[GO Traveling] A Trip toward North – The Golden Hulunbuir
「 The Chi Le plain out spreads by
Where the Yin Mountain does lie.
Like a woolen tent hangs the Sky,
Covering the Wilderness from on high.
Boundless, the Sky is so blue;
The Wilderness seems boundless, too.
Rippling through the pastures, north winds blow;
The grass bends low, the cattle and sheep, to show. 」
When mentioning the landscape of Inner Mongolia, this ancient poem will spontaneously pop up in your mind. To continueour last article，we would share you the main goal of this journey – Hulunbuir City of Inner Mongolia.
In the third day of our journey, we carried our luggage and took a taxi to Harbin East Railway Station. It took us around 13 hours from Harbin to Hailar dist. of Hulunbuir by train. We booked a sleeper with couchettes for four people. This is my first time to take a train with couchettes. Everything was new for me. However, the novelty of our surroundings soon wore off. You only could go the café full of second-hand smoke for ordering food; otherwise, you should stay in your coach and watch the scene out of window.
The train arrived Hailar in late night. The temperature of Oct was quite cold. We were exhausted for taking such long distance train. After dropping our luggage in the hotel, we just find a restaurant for some midnight snack to end this day.
Next morning, we met our tour guide. He drove car and take us for sightseeing. Here are some tips for arranging tour (1) Find a private tour guide in the Internet. The tour guide shall be familiar with local scenic spots. (2) The tour guide would arrange the food and accommodation. However, if there is any preference, you could communicate with the tour guide in advance. For example, we prefer to see more natural scenery. Then, our tour guide would arrange the tour based on our wishes. (3) In order to have a good memory, we would recommend you to have benign communication with your tour guide. Do not provoke a conflict. Safety is always the top priority.
Back to our journey, our journey started after having a local breakfast. The first stop was an area full of Mongolian yurts. You could experience the traditional mongolian yurt and the culture of Nomads here.
A row of Mongolian yurts stood on the boundless grassland, where you could see flags and silk ribbon with five color flapped in the breeze. The flags with five colors represents the prosperity, peace and healthy of Mongolia. The silk ribbon with five colors has the meaning of welcome. Besides of Mongolia yurts, there were horses, sheep and cattle in the pastures.
October is not a high season for tourism in Inner Mongolia. Different with the lush green grassland in June and July, the boundless yellow grassland was still fascinating to me. Our tour guide told us that we were his last guests of this year. Since it will be snowing in the winter, he would not host any tourist for safety reason. We saw great amounts of sheep were grazing in the pastures. While we immersed in the significant view, there was a man herding a sneaking sheep inside the fence. He ridded a horse and came to us.
He was curious and asked “Where do you come from? ”
“We come from Taiwan” We answered.
“Do you have a bunch of sheep in Taiwan?” He asked with interested.
Well…. No! We’ve never seen it before!
Then, our tour guide took us to the next stop. Inner Mongolia is with a vast territory.There will be one hundred miles more between two locations. We had our lunch in the halfway and spent two hours to second spot - Baihua Forest.
The Bailhua forest is full of white birches and locates in Ergun city of Hulunbuir. It occupies 1000 hm2 and near the city most. White birch is the city trees of Ergun city and has the reputation of “ pure and innocent tree”
The branches of white birch are skinning and long. They stood out the land with golden fallen leaves. The scenery was breath taking. We wandered around the woods. Sometimes we walked; sometimes we just sit on the fallen leaves and had daydreaming. We spent our whole afternoon here.
When the sun was falling, our tour guide had to take us away from this beautiful scenery and droved us to our hotel. It was a long way.
We only stopped to stretch. The hotel we stayed was a B&B in a small village. When we arrived, it was dark. There were no streetlights in the village and just few lights in our neighbors and the B&B we stayed. The temperature was lower in the night. Without light pollution, we saw plenty stars and the moon in the dark sky. We run our hand together to have more heat and enjoy the night.
Our journey is not over. We would tell you more about our last two-day of this journey in the next article!
The poem was translated by Frank C Yue.