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Hiking the Koktokay National Geopark

My home province Xinjiang is one of the most beautiful place I have ever been. It has a vast region of deserts and mountains. The ancient Silk Road trade route linking China and the Middle East passed through here.

This summer I went to a road trip to Koktokey National Geopark. It’s among top 10 must see in Xinjiang. It is the origin of the Irtysh River, the only river in China flowing into the Arctic Ocean. The geopark consists of four major parts: the Irtysh Grand Canyon, Cocoa Sullivan Lake, Ilaymu Lake and Kalaxianger Earthquake Fault Zone.

Tips for hiking Koktokay
  • Bring winter coat. The higher you walk, the colder it will be. When I went there, it was in the middle of the autumn. But it started snowing when we reach to the top of the mountain.
  • Bring bathing suit. On the top of the mountain, there are natural hot spring! They are perfect temperature and great for your skin. Enjoy the hot spring and the snow falling down. It’s beautiful!
  • Take umbrella. You can use it for hot sun, light rain or snow. Yes, you might have them all during your hike.
  • Wear sneakers. It’s a relatively easy hike, but some places might become muddy. Also it will become cold close to the top. Flippers are not going to work.
  • Pack enough water. You might see people sale water here and there, but I highly recommend you take your own. It’s going to be a long way!
  • It’s a really big park. You need a car to drive around, especially if you want to see all the attractions.
  • Have fun and enjoy your hike!


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