(Distant Xinjiang – Part 3 of 6) – Part 2 of 6 here
5 – 8 August 2015
We started our journey from Urumqi (烏魯木齊) at 11am, going through oil city Karamay/Kelamayi (克拉瑪依) with a stopover at Karamay Devil’s City(烏爾禾魔鬼城), an interesting landscape with wind and rain eroded earthen mounds before reaching quaint Burqin/Bu’erjin (布爾津) after nightfall at 10pm to stay for a night. We would continue our journey up north the following morning to Kanas (喀纳斯) which is 3.5 hours away from Burqin for an overnight stay before returning to Burqin on 7 August and then heading back to Urumqi the day after.
Xinjiang is vast with endless stretches of sun-scorched mountains and deserts and we saw almost nothing but miles and miles of wilderness along the way with very minimal vegetation if not barren but the scenery started to change as we were north-bound. The stark landscape softened gradually and boundless grassland and pastures dotted with cows, goats, horses, camels and yurt houses belonged to the nomadic Kazakh (哈薩克族) of ethnic majority in the region beginning to appear as we cruised up the mountain in the last leg of our journey from Burqin to the much looked-forward to Kanas in the Altay Prefecture (阿勒泰地区) in northern Xinjiang.
The views along the journey started to change from these…
As the journey was long we took breaks on the road…
Due to the long winter, Kanas is only open for tourists from May/June to September/October. Although we were there in August before the autumn colours and winter snow, we still found the scenery captivating and alluring.
“Kanas” means beautiful, rich and mysterious in Mongolian (蒙古语中的“喀纳斯”是美丽富饒，神秘莫测的意思).
Although many foreigners have been to Xinjiang, not all of them had the opportunity to travel so far to witness the beauty of Kanas in the northern part of Xinjiang that borders with Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Russia. Truly blessed we were to have had the chance to travel thus far, to see so much and to experience and savour something that cannot be expressed by words but only be felt with the heart!
(End of Part 3 of 6) – Part 4 of 6 here