Ejin or Ejina (simplified Chinese: 额济纳) is a banner in the far west of Inner Mongolia, China. It is under the administration of Alxa League and is the westernmost county-level division of Inner Mongolia.
Ejin Banner is the westernmost banner of Inner Mongolia. It is located in the Gobi Desert and borders on Mongolia in the north, Gansu Province in the southwest, and Alxa Right Banner in the southeast.
The majority of the Ejin Banner is dominated by desert. It has the world’s longest highway that crosses a desert and the well-known Badain Jaran Desert, one of the four biggest deserts in China.
Ejin Banner used to be the important town in history during the Han Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, Xi Xia Empire and Yuan Dynasty, and it was part of the ancient Silk Road.
Badain Jaran Desert is a Mongolian name for the desert, and it means “mysterious lakes”. There are more than 100 lakes in this part of desert (all spring-fed, some salt water, some fresh water) attracting tens of thousands of tourists each year.
The Juyan Lake basin is a rare wetland located in a desert. It covers an area of about 10,000 square kilometres. The Juyan lake is one of three former terminal lakes located at the outer edges of the Heihe River (‘Black River’) catchment.
Blackwater city or Heishui city played an extraordinary position in the history of Xi Xia Empire, and it is the best preserved ancient city on the Silk Road. Also over 20,000 bamboo slips from the Han Dynasty have been discovered in the region.
Huyang (scientific name: Populus euphratica), also known as hero tree, Populus heterophylla, often grow in the desert. Huyang is the only tree species that grows in the desert. It is very valuable, like a “living fossil plant”, comparable to the ginkgo tree.
As part of the Jingxin highway linking Beijing and Urumqi in Xinjiang, the Linbai section which stretches 930 kilometers, crossing the Badain Jaran Desert linking Inner Mongolia and Gansu Province, has become world’s longest desert highway.
Photos from photo.cctv.com