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Arxan's 'ice-free' fairytale river

2013-12-31 13:31:59

( By Bi Nan


Arxan's 'ice-free' fairytale river

The beautiful scenery of the Ice-free River in Arxan, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. [Photo by Bi Nan/

When exploring Arxan, getting that classic photo is easy to do, and even for people who know little about photography, they can still walk away with stunning pictures. The most impressive scene here is probably the well-known "Ice-free River".

When the outside temperature has dropped to 40-50 C below zero, the 20-kilometer-long river still flows with rich green grass. This river conditions are the result of its geothermal underground, which provides necessary supplements for the area's animals to survive the harsh winters.

It's always a common site for cattle to be either in or close to the river. What a pleasure it must be to eat and bath, in a hot spring simultaneously. The livestock at Arxan are all free-range, according to locals. "Organized as they are, the livestock in one family are always led a head, and come out for food in a queue."

The mist, rime, snow and peaceful animals, all help to create a fairytale environment.

The name Arxan means "hot holy water" in the Mongolian language, and is a small city situated on the Sino-Mongolian border, in the far northeast corner of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

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