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Top 6 Grasslands in China with Google Earth Links

Apr 28, 2009

[Sources] 1. nipic.com/sh001 | 2. Cheng Jie | 3. showcheer.com | 4. 仲夫 | 5. zhang hu | 6. qilian.mofcom.gov.cn

Grasslands (also called greenswards) are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses (Poaceae) and other herbaceous (non-woody) plants (forbs). — wikipedia

Grasslands in China

China is one of the richest countries in grassland resources. We rank No. 3 in the world after Australia and Russia. China has 320 million hectares of grassland, which is ranking No. 1 in various land resources of China. It’s about three times of current arable land in China.

The grasslands in China are all temperate grasslands. They can be divided into three categories: mid-temperate grasslands; warm-temperate grasslands; and alpine (and cold) grasslands. Biologists also classify them into different types according to the characteristics of their ecosystem.

OK. That’s enough for geography and biology. Let’s get onto introductions of most beautiful scenic places in China: top 6 grasslands.

Note:
Since the grasslands cover large regions of territory, the google earth links (kmz files) provided here also cover large regions or point to a selected spot within the large region. You can scroll around to view more.

These grasslands are not covered by wikipedia articles either. For your convenience, I provide links to the wikipedia articles about their located regions.

View all 6 grasslands in one google earth file HERE.

Top 6 Grasslands in China with Google Earth Links

1. East Hulunbuir Grassland 呼伦贝尔东部草原

Google Earth | Wiki | location: Inner Mongolia

Hulunbuir is named after two lakes: Hulun lake & Buir Lake. This grassland has the best grass quality in the world, and is one of the top three grasslands in the world. It is also the best preserved grassland in China.

It is famous for three aspects:

1. The birthplace of northern Chinese nomads, the most famous of which is the Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan.

2. Best grass quality in the world. Harvested grass is exported abroad.

3. Sanhe horses and Sanhe cattle

2. Ili Grassland 伊犁草原

Google Earth | Wiki | location: Xinjiang

When Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan headed west to Ili through the deep mountains, although it was spring time, it was still snowing and windy in the mountains. His exhausted army suffered from hunger and cold. However, once they made through the last hill into this land, they found themselves in vast beautiful blooming grassland, with lots of springs and rivers. At that moment, the sun cleared the thick cloud and lit up the sky with astonishing afterglow. The soldiers cannot help crying: Na-la-ti (there’s the sun! – Mongolian). Then this grassland got its name in the legend.

3. Xilin Gol Grassland 锡林郭勒草原

Google Earth | Wiki | location: Inner Mongolia

Another vast premium grassland in Inner Mongolia.

4. West Sichuan Alpine Grassland 川西高寒草原

Google Earth | Wiki | location: Sichuan

Between the high mountains in western Sichuan province, there is a vast (70,000 square km) alpine grassland with a latitude around 3800-4500m. There is a great mixture of ethnic groups living here. It’s also a historical region of economical exchange between Tibetan Highland and Chengdu plain. The culture diversity here is as rich as its colorful grassland. That’s why this is core area of mysterious Shangri-la~

5. Nagqu Alpine Grassland 那曲高寒草原

Google Earth | Wiki | location: Tibet

Average 4500m+ above the sea level, Nagqu grassland must be one of the highest in the world. Surrounded by three major mountain ranges, this is the only agriculture land in northern Tibet. Nagqu area is also one of the Tibet areas open to tourism. Both Qinghai-Tibet Railway and Qinghai-Tibet Road run through this area, which makes it easy to reach. Its unique Tibetan highland view and rich Tibetan culture attract lots of tourists every year.

6. Qilian Shan Grassland 祁连山草原

Google Earth | Wiki | location: Gansu & Qinghai

Qilian Mountains and Yanzhi moutains range between the deserts of northwestern China. The moutain glacier and permanent snow water this beautiful grassland. The largest ranch is the Far East — Shandan Army Horse Ranch is located here.

[Scenic Splendor of China Series]
This is one post of the Scenic Splendor of China Series. In 2005.10, Chinese National Geography (CNG) selected 114 “most beautiful places” covering 17 different types of scenic patterns. The complete list is here. In Chinese. These scenic places will be covered individually in future.

[Chinese Keywords]
中国最美的地方 草原

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  1. April 29th, 2009 at 00:53 | #1

    Funny, most 外国人 imagine China as one huge polluted, dirty, packed country. Little do they know most of the country is quite empty… once you get out of the city, it can be miles of empty fields.

    内蒙古 and 新疆 are quite remote though, so hard to get there. And as some Chinese friends would say, “they are parts of the country we just don’t want to go to!” 😆

  2. April 29th, 2009 at 09:41 | #2

    That’s why I strongly support birth control. If we keep expanding, it’s impossible for the earth to sustain a good living standards.

  3. April 29th, 2009 at 10:14 | #3

    At least these places in the photos look like they have room for some more people 🙂

    The photos are very green, these grasslands must get a lot of rain. When I went to China they told me that Chinese people like rainy weather, do you agree?

  4. April 29th, 2009 at 10:31 | #4

    I guess that’s personal. I like every kinds of weather, ALA it fits my current mood. I don’t like the 6 month winter where I live now. And perhaps it will be boring to live in sunny southern California where it never rains 🙂

    An apple ipod shuffle slogan: “Life is Random.”

  5. May 4th, 2009 at 23:03 | #5

    @Jensen

    Same here…

    I know some people find it cruel (for example the one child policy in China) and I don’t find it perfect either. But you have to think of the alternative… China just couldn’t have fed so many people! Plus all the problems coming with overpopulation…

  6. May 4th, 2009 at 23:44 | #6

    @Zhu
    Thank you. I appreciate your understandings. To live “free” but awful or to live restricted but better, we have to make a choice.

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