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Snow draws millions to Xinjiang

By Cui Jia and Mao Weihua in Urumqi | China Daily | Updated: 2016-02-23 08:04

Winter attractions in Xinjiang

Hunting with eagles

In January, Xinyuan county in the Ily Kazak autonomous prefecture hosted the biggest eagle competition in China. More than 40 herdsmen participated in the competition.

Hunting with eagles is a part of the Kazak herdsmen's traditions. They hunt for rabbits or foxes on horseback using eagles they've trained for years. The hunts normally are carried out in the winter, when the herdsmen can see the tracks of the animals on the snow.

Davos of China

Fukang city in the Changji Hui autonomous prefecture at the foot of the Tianshan Mountains plans to become the Davos, Switzerland, of China based on the Tianchi (heavenly lake) scenic area. The area has been listed as a World Natural Heritage site and the Tianchi International Ski Resort was a venue for the 13th National Winter Games. Fukang boasts views and natural resources comparable with Davos, home of one of Switzerland's biggest ski resorts and famous for the annual World Economic Forum.

Top Asian ski resort

The construction of Ayihai Ski Resort in northern Xinjiang's Altay city will begin this year. After the first phase of construction, the resort will have 33 ski tracks with an elevation difference of 1,500 meters. The elevation difference could reach 1,800 meters, and the longest ski track could reach 10 km after the second phase of the project is completed.

Traditional fur skis

Every winter, the Tuvans in Kanas, Altay prefecture, hold a skiing competition with traditional skis made of pinewood and fur from horses' legs. Such skis can help the locals climb and descend the snow-covered hills. Visitors can stay at the Tuvans' traditional houses and experience their culture.

Some archaeologists believe the design of the skis can be traced back to the late Paleolithic era, also known as the Old Stone Age, around 12,000 years ago, judging by a rock painting of human figures skiing that was discovered near Altay, about 200 kilometers from Hemu.


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