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Ke Ke Xi Li has so atrocious weather that human cannot live there for a long time. However, it is a paradise for wild animals. Keeping a unique plateau ecosystem, Ke Ke Xi Li is one of the world's most important habitats for plateau wildlife. |
Situated on the highland between Kunlun Mountain range and Ulan Ul Mountain, Ke Ke Xi Li has an average altitude of 4,500 to 5,000 meters (14,764 - 16,404 feet). Hoh Xil Mountain and Dongbule Mountain traverse this piece of land, where there is also flat and broad lake basins. Because of the high altitude and cold weather, there is hardly any trace of human presence from everlasting. Thus it is the largest depopulated zone in China and is therefore one of the most well-preserved primitive area.
Due to the high elevation, thin air and very cold weather, the average annual temperature here is four degrees Centigrade below zero (25 degrees Fahrenheit). Even in summer, large snowflakes could fall at any time; while in winter, the temperature could drop to 40 degrees Centigrade below zero (40 degrees Fahrenheit below zero). Living in such environment is really a great challenge to life. On the broad wilderness, there are no tall plants and the grass is sparse, close to the ground. Only in the warmest month of year they burst out their vitality, come into bloom, and quickly turn into pale yellow, blending with the earth.
Possessing a large scale of glacier, Ke Ke Xi Li is endowed with various lakes and seasonal rivers. They are the most beautiful landscapes here. Plants around the lakes are more luxuriant than the other places and they are the subsistence of plateau animals like Tibetan antelope, wild yak and kyang. Together those carnivorous animals such as wolf, brown bear and condor, they form an integrated plateau ecosystem.
The Tibetan antelope is the most important protected animals in Ke Ke Xi Li. They have pretty figure, nimble movement and the male antelope has a pair of erect long jet-black horns. The wool of the antelope can be weaved into a kind of expensive shawl called 'shahtoosh'. It is said that the shawl is so light and thin that it can pass through a ring after being rolled up. Thus it is also called 'Ring Shawl'. In order to seek exorbitant profits, poachers once killed off large numbers of antelopes, which put the antelope close to extinction. Later, the local government launched a severe strike against the poaching and the amount the antelopes recovered. Now, when summer comes, we can see large groups of antelopes migrate over a long distance to more remote and safer place for propagation.
The wild animals are 'landlord' of Ke Ke Xi Li. People who entered the hinterland are usually considered as invaders by those animals. Most people who ever drove into Ke Ke Xi Li might have such experience: the stubborn kyangs race against your car; they would never stop until they surpass your car and prove themselves the 'Plateau Running Champion'. Sometimes the wild yaks will take a car as their opponent and they will dash wrathfully towards your car. So if you come across a yak weighing one ton, the wisest action is to escape as fast as you can.
The formidable natural conditions cannot hold back the blossom of life. On this rough and wild plateau, all the wild animals are the most beautiful fairies of Ke Ke Xi Li.
Travel Tips for Ke Ke Xi Li:
A. Ke Ke Xi Li is a natural reserve, thus it is not appropriate for large group of visitors to go there;
B. There are also no public transportation to Ke Ke Xi Li, visitors can drive themselves or rent a car to Ke Ke Xi Li;
C. Best Time to Visit: Jul. to Sep.;
D. It is usually dry and windy in Ke Ke Xi Li, so please remember to take warm clothes, hat and water; besides, a flashlight and some standing medicine are also necessary.