Wuchaitan is located in Burqin County, located in the northernmost part of Xinjiang. The colorful Beach is a famous attraction on the Irtysh River in Burqin County, about 24 km from Buerqin city. For the past few days, we have seen similar landscape such as Zhangye Danxia Mountain in Gansu Province. What make Wuchaitan/Five Colored Beach different from Zhangye Danxia is there is a river flowing throw and it is called Irtysh River.
Burqin County is part of Altay mountain, bordering with Kazakhtan, Russia and Mongolia. There are 21 enthnic groups including Kazakhstan, Han, Hui and Mongolia live in Burqin. We had our lunch at Buerqin town before reaching to Wuchaitan in the afternoon.
After few days staying in Xinjiang, we are kind of use to the tight security and seen police officers everywhere. Spotted this group of police officers at the entrance of Wuchaitan.
1. River Irtysh – Only river in China reach to Arctic Ocean
What make Wuchaitan different and special is its located next to River Irtysh and also the only river in China whose waters reach the Arctic Ocean.
2. Sunset is best timing but beware of the Fierce Mosquitoes Attacks!
The color of the rocks here is changing according to the timing you come in. People usually choose the sunset timing as the weather is cooler. During the sunset, the color of the rocks is mainly red, with little green, yellow, white and black. However, the fierce mosquitoes attacks are unbearable during sunset. Luckily we were here at around 2pm, the hottest timing but then free from the mosquitoes attack. If you choose to come during sunset, you need to get fully protected – wear long and thick sleeves and bring along the insects spray.
Wooden pathways snake through the colorful rocks to facilitate different angles for various photographic opportunities.
3. How Long to spend in Wuchaitan?
You need roughly 1-2 hour to explore Wuchaitan. There is no shelters along the wooden pathways. So bring along umbrella and scarf to protect from the sun. Plenty of sunscreen too!
4. Try to Listen to the Mysterious Sounds!
The rock formations ranging from 5 to 25 meters in height due to the wind erosion. On windy days, the Wuchaitan will become mysterious with different strange sounds coming from the gaps of rocks.
5. Why there are different colors in these rocks?
Wuchaitan is also surrounded by white planted wind farm on the opposite side of the river, which made the backdrops different taste. If you observe the below picture, you can see the rocks are in different colors. This is due to various type of mineral found in these rocks and caused the different color tone.
Towards the end of the wooden pathways, there is a shop which sell some souvenirs such as Gobi stones & Gold Jade and cold drinks.
JInsiyu 金丝玉 / Golden Jade & Gobi Stone
Golden Jade also known as Jinsiyu is a precious type of jade produced in Xinjiang’s ancient silk road along Gobi desert. The color is usually yellow, red and white.
The Gobi stone as the name suggest is found in Gobi desert. The shape is diverse and the color is usually red, sallow and mud green etc. Beautiful and highly appreciated for stones collectors.
During my silk road trip, I have seen these two type of stones selling in most of the tourist spots and learn that these two were found in Gobi Desert.
Final thoughts :
Wuchaitan is super hot place to visit in the afternoon during summer. But then the people are lesser as compared to cooler month such as Sept and October. Beware of the mosquitoes attacks during sunset. There are very fierce would even penetrate through thick clothes, so you still need an insect spray.
People usually stop by Wuchaitan as they are doing Kanas Lake way up to Mount Altay.