Bayanbulak Grassland: Tuerhute Mongolians build their promised land

Updated: 2016-08-12 09:52

By Wu Zheyu(

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Bayanbulak Grassland: Tuerhute Mongolians build their promised land

Deputy County Executive of Hejing county organizes a brief event to welcome guests and express appreciation. [Photo by Wu Zheyu/]

Bayanbulak Grassland rests in the Northwest part of Hejing county, Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, which is the second stop on the "Across Loulan" grand media tour, and is famous for its gorgeous scenery, such as snowy mountains, the winding Kaidu River that has nine curves and eighteen turns, the amazingly clear Swan Lake, and, in particular, Bayanbulak Grassland itself, the second largest grassland in China.

In order to promote local features, a musical extravaganza called "Going back to the east" is held in a heritage village on the Bayanbulak Grassland every year, telling the history of how local residents built their home. The story goes that an ethnic minority called Tuerhute Mongolians, who used to be part of Tsarist Russia for a period of time, overcame difficulties like battling with Russian troops and Kazak cavalries, came all the way to Bayanbulak, and built a home for themselves for many generations on this land. Their love of their home, and persistence in pursuing national unity almost moved the audience to tears.

Even though the rocky roads and the long distance may be an obstacle to tourists outside the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the beauty of the scenery here, the power of nature and the magnificence of the landscape broadens one's imagination, and deserves greater recognition from the public.

Young locals are trying to do just this. A group of pretty young girls welcome tourists, they are called "Swan girls", and they grew up here and were educated in big cities, but chose to come back and work as instructors. Some of them are fluent in various languages and serve to welcome and guide guests, devoting their lives to promoting their hometown. Many tourists were extremely impressed with these girls. "Swan girls are just one of the best parts of Bayingolin," they say.

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