Yulin was a military town for centuries, and the old city walls are still in existence around the extensive old city on the eastern bank of the Wudinghe.
I haven't yet had the time to explore, except from the window of a car in serc of municipal offices, but it all looks amazing.
Much of the fortifications have been restored, as is common in China, but there is enough original wall to satisfy the authenticity-hunters.
East of Mingzhu Square, Economic Developing Zone, Yulin, Shaanxi, 719000, China
Good for: Business
No.20 Yuyang West Road, Yulin, Shaanxi, 719000, China
No.1 Changcheng South Road, Yuyang District, Yulin, Shaanxi, 719000, China
Good for: Families
Shahe East Road, Yuyang District, Yulin, Shaanxi, 719000, China
The railway only arrived in Yuin in 2001 so the modern station is on the very edge of town to the west.
Daiy trains (two or three) to Xian (one with soft class continuing to/from Ankang). At least one train runs between Shenmu and Baotou but I don't *think* it continues to Yulin. Shenmu is about two hours by bus or car from Yulin.
Georeference: 109.715033°E, 38.273252°N
IATA Code UYN.
Timetables show daily flights to Xian, but there is now a daily flight to and from Beijing not in the timetables with Hainan Airlines (the old Changan Airlines) using a very new DHC Dash-8 turbo prop.
Departing Yulin 0930
Departing Beijing 1130
Flight time about 1 hour 15 mins.
The terminal at Yulin is small but friendly.
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The only known city remains of the Xiong Nu, Hun nu or Huns in China. The Hun nu controlled the territory of Inner and Outer Mongolia often raiding, fighting with China from 200BC to 200AD. Around 100 AD they split into Northern and Southern, the Southern migrating to China and becoming Chinese citizens. Around 420 AD the Southern branch build this City as part of China's border defenses. the Northern branch was driven west out of Northern Mongolia around 200AD and may have ended up as the Huns of Attila.
The Ordos desert extends to the north of Yulin for a whole day's driving until the floodplains of the Yellow River are reached. It was once all pasture and farmland, but climate change and overfarming has created a desert.
One of the most interesting aspects of this area is the remarkably successful anti-desertification programmes carried out by national, provincial and local governments, but also by local people: it has been a 50 year battle against the huge sand dunes, but increasingly successful. There is a huge amount of research continuing to discover the best species of dune-fixing and revegetation species and also the best methods of replanting. Small aircraft are used extensively to seed the ground with 'seed bombs'.
The local rural people have adapted to the conditions and have a good understanding of the crops to grow, how to grow them and how to slowly move back over the desert, advancing only as much as the ecosystem can cope.
The photo shows an area where the sand dunes either side of a river valley have been fixed, so protecting the agriculture and communities below. The vegetation on the left shows how dense the cover can be created. Out of sight are populus simonii varieties and salix flavida which both help to stabilise the sand, add organic matter and form an economic crop for local people (timber, silage and wicker).