Extending for 28km long, Yili Fruit Valley(果子沟)
runs parallel to Urmqi-Yilin Highway, which was the northern section of Silk Road. It is bordered to the north by the renowned Sayram Lake
and to the south by the picturesque Yili Valley. Since ancient time, it has served as a key passage as well as a cultural and economic artery connecting China
, Middle Asia and Europe. During Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368), Genghis Khan built 48 bridges here prior to his epic Westernward Expedition. The flat and broad bituminous macadam has long replaced the previous rugged mountain road and consequently it is more convenient for tourists to sightsee the scenery of the valley.
Fruit Valley is home to various fruits such as apple, apricot and walnut, that is how it gets its name. Besides, it also harbors a great variety of herbs and wildlife, such as hares, foxes, wolves, bears, wild boar and deers. Among all the herbs include Angelica, Ginseng, Ganoderma and wild peony, a mushroom springing from the root of Wild Peony is the most precious. It is as dark as black pearls, and as tiny as the head of a match sticks, however, their medicinal properties, are superb and immeasurable. Locals use it to enhance immunity system, improve eye sight as well as to strength the function of brain and kidney.
From late May to September, it will be carpeted with wild blossoms and later, aromatic fruits. Songshutou, the summit of this valley, commands mind-blowing panoramic view of winding paths, deep valleys, magnificent waterfalls and undulating slopes framed by soaring peaks in the distance.
A journey to Fruit Valley during spring, summer or autumn is visually rewarding and overwhelming, for you can experience scenery of four seasons simply by looking up from valleys to mountain summits. In the valley, flowers blossom large and vividly, filling the air with intoxicating perfume. Butterflies flirt frenetically from one flower to the next, while bees busy themselves with collecting nectar to brew honey with out-of-the-world taste. In the mountain waist, those luxuriant and towering trees display the splendor and vitality typical of summer. Along the slopes, ripen fruits attract birds and animals to their branches, which is a typical autumn scene. While in the distance, snow-capped mountains defining the skyline of western China, will remind you of desolate winter. As the serpentine trail clinging to the mountains take you through each rise and fall, the vistas will trigger both panic and ecstasy, for the terrain is too perilous and the scenery is too breathtaking.
Just as a Chinese saying goes: “the most sublime natural beauty dwells in the most inaccessible places.” Fruit Valley with extremely beautiful scnerey, is not that hostile to travelers.
Add: 40km northeast of Huocheng County, Xijiang(新疆维吾尔自治区霍城县城东北40公里处)
Admission Fee: Free
Opening hour: all day
Advised tour time: two hours
: it is an important stop from Urumqi to Yining
, all the vehicles will pass it.
What to buy: honey
Thanks to the bountiful flowers grew in the slopes of this valley, locals can harvest the most delicious and organic honey.
Author: Sophia Posted on July 11, 2013