred households in the village. In the village, old Uygur customs and habits are well preserved and kept among local people. People get up early in the morning and have rest as the sun goes down in the evening. They talk in Uygur, wear colorful clothing with obvious Uygur characters. The transport tool there is neither bicycle nor car. They use donkey as a vehicle. People living there are quite, happy and satisfied. The living they are keeping is simple, peaceful and leisurely. They don’t even bother themselves to worry of feel anxious about anything. You can see smiles on everyone’s face there. Their houses were built by yellow clays. That’s a traditional way. Some of the houses are quite a junction of Buddhism and Islam. Some of the yellow clay houses are big, some of them are small, some are tall and some are short. Building a house like that is economical and cheap but houses there are with good quality. It is warm in the winter and cool in the summer when people stay at the houses.

Tuyugou Canyon

Tuyugou Canyon

On September 8, 2011, in Caves & Canyons, Ethnic Group Flavors, Historical Relics, Xinjiang, by Jack Li

Tuyugou Canyon is in Shanshan County which is 55 kilometers to the east of Turpan. Tuyugou Canyon was once the holy land of Buddhism and Islam. The Thousand-Buddha Cave in Tuyugou Canyon is 15 kilometers to the east of the south slope of Huoyan Mountain. There were ninety-four caves there. Now there are 45 caves. […]

Tuyugou Canyon is in Shanshan County which is 55 kilometers to the east of Turpan. Tuyugou Canyon was once the holy land of Buddhism and Islam. The Thousand-Buddha Cave in Tuyugou Canyon is 15 kilometers to the east of the south slope of Huoyan Mountain. There were ninety-four caves there. Now there are 45 caves. 21 caves are in the east side of the canyon and 24 caves are in the west side of the canyon. The tuyugou Cranyon is the most mysterious place in the west China. It is a land with mingling civilizations of religions and histories. The Thousand-Buddha Cave is a perfect prove of that. Mazha Village has been named the historical and cultural village in China. It is the oldest Uygur ethnic group with over 1700 years of history. Up till now, Uygur customs and habits are still well preserved and kept among villagers. In the village, the old earthen architectures are still bright and gorgeous. The Tuyugou Canyon is a holy land for Muslims from home and abroad. It is also an attraction for scholars in the fields of religion, history, culture and art as well as for artists of painting and photographing. Dinggu Valley is the folk custom and culture zone in the Tuyugou Canyon. The landscape there is special and beautiful. Dinggu Valley, Thousand-Buddha Cave, Mazha Tomb and Ancient Village are the four main attractions in the Tuyugou Canyon. In the north side of the canyon is Subeixi Village which is along the NO.312 National Express. Subeixi Cultural Relic is one of three ancient cultures.  It is to the north mouth of the crayon. In the south side of the canyon is the Mazha Village which covers an area of one kilometer wide and eight kilometers long. The highest mountain in the canyon is Huoyan Mountain which is 831.7 meters above the sea level. The canyon cuts the Huoyan Mountain from north to south. That is an amazing natural work. Along the road, you can appreciate the beautiful scenery in the Tuyugou Canyon which is magnificent and gorgeous. Water in the canyon is clear and fruits there are very sweet.

Tuyugou Canyon Attractions:

Thousand-Buddha Cave

Mazha Tomb

Ancient Village

The Ancient Elm Tree

The Ancient Elm Tree, also known as “the Iron Rod”, is located on the bank of the Heaven Pool. You can easily notice it because it is actually the only big tree by the lake. The elm tree gains such fame because people said that it was the incarnation of a hair clasp that belonged […]

The Ancient Elm Tree, also known as “the Iron Rod”, is located on the bank of the Heaven Pool. You can easily notice it because it is actually the only big tree by the lake. The elm tree gains such fame because people said that it was the incarnation of a hair clasp that belonged to the Queen Mother of the West.

Rumor has it that, once upon a time, the Queen Mother of the West held a grand ball in her palace. All the gods and goddesses were invited except for the God who was in charge of the Heaven Pool. He was so angry that he stirred the water in the lake, created huge waves and caused terrible floods in the Earth. His absurd deed interrupted the ball and enraged the Queen Mother. The furious Queen Mother then take a hair clasp out of her hair, turned it into an iron rod, and stucked it into the northern bank of lake. Depressed by the power of the iron rod, the God of the Heaven Pool could not do harm to the world any more, and floods ended soon. Later, right at the spot where the iron rod was, an elm tree appeared. People believed that it was the incarnation of the hair clasp, and came to worship it from every quarter.

But that is only a legend. As a matter of fact, this elm tree was planted there by some Taoist disciples to in honor of the Queen Mother of the West. Generally speaking, it is impossible for elm trees to grow in such a high elevation. However, this ancient elm tree is still in a very good condition today. It is very tall, and its crown looks like a giant umbrella. The most miraculous thing is, even in the year when there is abundant rainwater; the root of the tree would not be submerged by water.

The Heaven Pool

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