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Bortala Travel Guide
(Tianshannet) Updated: 2011-April-21 16:45:40

Full Name: Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture
Chinese Name: 博尔塔拉蒙古族自治州 (bó ěr tǎ lā méng gǔ zú zì zhì zhōu)
Population: 450,000  
Area: 27,000 square kilometers (10,425 square miles) 
Nationalities: Mongol, Han 

Administrative Division: 2 counties (Jinghe, Araxang); 1 county-level city (Bortala)  

Seat of the Prefecture Government: 201, Qingdeli Dajie, Bortala (Bole) City

Useful Telephone Numbers: Tourist Complaints: 0909-2222859
                                           Weather Forecast: 121
                                          Zip Code Inquiry: 184

Bank of China Bortala Branch: 148, Beijing Road, Bortala (Bole) City  
China Post Bortala Branch: 89, Tuanjie Road, Bortala (Bole) City 

Mysterious Stone Valley, Bortala
Mysterious Stone Valley, Bortala
Location: Located in the northwest of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture neighbors Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture in the south and is bordered by the Republic of Kazakhstan in the north and west.        

 History: Before the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-24AD) established the Protectorate of West Region in the vast land of northwest China, Bortala was inhabited by several nomadic tribes. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it was under the administration of Shuanghe Protectorate. The name of the prefecture, Bortala, was derived from Bolatuoer which was recorded in the history of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).       
 Physical Features: Bortala is higher in the north and south, lower in the center, and the terrain gradually slopes downward from the west to the east. It has Alataw Mountain in the north and Keguqin and Boluokenu Mountains located in the south part. The centre of the prefecture is the alluvial plain formed by the Bortala River.                

 Climate: Bortala enjoys the north temperate continental climate that is characterized by arid weather, long sunlight hours and great temperature variations between day and night. Its annual average temperature falls around 3.7-7.4℃ (38.7-45.3℉).    
 When to Go: summer and autumn

 Local Highlights: During the summer and autumn, Bortala holds the Nadam Grassland Festival. People of Mongol, Kazak, Uygur and Hui in gala attire will gather on the grasslands and participate in or admire the horse racing, wrestling, and horsemanship. Aken Song Fest is the most popular folk song festival of the Kazak. They sing antiphonally or play and sing as they please. These songs are usually improvisations. 

 Special Local Products: cotton, cashmere, medlar 

Mysterious Stone Valley, Bortala
Mysterious Stone Valley, Bortala
Haritureg National Forest Park: Haritureg is Mongolian for 'places over which golden eagles soar'.  The forest park is a perfect summer resort located at the south foot of the Alataw Mountain in northern Bortala City. In the flourishing land of the forest, there are Buddhist caves, ancient tombs and rock paintings with unknown enigmas, and the breathtakingly beautiful natural landscape of brooks, waterfalls, and birch and spruce forests. It is a treasure land combining grasslands, valleys, and forests. 

Mysterious Stone Valley: Located about 38 kilometers (24 miles) west of Bortala City at the foot of the Alataw Mountain, the Mysterious Stone Valley is the largest strange stone group in West China. It is only 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the famous lake in Junger Basin, Aibi Lake. 

Other Scenic Spots: Sayram Lake, Aibi Lake, Araxang (Wenquan) County   

 Travel Tips:
1. Alataw Pass (Alashankou) is the largest inland port in West China. The Second Eurasia Continental Bridge has been connected. The railway starts from Lianyungang of Jiangsu Province in China and ends in Rotterdam of Holland. The Urumqi-Alataw Pass section of the 'continental bridge' has 140 kilometers (87 miles) of railway passing through Bortala Prefecture. It handles mainly freight trains, but there are two passenger trains shuttling between Alashankou and Urumqi. 

2. Alataw Pass is 70 kilometers (43 miles) from downtown Bortala, and the railway station and bus stations there are also foreign-related establishments. The bus station of Bortala Prefecture in Beijing Road provides regular buses shuttling between Alashankou Raiway Station and downtown Bortala. In addition, Bortala city has three other bus stations; the East Station, the West Station and the Nongwushi Station.

(SOURCES:travelchinaguide.com)Editor: zhaoqian
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