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Home Travel in Xinjiang Luntai Huyang Poplar Forest Park
Luntai Huyang Poplar Forest Park
Travel in Xinjiang

Luntai Huyang Poplar Forest Park
At the southern foot of the Tianshan Mountains (tiān shān 天山), edged on the other side by the forbidding Tarim Basin (tǎ lǐ mù pén dì 塔里木盆地), lies Xinjiang's desert forest, Luntai Huyang Poplar Forest Park (lún tái shā mò sēn lín gōng yuán 轮台沙漠森林公园), as oxymoronic as that may seem. The reason life flourishes in such an arid zone is due to the Huyang poplar trees. Luntai (lún tái 轮台) is the world's largest preserve of Huyang poplars, 27, 000 hectares' worth.

Brief introduction
Luntai Huyang Poplar Forest ParkLuntai County (lún tái xiàn 轮台县), lying at the southern foot of the Tianshan Mountains and the northern edge of the Tarim Basin, possesses the world’s largest, densest and best-surviving “living fossil of the Tertiary Age”----a natural Huyang (diversiform-leaved) poplar forest of more than 27,000 hectares. The Huyang poplar forest is common desert forest meadow vegetation in the Tarim Basin, growing from upper to lower reaches of the Tarim River valley (tǎ lǐ mù hé gǔ 塔里木河谷). In spite of a rather simple structure, clearly the forest has ecological markings of the bio-zone in which it grows. The Tarim Basin boasts the world’s largest area of natural Huyang poplar forest and this roadside forest of over 2,700 hectares is merely a small part of the whole. The forest grows along the meandering course of the silt-laden Tarim River, and stretches to the remote horizon. There is a beautiful small lake in the forest where waterfowl including swans from the silty Tarim river find nesting grounds. Hares and corsac foxes compete with hawks for the many rabbits burrowing in the poplars' roots.

Huyang Poplars

Luntai Huyang Poplar Forest ParkHuyang poplars are called "most beautiful" in the local Uighur dialect, but that may more accurately be termed "most hardy". Huyang poplars grow only in the desert and have always been engaged in struggle with it. Faced with cruel broiling heat and drought, only these diversiform-leaved poplars still stand in the desert, brimming with energy and life force. It is also acclaimed as the “desert hero” because of its unyielding life force and amazing ability to endure drought, sandstorms, and saline and alkali soils. Folk have made heroes of them for their ability to grow erect for a thousand years, live for a thousand years after falling, and life and remain undying after death for another thousand years.

Splendid Autumn
In autumn, Huyang poplars in the wild dress in their most splendid attire of the year. Mid-October is the ideal time to visit Luntai, when the poplars put on a riotous yellow show of dying leaves. In fact, all the shades towards crimson turn up in the endless sweep of Luntai Huyang Poplar Forest Parkbranches, particularly among the red willow and oleaster, but deep yellow prevails, lending the forest an eerily beautiful glow. Those few weeks in October are one of nature's great affirmations that abundance can come from desolation. The sturdy trunks and gigantic crowns manifest that they have stored up enough energy. The poplars will withstand the harsh approaching winter with their tenacity and vigor.

Transportation (Go from Beijing):
By Airplane:
Beijing—Urumqi City (wū lǔ mù qí 乌鲁木齐)—Beijing
Twelve flights daily
Full Price (economy class): CNY 2410+ CNY 100 (tax)
Discount: Depend on tourist season
Flight Time: 4 hour 5 minutes one way
Urumqi City—Kuerle (Korla) City (kù ěr lè 库尔勒)—Urumqi City
Eight flights daily
Full Price (economy class): CNY 750+ CNY 70 (tax)
Discount: Depend on tourist season
Flight Time: 55 minutes one way

By Train:
Beijing—Urumqi City—Beijing
Only one daily
Train No: T69 (18:36—10:42) / T70 (20:03—13:50)
Run Time: 40/41 hour 6/47 minutes one way
Price: lower hard sleeper (CNY 652) lower soft sleeper (CNY 1006)
Urumqi City—Kuerle (Korla) City—Urumqi City
There are other 3 trains to run daily passing Kuerle City from Urumqi.
Train No: 5812/5813 (20:12—08:24) / 5811/5814 (19:09—08:13)
Run Time: 12/13 hour 12/4 minutes one way
Luntai Huyang Poplar Forest ParkPrice: lower hard sleeper (CNY 93) lower soft sleeper (CNY 144)
Note: “T” means limited express train with air-conditioner, “Only figures” means general train with air-conditioner.

By Overland:
In Urumqi taking by bus at Nanjiao Bus Station (nán jiāo qì chē zhàn 南郊汽车站) to Kuerle(Korla) City is CNY 89-137/person lasting about 6 hours.
In Urumqi taking by bus at Nanjiao Bus Station to Luntai County is about CNY 53-82/person lasting about 5 hours.

There are many minibus from Luntai County to Luntai Huyang Poplar Forest Park. IF you hire a private car, it is about RMB100. Luntai Huyang Poplar Forest mainly centralism distributes between Lunan and Tahe. The distance from Luntai County to Lunnan (lóu lán 楼兰) is 43km and from Lunnan to Tahe (tǎ hé 塔河) is about 20km.

Fees: Luntai Huyang Poplar Forest Park CNY 50/person and park trainset CNY 50.
Best Time to Visit: Autumn especially from the middle of October to the early of November (20 October to 15 November)

Travel tips:

Be sure to take warmer clothes for the nights and always carry plenty of drinking water even in the cooler months.
Be sure to respect local ethical customs and traditions.
Please take enough food, water and compass.
Please take sunbonnet, sunglass, canteen, respirator, muffler and suntan oil in summer.