Hoofing it or on horseback, you'll find the cream of Inner Mongolia's grasslands at Ulgai or Wulagai.
Locals call it "the grassland on the edge of sky". Ulgai, in the northeast of Xiliin (Xilin) Gol League, is probably the cream of the breathtaking scenery of the region's renowned prairies.
As a perfect place for photographers, it also had long caught the eye of French director Jean-Jacques Annaud as he prepared Wolf Totem, the film adaptation of author Jiang Rong's hymn for the grasslands that hit China's big screens.
As one drives from the league's capital, Xiliinhot (Xilinhot), the landscape spreads out like a green carpet decorated with wildflowers. The road stretches beyond the eyesight and meets the azure sky, which is dotted with fluffy clouds.
It is difficult to find wolves here today, but while stepping on this land, the power of wildness has a tendency to cast off people's memories of urban life. It's easy to seize the moment and commune with nature.
The grassland covers more than 5,000 square kilometers but has a small population of about 24,000. The area is less renowned when compared to other grasslands in Inner Mongolia, so it is less crowded in the peak of summer. However, it's among the best-preserved areas in the region.
Joining hiking enthusiasts from all over the country to embark on a trek through Wulagai sounds like a good choice. The route of this event, which is held every June, is more than 210 km, and the hike normally takes seven and a half days. This year's hike will begin on June 29, and for the first time, five additional treks have been scheduled through August.
Mornings in Ulgai are slightly cold, even during summer, and unfriendly mosquitoes gather to attack. It is best to be prepared before setting off with long-sleeve shirts to protect yourself from the sunlight, because the day quickly turns sunny and hot, and the boundless grassland immediately becomes brighter.
Photo taken on Aug 15, 2018 shows the scenery of Ulgai Grassland in in Xiliin Gol League North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region. [Photo/IC]