Located in Hexigten Banner of Chifeng city, north China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, the Asihatu stone forest is famous for its unique landscape. Seeing the giant stones of different shapes, visitors are amazed of the greatness of nature.
Asihatu Stone Forest (or Arshihaty Stone Forest) is an integrated part of Hexigten World Geopark ( one of the UNESCO Global Geoparks) in Keshiketeng Banner (aka Hexigten Banner or Keshiketeng Q) under the jurisdiction of Chifeng. It is located in the North Mountain Tianheyuan Township, 140km to the northeast of Jingeng Town (where the People’s government of the Keshiketeng Banner is located), 380km to the northewst of Chifeng City.
Asihatu (Arshihaty) literally means “Precipitous Peaks” in Mongolian. Ashihatu Granite Forest is the world famous granite forest rarely seen elsewhere. It is one of the eight separate areas of scenic and geologic significance with volcanic, glacial, and desert features in the Hexigten World Geopark. The stone forest is the relics of the Quaternary Glacier, known as the world’s geological wonders, a national AAAA-class scenic spots in China.
When you get there, at the entrance you will change for battery cars that take you to the stone forest area. Ashihatu Stone Forest has an area of 50,000 square kilometers and people are required to take the park battery cars shuttling between each atrraction inside the park. There are five scenic areas in the stone forest that are named vividly as the Moon Fortress, Sworn Brothers, Eagle with Folded Wings, Castle Surrounded, and Vivid Folk Entertainmen – nicknamed with Chinese historical and cultural novels.
The Ashihatu Stone Forest is perched on the transitional belt from the Greater Xing’an Mountain to the grassland in the west. The rocks and stones are very much unqinue and spectacular. Asihatu Stone Forest is the result of years of erosion by wind and sand. The whole Asihatu Stone Forest tourist district is teeming with towering trees, flowers, green grass and mushrooms with birds flirting and deer running. The granite columns are unique and rare in their striking horizontal segmentation. Asihatu Stone Forest serves as scientific study, sightseeing, leisure and holiday making, entertainment.
Below the Ashihatu Stone Forest is the endless grassland, dotted with winding rivers. In summer, along the river the grassland is scattered with the yurts of Mongolian herdsmen, cattle and sheep groups, making Ashihatu more attractive.
Best Time to visit: June to August ( If you are an avid photographer, you may choose to come to the Asihatu in September).
Where to stay: 1) Stay overnight at the home inns at Tianheyuan Township; 2) The Tourism Service Center at the foot of the mountain; 3) Back to the Jingpeng Town for overnight stay
How to get there: First take the flight or train to Chifeng City, then from Chifen,g hire a vehicle to Asihatu.