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Tuvan Life and the Northwest Corner

  The area with the densest scenery in Northern Xinjiang tourism is the so-called Northern Xinjiang Small Ring Road, which is located in the most northwest corner of the motherland’s territory.
  Going north from Burqin, the altitude is getting higher, the trees are getting more and more, the snow-capped mountains are getting closer, the sky is bluer, and the flowers on the grass are more colorful. Yellow, purple, pink, just beside the snow that has not yet melted. The composition of so many layers of color is intoxicating. After the snow piled up beside the aisle, there was a fork in the road ahead, with Kanas on the left and Hemu on the right.
  The full name of Hemu is Hemu Kanas Mongolian Township. It is located in a small basin surrounded by mountains at the southern foot of the Altai Mountains, and the Burqin River flows through it. Before tourism was developed, this was a natural village as peaceful as a paradise. The Tuva people living in the village were a branch of the Mongolian nationality, and there were nomadic Kazakhs living in the surrounding mountains. The wooden houses of the Tuva people are built on the grass in the basin, and the village has no industry so far. Cattle and sheep, like people, go out early and return late to graze on the hillside grass outside the village, while children and villagers gather on the grass in the yard separated by wooden fences to play, look into the distance, and connect with the sky. Being in it, the scenery is beautiful, and there is dancing to figure out the shadows, which is not like the tranquility in the world.
  With the development of tourism, more wooden houses have been built in the village, and the youth hostel we stayed in is the tourist hotel that entered here earlier. Since the tourist season here is only more than four months (June 1st to mid-October), when we arrived, they had just arrived here the day before and were cleaning up the room, and the waiter would not arrive until two days later. But the owner enthusiastically packed a house for us.
  Here, in addition to enjoying the tranquility and feeling the life of the Tuva people, it is also admiring and taking pictures of the beautiful scenery. After settling down, I walked around the village with my camera. Children are easy to get close to. Both boys and girls are willing to let us take pictures and communicate with us, but most adults are not used to interacting with strangers. When they see tourists with cameras, they will stay away from them. Go, and their dogs will bark loudly, as if expressing their dissatisfaction with the arrival of outsiders. However, the tranquility here has been broken. The galloping Burqin River, the quiet birch forest, the tall and straight pine trees, the unique wooden fences and cabins, and the unique life of the Tuva people attract people from all over the country to come here.
  The Tuva people are an ancient nation in my country, and they are said to be descendants of Genghis Khan. They have their own ancient language, believe in Lamaism, and at the same time maintain the original features of shamanism, animism and totem worship, and live on nomadism and hunting. For nearly 400 years, the Tuva people who settled in the area of ​​Kanas Lake have basically maintained a relatively primitive way of life. Hemu, Kanas and Baihaba are typical Tuva villages.
  Kanas is in the northwest of Hemu, and it takes one day to ride through the mountains from Hemu. It is said that the scenery along the way is even more amazing. It’s a pity we didn’t have the chance to go this time. Stay in Hemu for one night, get up early the next morning, go to the hillside behind to take pictures of the morning scenery of Hemu Village in the morning light, and then bid farewell to the enthusiastic host of the youth hostel, return to the 232 provincial road, and continue northward Go to Kanas.
  As far as the popularity of the outside world is concerned, Kanas is far greater than Hemu. This is of course because of its beauty, the changing lake water of Moon Bay, the special scenery of Wolong Bay, and the small Swiss scenery of lakes and mountains. Because of the mystery of the legendary “Lake Monster”, but also because of its one step ahead of tourism development. Compared with Hemu, Kanas is more like a clean park with complete tourism service facilities and strict and orderly management. Of course, it is also called “Swiss scenery in Asia”. I think it is a fairyland-style place that is very suitable for vacation and accommodation. But we didn’t have much time to linger around. Perhaps the sightseeing-style walking around to see flowers is not suitable for Kanas, but we still embarked on the road to Baihaba Village after dinner.
  Baihaba is located about 30 kilometers west of Kanas and belongs to Habahe County. Due to tourism development, there is an asphalt road between Kanas and Kanas, and it takes less than an hour to drive there. It is also a Tuva village, but compared to Hemu’s cleanliness and cleanliness, Baihaba Village is more natural and original. Although it looks a bit messy and the wooden houses are dilapidated, it is There is no commercial atmosphere of tourist attractions. It’s a pity that we came at the wrong time. The most beautiful season in Baihaba is autumn, and the picturesque scenery can only be seen in the works of Russian landscape painters.
  Baihaba Village is located on the northwestern border of my country. The opposite of the Baihaba River is Kazakhstan. Therefore, Baihaba is called “the first village in the Northwest”. Leaving Baihaba Village, heading south along the bumpy National Defense Highway, the next thing we arrived at was Tiereketi, the “No. 1 Township in Northwest China”.
  Although there are quite a few wooden houses in Tiereketi, there are already more houses with earth and wood structures and brick and wood structures on the streets. In order to find a post office that can be stamped as a souvenir, we wandered around this short, dusty street, and finally found a house with a post office sign, but it was General Iron guarding the door. It was only after five o’clock in the afternoon, so it shouldn’t have been off work. After inquiring about a fellow villager who could barely speak a few words of Chinese, I found out that Bahe Tiguli of the Tiereketi Post Office was working in her home, so I followed the instructions and found her yard.
  In a earthen house, there is a table that acts as a business counter, and a few newspapers and magazines are stacked on the ground, and Bahiti Guli is sorting them. We took out the flags and explained our purpose, and Bahiti Guli enthusiastically stamped the postmark for us. At this time, she suddenly found the camera on our chest, so she said something eagerly, which was misunderstood by us as “drinking tea”, but we didn’t want to drink tea, we had to hurry. At this time, she was a little anxious, and called out two old people from the room next to her, and made gestures. Only then did we understand that she wanted us to take a photo of the two old people. She said that two old ladies, one in her 85s and the other in her 90s, had never had a photo taken together. After taking photos for the elderly and leaving the address of Bahiti Guli, we left Tiereketi, the “No. 1 Township in the Northwest”, and continued southward to Habahe County, the “No. 1 County in the Northwest”.
  From Baihaba Village to Habahe County, it is about 120 kilometers, all of which are sand, gravel and dirt roads, passing through the mountains and hills, rugged and tortuous, it is the most difficult part of our trip. I found the county government guest house to stay in, and learned from the information of the hotel that this “first county in the northwest” has a population of just over 70,000, which is one of the counties with the smallest population. The hotel rooms are not cheap, and the hot water is only available until twelve o’clock at night. The only advantage is that the hotel’s long-distance calls are free, and you can make casual calls.
  Early the next morning, in order to find the peculiar desert lake Baisha Lake, we traveled westward from Habahe County. Unexpectedly, we encountered the “No. 1 in the Northwest” again as soon as we left the city. Along the Haba River, which is about five kilometers away in Habahe County, is a birch shelterbelt known as the “No. 1 in the Northwest”. Going west again for tens of kilometers, it is the 185th regiment of the Xinjiang Construction Corps known as the “Northwest First Regiment”. “. The road stops here, turn around and return, and continue to look for Baisha Lake. However, the large birch forest located in the Sanlian range attracted us. I don’t know if it is also called the first birch forest in the northwest border? Not far from the birch forest, we finally found the intersection to Baisha Lake. There is no sign on it. If you don’t ask the local team workers, it will be very difficult to find it. However, the car was only a hundred meters away, and it had already entered the desert and could no longer drive, so I had to abandon the car and walk through the desert under the strong sun. Fortunately, it is not far away, only three kilometers. Baisha Lake is buried in the middle of the desert, and few people come to observe it along the road.
  Baisha Lake is about 800 meters long from north to north and 600 meters wide from east to west. Resembling a pea pod, it is concave in the east and bulges in the west. It is the only pool of deep water in the desert. The source and cause of its formation have attracted the attention of scientists. A variety of vegetation and semi-arid shrub vegetation are also puzzling and thought-provoking. In June, lotus flowers are in full bloom in the lake, wild ducks are playing, and in October, red and yellow leaves are fluttering.
  When I came out of Baisha Lake and passed the 185th regiment again, I inadvertently found a place called “No. 1 in the Northwest”. class.
  Today’s plan is to arrive at Urho Devil City before sunset and stay in Karamay at night. But because it took too much time to find Baisha Lake, we had to change to Burqin. So we relaxed and swam all the way to Wucai Bay, which was not included in the plan. At 26 kilometers from the 227 provincial road from Habaha to Burqin, there was a large wetland reed marsh that attracted us, so we stopped. Just as the setting sun was sinking into the horizon, such a place with excellent scenery was not included in any travel brochure. The beauty of Xinjiang lies in the scenery everywhere. I can’t help but sigh, only by driving can I enjoy such scenery.

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