Ulan County is also spelled as “Ulan Sok Dzong“, in short “Ulan Sok“; OR “Wulan” in Chinese pinyin. It is located in central part of Qinghai Province on northeastern edge of Qaidam Basin and belongs to Haixi Mongolian Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province.
Ulan county is 217 kilometers from east to west and 112 kilometers from north to south. Total land area is 12,858 square kilometers. There are many historical sites, such as Dulan Temple, Chaerhan Salt Lake, Devil City (Yadan Landform)
Best time to travel From June to September
Local climate Plateau continental climate
Most popular sites
Dulan Temple is located on Mount Tayan, 20 kilometers east of county seat. It is a relic of Qing Dynasty and was designated as a county-level cultural relic protection unit in 1988. It is a temple of Gelug pa of Tibetan Buddhism. There are 46 monks, 87 houses, and 8 living Buddhas have reincarnated here. There are a large number of cypress trees in front of existing 90 houses. Particularly eye-catching is Bajinjin Hotogtu. There is a juniper tree in front of meditation house. Crown of tree is very like a heart. Breeze blows like heart beating. The whole tree is verdant green. It is a holy thing for worshippers.
Devil City is a group of Yadan landforms in Nanbaxian and Yiliping areas of Qaidam Basin in Qinghai Province. It is nearly 100 kilometers long and tens of kilometers wide. It is known as “Devil City” because of its wind-eroded mounds in various poses. . “Yadan” is a Uyghur language, meaning “weathered mound group”. Tens of millions of years of wind and sand have created mysterious and fantastic wind-eroded soil forest of “Devil City”, making it one of the most attractive tourist attractions in Qaidam Basin.
Chaka Salt Lake is located in Chaka Town. “Chaka” is Tibetan, which means salt pond, and also a sea of salt. Unique geological action of plateau creates unique natural scenery of Chaka Salt Lake. Chaka Salt Lake scenic spot has developed into a new type of scenic spot that combines ecological tourism and industrial tourism, and it is now a national AAA-level tourist attraction.
Khalihatu National Forest Park is located in Khalihatu Mountain, 20 kilometers northeast of Ulan County, with a total area of 5170.5 square kilometers. It is one of the most concentrated and large virgin forests in Qaidam Basin, with a forest coverage rate of 37.8%, forest and grass coverage rate reached 95%, maintaining a good forest and grassland ecological environment.
Gold Sea Mongolian means Gold Spring (Adong Mula Ancient Lake). Sea of Gold is neither a sea nor a dead lake. It is a spring. It is located 80km southwest of Xiligou Town, Ulan County and covers an area of about 0.45 square kilometers, it is in a comb shape, with comb back facing west and comb teeth facing east.
Xiligou Mosque is located in Xizhuang Village, Xiligou Town, Ulan County. It is the most influential Islamic monastery in Ulan County. This Mosque was first built in twenty-sixth year of Republic of China (1937), but it was plundered several times and it was almost in ruins. In 1980, it was funded and reconstructed by local Islamic believers, covering an area of 1,330 square meters. Its main hall is main building of Mosque and main occasion for believers to gather for praying. Whole building faces to east, with length of 16 meters from north to south and 10 meters wide from east to west. It is a brick-wood structure. Hall can accommodate more than 200 people for praying. A Pagoda is to be built at main entrance of mosque with a square doorway inside and a hexagonal appearance. It has 6 floors and about 12 meters high.
Geography and Climate
Ulan County is 374 kilometers east of Xining City, and 139 kilometers west of Delingha City. It is surrounded by mountains, flat in middle, with branches of Qilian Mountains in north, 3692-4701 meters above sea level, and Kunlun Mountain in south, 3132-5031 meters above sea level.
Terrain of Ulan County is high in northwest and low in southeast, forming a wavy, narrow and inclined trend, with an average elevation of about 4000 meters. Folds of northern and southern mountains cut Ulan county into three closed-flow mountain basins: Chaka Basin, Xisai Basin and Bulanggou Basin.
Ulan County is located deep in hinterland. climate is controlled by high-pressure westerly wind and Mongolia-Siberian anticyclone. its climate is extremely dry, showing a typical dry continental climate. Westerly wind is strong all year round. Only eastern region can be affected by southeast monsoon, and climate is slightly humid.
Annual average temperature is 3.5℃, the highest monthly average temperature (July) is 14.4℃, the lowest monthly average temperature (January) is -12.4℃, the extreme highest temperature is 34℃, and the extreme lowest temperature is -27.7℃.
It is second warm area in Qinghai Province after Hehuang Valley. Annual and daily temperature ranges are both large, 16.4℃ and 27.2℃ respectively. Its county seat is 2960 meters above sea level, annual average air pressure is above 650mm, and oxygen content is about 2/3 of sea level. Annual sunshine hours are as long as 2869～3113 hours
Population and Ethnic groups
As of 2010, total population of Ulan County was 36,555, a decrease of 0.56% from 2009. Among them, minority population is 15,956, accounting for 43.65% of total population. Mainly Han nationality, Mongolian nationality second, and 17 nationalities including Tibetan, Hui, Tu and Salar…etc,
During Zhou and Qin dynasties, Ulan area was grazing land of Qiang people outside the Great Wall.
At beginning of 4th century, Ulan area was Tuyuhun’s territory.
From 3rd year of Emperor Xianzong of Yuan Dynasty (AD 1253), it was under jurisdiction of Tubo kingdom.
In 38th year of Emperor Jiajing of Ming Dynasty (AD 1559), many Mongols moved to Qinghai, and number of Mongols in Ulan area has increased year by year.
In 1st year of Emperor Yongzheng of Qing Dynasty (AD 1723), Chinese Han farmers were recruited to carry out farming in Ulan area and taught local herdsmen farming techniques.
In 18th year of Republic of China (AD 1929), Qinghai was formally established as a province, Ulan area was under jurisdiction of Qinghai Province.
In 23rd year of Republic of China (AD 1934), farmers from other areas moved to Ulan area.
In 1959, With merge of first district of Dulan County and Chaka District, Ulan County was officially established