China Northern Xinjiang – Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

Getway to Kanas Lake

Located in the middle of the Kanas Lake and the south of Hemu Village, Jiadengyu is a summer village inhabited by Kazakh nomad. It is also the gateway to Kanas Lake and Hemu Village. A lot of hikers would start their hiking route into Hemu from here. Jiadengyu is one of the must see for tourist in Northern Xinjiang.

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

Tourists usually stay in Jiadengyu and move to Kanas Lake the next morning.  From Jiadengyu to Kanas, the distance is about 37 km.  There are few types of accommodation in Jiadengyu, some are European style building which offer better facilities and some are yurts/tent. The condition in the yurts are poor but many would still prefer to choose to stay in the yurts to experience the simple life of the Kazakh herders.

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

Jiadengyu is on a plain between the two mountains. Every summer start from May to October, more than 100 Kazakh yurts form a huge circle on the plain.

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

Jiadengyu Legend

Legend has it that Jiadeng is a mysterious hunter. He has been hunting alone in the mountains for a long time. He was a skilled hunter and could easily find and kill his prey, but not many people have seen him. Jiadeung also cares for others, he hunt the prey for the weak and poor and quietly leave the prey in front of their house daily. When people wake up in the morning, they find all kind of prey in front of their house. Everyone knew it was sent by Jiadeng but no one ever seen his real person. Suddenly one day, the people found no prey in front of their house. And same goes for second and third day. So people started to do a search on Jiadeng as they worried something bad may happen to Jiadeng. After searching for a month, the people found a dead white-haired  man in mountain cave. He was dead and beside him was all the hunting equipment. Hence people concluded this man should be Jiadeng and brought him to the mountain to bury him. The people also build a wooden house beside his grave. Since then, the people has been worshipping Jiadeng’s wooden house every year, maintaining and repairing the little house. The name “JiaDengyu” means the place where Jiadeng lived.

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

I was here in the summer also the perfect season to visit Jiadengyu and Kanas Lake.  The weather in summer is good, pretty cooling during the day but quite cold in the morning and night.  However, the peak season is in September where you can see more colors in the woods.

Along the journey to Jiadengyu, we see many yurts/tents built in the open grassland, together with sheep, cows and horses.  The yurts here look similar to the Mongolian yurt but they are actually not the same.  Even the name in Chinese are called in different way.

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

Kazakh Yurt / 哈萨克毡房 vs Mongolian Yurt / 蒙古包

A yurt is a portable housing constructed with wooden frame and wool covering. They are traditionally used by Turkic nomads who tend sheep and cows. According to our tour guide, the difference is, there is no windows in the Kazakh Yurt compared to the Mongolian yurt. The opening is at the top of the yurt for Kazakh Yurt. When the Kazakh light up the fire in the middle of the yurt, you can see the smoke coming out from the top of the yurt.

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

We also stopped by at one of the tourist spot for toilet break.  It is one of the Kazakh theme park which sell Kazakh’s souvenir such as embroidery as the Kazakh ladies are good at it.

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

As usual, security is tight even in the rural mountain area, police officers can be seen everywhere.  The police is also from the Kazakh minority and look very handsome so one of the tour member ask to take picture with him and he gladly agreed.

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

Kazakh Minority in China

There are about 1.4 million Kazakhs living in Xinjiang China. Kazakhs are mainly engaged in animal breeding. They are good at needle work, and the embroidery products can be seen sewing in the Kazakh’s yurt. Kazakhs are widely seen near this region,  Altay Mountain and Tianshan Mountains. Most Kazakhs are muslim.  Both men and women are good horse riders. During the festivals, young men usually play the snatching sheep matches ( like a Polo game), horse racing and chasing girls game can be seen as their old tradition.

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

This part of the ground here look naked, the Kazakh yurt was placed here before we arrived but have moved, well they are nomads 🙂 . Glad to learn that the Kazakh yurt is easy to carry, build and dismantle.  They can move to any place they want to.

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

We also stopped along the highway half an hour to Jiadengyu to check on the little yellow flowers as we don’t get to see such huge yellow plains back home.  But I have seen similar landscape in Scottish border in UK.  The whole plain is covered with little yellow flowers too.

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

Final thoughts :

Situated at an altitude of 1600 m, Jiadengyu is the getway to Kanas Lake. It is also the base of Kanas tourism reception. Tourists usually stay here because there is no accommodation in Kanas. Glad I have experience the Jiadengyu grassland with the view of Altay mountains. The layers of mountains, blue sky, white clouds, green forest and Kazakh yurts blend a picturesque scenery of Xinjiang.

China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

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China Northern Xinjiang - Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房

48 Replies to “China Northern Xinjiang – Learn about the Kazakh minority in Jiadengyu Glassland 贾登峪 & 哈萨克毡房”

    1. Dear Monidipa,

      The weather in summer is perfect for traveling, it is warm and dry during the day and cool at night and early morning, you certainly need a jacket. The kind of hot is not humid but dry so it is still very comfortable.

  1. What a beautiful place! Your pictures really tell a story! I am not much of a traveler, but I love reading about other people’s adventures!

    1. Dear Scott,

      Really true, I do spot similiarities such as the grassland in Jiadengyu Xinjiang China vs the Scottish borders grassland. The difference I spot over here in Jiadengyu is you got to see the plenty of white yurts and animals in the vast grassland. Many of the nomadic minorities are still using horses as their mode of transport. Pretty cool to see them riding on the horse!

    1. Dear Devyani,
      China always has breathtaking landscape and old architectures. This part of China is near Russia and Kazakhstan and Mongolia. More of vast grassland with the Kazakhs and Mongolian yurts plus their animals. Really facinating to see how the nomadic live their lives in this incredible land of Xinjiang.

    1. Dear Karen,

      Xinjiang is a perfect destination and one need months to discover. Summer is the great time to explore but some place may be very hot such as Turpan during the day (Flaming mountian in Turpan can be as high as 80’c). This part of Xinjiang, Jiadengyu is cooler as it is at the northern tips and border to Russia and also at higher altitude. Different part of Xinjiang has diffferent thing to explore.

    1. Dear Lyosha,

      Xinjiang is famous for it huge land and in fact it is bigger than any country in Europe except Russia. There are several mountains in Xinjiang which make this place so peaceful, such as the Heavenly Mountain of Tian Shan, Kunlun Mountain and Altay Mountain.

  2. What a magical place! It you wouldn’t have mentioned that this place was in China I would have easily guesses it’s Mongolia. The yurts looks so similar with the Mongolian ones! I had no idea about the difference between them.

    1. Dear Joanna,

      You are totally right, the landscape in Jiadengyu look similar to the Mongolia as this place is also not far from Mongolia and in fact it is border to Mongolia. There are also the minority Mongolian living in Jiadengyu and not all are from the Kazakhs minority. 🙂

    1. There are many option when you want to do China tour. If you want to see hundred years old of China go Shanghai. (That’s the old and very metropolitan). If you want to see thousand years old China, go Beijing – that is the capital of China. If you want to the 3000 years old of China, then go Xi’an – that is the ancient capital of China, also where Terracotta army was found! This part of Xinjiang that I traveled is at the northerwest of China, a total different experience. You got to taste the culture of different minority living and the breath taking scenery!

    1. It is really interesting to see how these nomad people live in the grassland. The roads you saw are winding because we are moving uphill, that is why it is so winding and it really make a cool sight when you look down.

    1. This is the great place to explore mother nature, the grassland, the mountains, the blue sky, the wind! What a wonderful idea you have to walk bare foot and feel the grass, that is even a better way to feel and connect with the nature.

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