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Home Travel Guide Inner Mongolia Travel Guide Hulunbuir Travel Guide – An Ultimate Guide to the Grasslands and Nomadic Life

Hulunbuir Travel Guide – An Ultimate Guide to the Grasslands and Nomadic Life

Hulunbuir City always ranks as one of the best grassland destinations for most people’s trips to Inner Mongolia. Located in the northeastern part of Inner Mongolia, Hulunbuir City is the largest city in China, covering an area of about 253,000 square kilometers.

The best highlight of the city lies in the vast Hulunbuir Grassland, one of the world’s four great grasslands. Most travelers visit Hulunbuir specifically with the intention of venturing off into the endless grassland, trying traditional grassland sports and activities such as horseback riding and archery, and experiencing authentic hunting and nomadic cultures.

Since shares borders with Russia to the north and northwest through the Ergun River, Hulunbuir also boasts several hidden towns and villages offering great experiences of Russian culture. 

Over the years of organizing Inner Mongolia tours, we’ve been asked many questions related to planning a trip to Hulunbuir. Read the following Hulunbuir Travel Guide to see our top recommendations and get the most out of your Hulunbuir grassland trip.

Inner Mongolia Hulunbuir Grassland Horse Ride

Chinese: 呼伦贝尔 hū lún bèi ěr

Location: Northeast Inner Mongolia

Population (urban area): 2,191,000

Fast Facts of Hulunbuir

Location:

In the northeastern part of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region; borders Mongolia to the west and Russia to the north, and neighbor Heilongjiang Province to the east.

Natural Resource:

Hulunbuir is home to various topographies, including vast grasslands, forests, wetlands, lakes, rivers, and volcanic landscapes. The cool summers make it a popular summer retreat.

Grassland Highlights:

One of the most famous grasslands in China and the world, Hulunbuir Grassland impresses people because it offers lifetime experiences unlike any piece of nature. This “Prairie Paradise” will entertain you with vast green expanses rich in biodiversity and stunning rivers and lakes, fertile pastures dotted with herds of cattle and sheep, and authentic Mongolian nomadic culture and grassland way of life.

Culture and Ethnicities:

Not only Mongolian, Hulunbuir is also home to Han Chinese Manchu, Hui, Russian, Ewenki, Daur, etc. Thus, in addition to the traditional Mongolian culture such as yurts, long songs, horsemanship, and archery, a Hulunbuir visit will also reward you with Russian lifestyles and architecture in many Russian-style towns, and the unique reindeer culture of the Ewenki ethnic group.

Top Tourist Attractions in Hulunbuir

Hulunbuir Grassland
A world-renowned natural pasture, it boasts a boundless expanse, rich biodiversity, and pristine grassland with a great ecological environment. Besides picturesque natural scenery, the grassland is also teeming with grassland cultural experiences and historical relics.
Hulun Lake
The largest lake in Inner Mongolia, Hulun Lake plays an important role in maintaining regional ecological balance. It is the cradle of various northern nomadic ethnicities. In 2002, the lake and its surrounding wetland were included in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Shiwei Russian Ethnic Township
It is the only Russian ethnic township in China, with most residents being descendants of mixed Chinese-Russian heritage. This town is famous for its rich Russian ethnic culture and lifestyle, offering visitors many unique experiences, including living in a Russian-style log house, tasting Russian-style foods, visiting Russian households, etc.
Aoluguya Reindeer Village
This is a primitive tribe showcasing the daily life of the Aoluguya Ewenki people, the only ethnic group raising reindeer as well as the last hunting tribe in China. Here you can discover how they coexist with reindeer, try to feed the reindeer, and interact with local hunting families.
Moerdaoga National Forest Park
Located in the northern Greater Khingan Mountains, the park offers spectacular natural pristine forest landscapes accompanied by undulating mountains and narrow valleys. With six major scenic areas, here visitors can expect mountainous landscapes, river and hiking adventures, folk cultural experiences, and great sunrise views. Riding the forest mini train through the forest is the most popular way to explore its highlights.
White Birch Forest
The only pure birch forest landscape in the Greater Khingan Mountains, the forest is facilitated with skywalks and viewing corridors for visitors to sightsee and photograph. The deer park in the forest is popular among families with kids, offering deer feeding opportunities and recreational facilities.

Top Things to Do in Hulunbuir

Boasting not only magnificent natural scenery but also rich cultural and outdoor experiences, Hulunbuir offers a plethora of things to do, and below are just some of the most recommended ones during your Hulunbuir travel:

Horseback Riding:

Many visitors yearn to ride a horse across the vast grasslands like the local nomadic people. In Hulunbuir, your dream can come true. At the Heishantou Horse Farm, professional guidance and measures will ensure people of different levels a safe and pleasant riding experience across the grassland.

Unique Accommodation Experience:

Mongolian yurt is a can’t-miss to experience the unique accommodation culture on the grassland. Besides that, you can also stay a night in a Russian-style log cabin in Shiwei, which is a unique experience you can not encounter anywhere else.

Enjoy Amazing Sunrise and Sunset over the Grasslands:

No photography enthusiasts and nature lovers want to miss the spectacular sunrise or sunset over the vast expanse of green ocean. Heishantou, Moridaga River, and Linjiangtun near Ergun River are some of the top spots on Hulunbuir Grasslands for sunrise and sunset views.

Explore Ergun Wetland:

The largest pristine wetland in Asia, Ergun Wetland is like a natural treasure trove housing meandering rivers, lush meadows, dense forests, and numerous wildlife species.

Grass sliding and outdoor adventures:

To combine the stunning grassland scenery and thrilling experiences, grass sliding should be surely on your Hulunbuir to-do list. The 186 Ribbon River Area will not only offer you wetland scenery of the Erguna River but also the speed of the grass sliding. Besides that, driving a go-kart across the grasslands is also available here.

Visit a Mongolian Family:

Visiting a nomadic family on the grassland should be the best way to look into the daily life of Mongolians. During the visit, you will follow the host to take part in all their daily works and activities. You can learn how to milk the cow, kids usually like to feed the lambs. After the works, enjoy your free time to wander around or follow the host to learn their traditional sports.

Appreciate Natural Scenery:

More natural wonders are waiting to delight your eyes in Hulunbuir besides the expansive grassland itself. The birch forests in the Greater Khingan Mountains, the breathtaking views along the Ergun River, and the China-Russia border will one after another mesmerize you.

Taste Authentic Mongolian Cuisine:

Hulunbuir cuisine is characterized by rich grassland flavors, with most dishes revolving around beef and mutton. Thanks to the thriving animal husbandry industry in Hulunbuir, dairy products also play a vital role in local culinary landscapes. Popular food in Hulunbuir includes whole roasted lamb,  Mongolian-style pan-fried lamb, hand-grabbed meat, milk tea, cheese, mare’s milk wine, etc.

In places like Manzhouli, the culinary scene is greatly influenced by neighboring ethnic groups, providing Russian-style delicacies like Golubtsy, Solyanka soup, and Syrniki.

Ergun Wetland
Ergun Wetland

Hulunbuir Weather and Best Time to Visit

Hulunbuir belongs to the old temperate and temperate continental monsoon climate zones. Its main climate features include:

  • Winters in Hulunbuir are usually long and cold, lasting from November to March of the following year;
  • Summers are relatively short, usually from June to late August. And compared to other regions in China, Hulunbuir enjoys more pleasant temperatures;
  • When in spring, it usually experiences a windy and dry climate;
  • Autumn is the time when a rapid temperature drop occurs in Hulunbuir.

When it comes to the best time to visit Hulunbuir, the answer is usually June to mid-September, as this is when the temperatures are pleasant, the grassland is lush and decorated with wildflowers, and the Nadam Festival is held.

However, Hulunbuir is also great to visit in the early autumn when the forests transform into red and golden colors, being ideal for photography. Though the extreme weather conditions in winter may cause the closure of some grassland areas, it will offer various winter activities, like skiing, sledding, etc.

Hulunbuir Transportation: How to Get to and Travel Around

How to Get to

Flights and trains are the main options to reach Hulunbuir.

By flights

Currently, Hulunbuir Dongshan International Airport and Manzhouli Xijiao Airport are the two main airports serving Hulunbuir.

Hulunbuire Dongshan International located in Harlar District is the most important gateway in this area, operating flights connecting major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Hohhot, Harbir, etc. During the peak tourist season, more flights will be increased.

Manzhouli Xijiao Airport mainly serves the western region of Hulunbuir, offering flights connecting Hohhot, Guangzhou, Beijing, Harbin, etc.

By trains

Hulunbuir has multiple train stations connecting various cities in Inner Mongolia and across China. Hailar Railway Station is the most important train station in Hulunbuir, operating trains to/from Beijing, Hohhot, Chengdu, Zhengzhou, Harbin, etc. Additionally, it offers international trains to Moscow every week.

How to Travel Around

Considering the vastness of Hulunbuir and its scattered and exotic attractions, it is difficult to arrange convenient transportation to travel between different places. Thus, joining an organized tour by a local travel agency is highly recommended in Hulunbuir, especially when you are traveling to Hulunbuir for the first time. By doing so, you’ll have a local professional guide lead you to your preferred attractions, provide in-depth commentary, and have your transportation, accommodations, etc. all be arranged properly.

To ensure more flexibility, you can also join in a private tour with just you and your families or friends. Then the entire itinerary will be arranged according to your preferences and requirements.

To travel to Hulunbuir independently, you can transfer between different places in Hulunbuir by train, long-distance bus, or charter car service. But be aware that this will be time-consuming and challenging for first-timers.

Hulunbuir Hailar Airport
Hulunbuir Hailar Airport

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