Zhaosu in Xinjiang

Zhaosu (昭苏) county lies to the south of Yining, close to the foot of Tianshan moutains, with elevation of just above 2000m. The region receives plentiful of rainfall (highest in Xinjiang), and as a result there are lush and beautiful grassland and meadows.  Yellow flower seed oil (canola) grown by the locals add to the beauty of the place.

Zhaosu has one of the biggest horse ranch in China. The Yili breed is the main breed of horse in China. The breed is now being improved with other reknown breeds, including the Arabian, Russian and Turkomen breeds.

The Xiataxia (夏塔峡) valley is described as one of the most beautiful mountain valley. There is an old silk road trail  that travellers use to cross the Tianshan mountain range to reach southern Xinjiang. However, the mountain walk is highly  dangerous, and the activity has been banned by the authority. There are over 5000 glaziers in the area.

West of Zhaosu, and very close to the actual border, lies a small building that contains a stone stele of Emperor Qianlong edict. The Emperor had the stele erected in commemoration of a  victory against a Mongol tribe that was causing headaches to the empire. Over there, one could see the Kazakhtan territory and the fence seperating China with Kazakhtan.

Over in neighbouring Xinyuan (新源) county, the filming crew entered the Nalati (那拉提) grassland to visit a group of ethnic Kazak herders.  Few visitors come to the area. These folks are half nomad nowadays, as they live in winter houses during the cold months. It is only during the warmer months that the herder families (including children)  move into the beautiful grassland to live in traditional huts amongs their livestocks and horses in traditional ways. Fermented horse milk are the favourite drinks of these people.


About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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