Step into glorious Spring with rhododendrons in Arxan
Wild rhododendrons delight visitors to Arxan, Hinggan League, in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region. [Photo/IC]
The city and scenic region of Arxan (also known as Arshaan), in Hinggan League, in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, is fast growing in popularity as a travel destination for visitors across the country – and for very good reason.
The name Arxan means "hot holy water" in the Mongolian language. The city is located in the southwest area of the Greater Khingan Mountains.
When people talk about traveling to Arxan, one of the first images that springs to mind is usually the glorious ice sculptures and the colorful winter entertainment options during its annual international ice and snow festival, held in December.
But there are more compelling reasons for visitors to come.
Every May, rhododendron blooms all over the mountains in Arxan. The rhododendron flowering period lasts about two months, from May to June, as the different varieties of rhododendron bloom at different times.
During the flowering season, visitors can embrace beautiful scenery that combines verdant hills, blue lakes, and a purple sea of rhododendrons. Sometimes, tourists can also experience snowfall, adding to the natural wonders of the region.
In time for the rhododendrons that are in full bloom in mid-May, the county-level city organizes rhododendron festival every year to attract more visitors from home and aboard.
This year, its rhododendron festival is scheduled to open on May 19. During the festival, visitors can admire rhododendrons, and experience hiking activities and cultural and tourism exhibitions.
Here is a recommended three-day travel tour for visitors to admire rhododendrons across Arxan:
Day 1: Arxan National Forest Park
Arxan National Forest Park was established in 2000 with the approval of national forestry authority. It is located in the southwest area of the Greater Khingan Mountains, covering an area of 103,149 hectares.
In 2017, the park was rated as a top level 5A national tourist site.
The park has abundant natural features including lakes, mountains, wetlands, forests, hot springs and ravines. It is an ideal wonderland for visitors to admire rhododendrons.
Day 2: Haosengou National Forest Park
Haosengou National Forest Park is located at Haosengou village in Arxan.
It was first established in August 1976 and began its forest protection program in 1998.
The park is rich in natural resources including wild plants and animals. During May, wild rhododendrons bloom in the park, offering a beautiful view for flower admirers.
Day 3: Bailang Peak
Bailang town, situated in the southeast area of Arxan city, in Hinggan League in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, is where the Tao'er River starts.
The name bailang means “richness” in the Mongolian language. The town gained its name from its magnificent views and Bailang Peak.
Bailang Peak lies 1,511 meters above sea level. It sees the blooms of rhododendron every May, attracting thousands of visitors to admire the natural display.
Planes and trains are available for visitors. Arxan airport has flights to cities including Beijing, Hohhot, Guangzhou and Manzhouli. The area has also launched trains to link itself with Shenyang, Changchun, Hailaar, and Ulaanhot.