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How to plan your tour to Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Province

2018/6/4 19:03:26231 People viewed this article

If you are tired of mountains, hot springs and ancient villages, why not choose Inner Mongolia and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, two of China's northern edge provinces, full of stunning prairies and mystical deserts, history, adventure and interactions with its inviting ethnic people, to have an unparalleled and unforgettable experience.


Located on the inland plateau lying at an elevation of about 1,000 m, features vast grasslands and nomadic traditions of the Mongol people, Inner Mongolia is a large region with relatively low population density. The region is officially an Autonomous Region for the Mongolian people within China. It is the 3rd largest subdivision of China, spanning approximately 1,200,000 km2 (463,000 sq mi) and 12% of China's total land area.


Its capital is Hohhot, and other major cities include Baotou, Chifeng, Manzhouli and Ordos. Traditional Mongolian nomadic lifestyle can still be seen in the region and yurts (Mongolian tents) are not an uncommon site in the wide spaces between the cities. 


The main religion in the area practiced by the Mongol minority is Lamaist Buddhism, similar to that found in Tibet and the Republic of Mongolia. Lama temples are common throughout the region.


The northeast of Inner Mongolia consists of wide grass meadow lands, forests and mountains. The grassland in the northeast part is among the best in China. There are also vast plains and grasslands in the east. Some famous lakes are located in the northeast, such as Hulun Lake (one of the 5 largest freshwater lakes in all of China, covering approximately 2,339 km2) and Lake Buir. The west of the region is made up of scorching hot dry deserts. There are large areas of grassland and desert all over the region. Inner Mongolia is fascinating for its unique natural landscape. 


For tourists who have lived for a long time in cities, it would be an especially wonderful thing to enjoy the prairie landscape there. The clear and bright sky, the extensive and magnificent grassland, the fresh air and the flocks of cattle and sheep present tourists with a refreshing scene. The mushroom-like yurts, bright sky, fresh air, rolling grass and the flocks and herds moving like white clouds on the remote grassland, all contribute to make the scenery a very relaxing one. While visiting the place you may try different activities such as Mongolian wrestling, horse & camel riding, rodeo competitions, archery, visiting traditional families and enjoying the graceful Mongolian singing and dancing.


The deserts in Inner Mongolia, with eerie rocks, spectacular sand dune formations and endless primitive sceneries, are rich in scenic masterpieces and natural beauty and charm at its best. The deserts are mainly located in the western part of the province: the most famous and visited ones are the Badain Jaran Desert, Tengger Desert and Kubuqi Desert. Early autumn (from the middle of August to the end of September) is the best time to explore the desert as the temperatures are very temperate.


The ethnic customs of the Mongols adds a pure and natural charm to the grassland in Inner Mongolia. The Nadam Festival and Mongolian yurts (round, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed tents) are the highlights of their customs. Horse racing, wrestling and archery are the main sporting traditions of Mongols, and the Nadam Festival, which is usually held in August, is the best occasion for tourists to witness these unique customs. Mongols are hospitable to visitors, thus making a visit to a Mongolian family would be a great opportunity for tourists to experience Mongolian customs at their most original. 


Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is an Autonomous Region for the muslin Hui Minority within China. The capital of it is Yinchuan. Situated by the upper reaches of the Yellow River and with the Great Wall of China along its northeastern boundary, this sparsely settled, mostly desert region lies partially on the Loess Plateau and in the vast plain of the Yellow River. The north-south Helan mountains are the Western barrier of the Ningxia plain, which stop the dry wind from west and keep wet wind from east at the Ningxia Plain. Over years an extensive system of canals has been built in the plain. Extensive land reclamation and irrigation projects have made it as " the Southern China on the Northwest Region".


As a frontier zone between nomadic pastoralists and sedentary farmers, Ningxia was a frequent seat of war and incursions by north tribes. By the 11th century the Tangut people had established the Western Xia Dynasty on the outskirts of the then Song Dynasty. Jews also lived in Ningxia, as evidenced by the fact that, after a major flood destroyed Torah scrolls in Kaifeng in central China, a replacement was sent to the Kaifeng Jews by the Ningbo and Ningxia Jewish communities. It then came under Mongol domination after Genghis Khan conquered Western Xia Dynasty in the early 13th century. Muslims from Central Asia also began moving into Ningxia from the west.


Approximately 34 % of the region’s total surface consisted of grassland. The grasslands are spread over the dry desert-steppe area in the northeast (which forms a part of the Inner Mongolian steppe region), and the hilly pastures located on the semi-arid Loess Plateau in the south.


Ningxia is also the home to the Tengger Desert with its endless expanse of wind-sculpted, yet ever-changing, sand dunes, where the tourist can enjoy a camel safari or a drift-boat ride down the Yellow River, which borders the Tengger Desert, while taking in the incredible beauty of the surrounding terrain.


Hui minority people take Islam as their religion. There are two famous traditional festivals for Moslems: Eid-ul-Fitr (the ‘Festival of the Breaking of the Fast’) and Eid-ul-Adha (the ‘Feast of Sacrifice’, the great festival of Islam, which is also known as Baqri-Eid–the ‘Cow Festival’). For costumes, the main difference between Hui people and Han people comes from the dress on the heads. Men usually wear black or white skullcaps, and women always wear endshield with the colors of white, cyan and green according to their ages.


How long the tour in Inner Mongolia and Ningxia could be

There are many historical and cultural sites can be visited and mysterious deserts, lakes can be explored in Inner Mongolia, but what is most attractive about Inner Mongolia is its vast grasslands, including the Xilamuren Grasslands, Hulunbuir Grasslands, Gegentala Grasslands and Huitengxile Grasslansd are all good places for a grasslands experience.


Ningxia borders on Inner Monglia in the north. These 2 provinces can be toured at same time. And Mongolia is on the north of Shanxi Province which is full of famous breathtaking attraction sites deserving to be visited. So the tour to Inner Mongolia can also be the extension of the tour in Shanxi Province.


* If it is your first time to tour in this beautiful land and only with limited tour days, say no more than 7 days, normally your tour itinerary can go like this to enjoy the essence in this region:


Itinerary One: 

7 Days Hohhot-Xiramuren Grasslands-Xiangshawan Bay(Resonant Sand Bay)- Ordos-Baotou-(Inner Mongolia/Ningxia)-Yinchuan

(* If only tour in the central Inner Monglia, only 5 days is enough.)


Day 1  Arrival in Hohhot at noon, the capital of Inner Mongolia,

Visit Dazhao Lamasery, one of the biggest and best-preserved temples in Hohhot, Zhaojun Tomb.

Overnight in Hohhot


Day 2  In Hohhot

Visit: Five-Pagoda Temple, Xilitu Zhao / Siregtu Juu Temple (the biggest temple in Hohhot), Suiyuan General Office & Residence, Inner Mongolia Museum.


Day 3  Hohhot / Xilamuren Great Glassland (90km/1.5 hours drive)

Upon arrival, take the most ceremonious welcome ceremony - Down Horse Wine. Have the traditional Mongolia food for lunch. Meanwhile Mongolia girl will propose a toast to you and present Hada –a long silk cloth to you. In the afternoon, Enjoy the Mongolia style rassle and Horseracing performance.


You can also have to opportunity to ride horse and visit Mongolia herdsman’s home, to know what the local life is.

Please kindly note:

Please take care of yourself when you take the horse riding in the Xilamuren Glassland.  Although most of the horses for tourists there are the meek ones, sometimes these horses will also attack against each other themselves. Please think it over before you decide to ride the horse on the grassland.


Overnight in the deluxe tent in the grassland.

Please note: 

Because of the local condition in the Xilamuren Grassland, even the deluxe tent there also not as comfortable as the star-rating hotel. There is no 24 hours hot water and 24 hours electricity there. The hot water is from the solar heating system. Anyway the beddings are clean and it is warm inside the tent at night. The hot water is also hot and sufficient if you do not take very long time shower.


Day 4  Hohhot/Xiangshawan Bay(Resonant Sand Bay) (320km/4-5 hours drive)                 On the way, you will pass the mother river of China - Yellow River, the 2nd largest river in China.


During your touring on the sands, you will have the opportunity to take some sand activities yourself, such as desert outer space ball, desert surfs adventure over the massive sand dunes in the car, riding on a camel.

Pls note: The desert surfs adventure in the car is bumpy and thrilling. Sometimes it can be dangerous. Please think it over before you decide to take it.


Overnight in the Tent Hotel here to enjoy more in this sand area.


Day 5  Xiangshawan Bay -(120km/1.5h)- Drive to Ordos City (Genghis Kha’s Mausoleum) -(170km/2.5 h)- Baotou City

Visit the Genghis Kha’s Mausoleum in Ordos and Nanhu Park (South Lake Park) in Baotou. 


Take the overnight train from Baotou City to Yinchuan City (the capital of Ningxia Province) 


Day 6  Tour around Yinchuan city

Your local guide will meet you at the exit of Yinchuan Railway Station in the morning. Drive to your hotel in Yinhucan for a shower and rest. 


Visit Shapotou Tour Area - at the southern end of the dune sea of Tengger Desert on the banks of the Yellow River. 


Overnight in Yinchuan City


Day 7 Tour around Yinchuan,Leave Yinchuan

Visit the “Oriental Pyramid” - Xixia Regime Emperors Group Mausoleum (or interpreted as Western Xia Tombs).

Leave Yinchuan from the Airport or Railway Station


Itinerary Two: 

9 Days (Shanxi Province) Taiyuan-Pingyao city- Mt.Wutai- Datong -(Shanxi Province/Inner Mongolia)-Hohhot-Xiramuren Grasslands-Xiangshawan Bay(Resonant Sand Bay)- Ordos-Baotou


Day 1  Arrive in Taiyuan (capital of Shanxi Province)

Visit Jinci Temple, the most prominent temple complex in Shanxi and famed for the lifelike sculptuers

Overnight in Taiyuan


Day 2  Taiyuan/ancient Pingyao city (100 km/1.5 hours one way)

On the way, visit Qiao Family Compound, a residential complex, the sea of Qing Dynasty architectural art. It's surely worthwhile your 1-hour visit. 


Tour in Shuanglin Temple at the outskirt Pingyao for its stunning architecture and sculpture, and ancient Pingyao City (UNESCO world heritage site), built in the 14th century, an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Han Chinese city. 


Return and overnight in Taiyuan


Day 3  Taiyuan/Mt.Wutai (130 km/3 hours), Tour in Mt.Wutai 

Tour in Mt.Wutai (UNESCO world heritage site) and overnight in the mountain.


Day 4  Mt.Wutai/Datong (around 3 h drive),

Visit Hanging Temple, a temple built into a cliff (75 m above the ground) near Mt. Heng, on the way and Yungang Grottos (UNESCO world heritage site) in Datong.


Day 5  Tour in Datong, Datong/Hohhot by train - the capital of Inner Mongolia                 Tour in Huayan Temple in Datong. Train from Datong to Hohhot by train

Overnight in Hohhot


Day 6  Hohhot

Visit: Dazhao Lamasery, Five-Pagoda Temple, Suiyuan General Office & Residence, Inner Mongolia Museum.


Day 7  Hohhot / Xilamuren Great Glassland (90km/1.5 hours drive)

Upon arrival, take the most ceremonious welcome ceremony - Down Horse Wine. Have the traditional Mongolia food for lunch. Meanwhile Mongolia girl will propose a toast to you and present Hada –a long silk cloth to you. In the afternoon, Enjoy the Mongolia style rassle and Horseracing performance. 


You can also have to opportunity to ride horse and visit Mongolia herdsman’s home, to know what the local life is.

Please kindly note:

Please take care of yourself when you take the horse riding in the Xilamuren Glassland.  Although most of the horses for tourists there are the meek ones, sometimes these horses will also attack against each other themselves. Please think it over before you decide to ride the horse on the grassland.


Overnight in the deluxe tent in the grassland.

Please note: 

Because of the local condition in the Xilamuren Grassland, even the deluxe tent there also not as comfortable as the star-rating hotel. There is no 24 hours hot water and 24 hours electricity there. The hot water is from the solar heating system. Anyway the beddings are clean and it is warm inside the tent at night. The hot water is also hot and sufficient if you do not take very long time shower.


Day 8  Hohhot/Xiangshawan Bay(Resonant Sand Bay) (320km/4-5 hours drive)

On the way, you will pass the mother river of China - Yellow River, the 2nd largest river in China. 


During your touring on the sands, you will have the opportunity to take some sand activities yourself, such as desert outer space ball, desert surfs adventure over the massive sand dunes in the car, riding on a camel.

Pls note: The desert surfs adventure in the car is bumpy and thrilling. Sometimes it can be dangerous. Please think it over before you decide to take it.


Overnight in the Tent Hotel here to enjoy more in this sand area.


Day 9  Xiangshawan Bay -(120km/1.5h)- Drive to Ordos City (Genghis Kha’s Mausoleum) -(170km/2.5 h)- Baotou City, Leave Baotou in the evening by air or train 

Visit the Genghis Kha’s Mausoleum in Ordos and Nanhu Park (South Lake Park) in Baotou.

Transfer to airport or railway station to leave Baotou.


What to see in Inner Mongolia 

Inner Mongolia has a peculiar natural scenery, long history and brilliant culture. There are many attraction sites in this area. Some of the essence attractions are:


In Central Inner Mongolia

In Hohhot: 

Dazhao Temple (One of the 4 most important monasteries in Inner Mogolia, along with Wudangzhao Monastery and Bailin Monastery in Baotou, and Beizi Monastery in Xilingol), Xilitu Zhao/Siregtu juu Temple, Zhaojun Tomb, Five-pagodaTemple, Wanbu-Huayanjing Pagoda, The Inner Mongolia Museum, Suiyuan General Office & Residence. 


Xiramuren Prairies - 90km/1.5 hours to the north of Hohhot 


Bashang Grasslands - near Beijing


In Baotou

Wudangzhao Monastery, Bailin Monastery (These two monasteries are among the 4 most important monasteries in Inner Mogolia, along with Dazhao Temple in Hohhot and Beizi Monastery in Xilingol), Nanhu Park (South Lake Park),


Xiangshawan, or "Singing Sands bay" -60km/1h10m drive to the south of Baotou 


In Ordos Prefecture: 

Mausoleum of Genghis Khan


In East Inner Mongolia:

Near Hulun Buir City, Manzhouli city and Hilaer city:

Hulunbuir Grasslands, with the most beautiful landscape of all the Inner Mongolia Grassland, it is the best natural grasslands in China and one of the world's 3 top grasslands. There are some natural reserves in this region, such as Wuquanshan Natural Reserve. 


In Chifeng:

Hexigten National Geopark - UNESCO Global Geopark - 380km/5h to the south of Chifeng city

Arxan National Geopark - UNESCO Global Geopark in South west of the Greater Hinggan Mountains in Xiang'an League. 

Gong Geer Grassland, Dalinur Lake, 


In Xilingol:

Xilingol Grassland, one of the 5 largest natural pastures in the world, Beizi Monastery (One of the 4 most important monasteries in Inner Mogolia, along with Dazhao Temple in Hohhot, Wudangzhao Monastery and Bailin Monastery in Baotou),


In West Inner Mongolia:

Alxa Desert National Geopark - UNESCO Global Geopark, the only one desert geopark in the world, in Alxa (Alashan) League in western Inner Mongolia, includes the famous Badain Jaran Desert, Tengger Desert & Ulan Buh Desert. With hundreds of lakes and the highest sand dune in the world. Badain Jaran Desert is considered as the most beautiful desert in China.


In Ningxia Province 

In Yinchuan city

Chinese Islam Culture Garden, Niu Street (Muslim Market) before Nanguan Grand Mosque


Near Yinchuan

Xixia Regime Emperors Group Mausoleum, The desert research outpost at Shapatou, Sand Lake Scenic Resort (Sha Hu), the Helan Mountains, the mysterious 108 stupas, the twin pagodas of Baisikou. 


A less visited tourist spot in Ningxia is the Mount Sumeru Grottoes, which is among the 10 most famous grottoes in China. 


Some More Info of the Attractions:


In Central Inner Mongolia

In Hohhot:

As one of the biggest and best-preserved temples in Hohhot, Da Zhao Temple is a Lamaist temple built in 1580, which is known for three sites: a statue of Buddha made from silver, elaborate carvings of dragons, and murals.


Dazhao Temple owns its fame to a visit by the third Tibetan Dalai Lama in 1586, when he came to dedicate the Silver Buddha statue. As a consequence Hohhot became the most important religious center for people from all over Mongolia who came to worship. Another notable event in the temple's long history was a visit by Emperor Kangxi during the early part of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).


The temple now is the best-known of all lamaseries of Geluk Tibetan Buddhism as well as the biggest and most complete wooden structures ever built in Hohhot which is still retaining its former grandeur today. This Lamasery boasts the impressive buildings, splendid statues, delicate frescos, musical instruments and fine collection of Buddhist scriptures. Among which the most notable are the 'Three Marvelous Treasures', a title given to the Silver Buddha, the carved dragons on the huge golden pillars on either side of the statue and the murals commemorating the Emperor's visit.


Xilitu Zhao / Siregtu Juu Temple is the largest Lamaist temple in the Hohhot area, and once the center of power of Lamaism in the region. 


Zhaojun Tomb, 6 miles to the south of Hohhot,  is the tomb of Wang Zhaojun, a Han Dynasty palace lady-in-waiting who became the consort of the Xiongnu ruler Huhanye Shanyu in 33 BC. The tomb is located on one of the most beautiful scenes of ancient times. A legend says that each year, when it turned cold and grass became yellow, only this tomb remained green and so it got the name Green Tomb.


Five-pagoda Temple is located in Hohhot proper. It used to be part of the Cideng Temple built in 1732. Over the years, the Temple had turned to ruins but the Pagoda is still there. Built of stone and bricks, the structure is 13 meters high and has three parts: the base, the seat and the top. The very unusual feature of it is there are 5 rooftop Tibetan style Pagodas on top of it which display an unusual array of bodhisattvas and buddhas. In the lower part of the seat there are exquisite inscriptions of Diamond Sutra written in Mongolian, Tibetan and Sanskrit. The upper part of the seat has a niche for a statue of Buddha and four Devarajas. More than 1500 relief sculptures of Buddhas are engraved on the five dagobas. The astronomical chart with Mongolian inscriptions on the northern wall is the only one of its kind in the world. The walls of which are covered with thousands of Buddha sculptures. Its most fascinating object is a stellar map cut in stone (more than two meters in diameter) which is the eldest map with Mongolian zodiacal names in the world. The stone carving is protected by thick layers of glass which make it practically impossible to take pictures but the site is well worth the visit.


Wanbu-Huayanjing Pagoda, also called White Pagoda, was built around 1000 years ago and is still well preserved. It used to be a place where nearly 10,000 volumes of Huayan Scriptures were preserved. It is an exquisite and magnificent brick-wood structure about 150 feet tall. 


The Inner Mongolia Museum is a regional-level museum focused on collecting artifacts relating to ethnic history especially the northern tribes called Hun, Xianbei, Qidan, Mongolians and others. It has an enormous collection of archaeological findings from the times of the Xiong Nu on. It holds 44,000 objects among which quite a few are rare treasures seldom seen in China. Besides this, the museum is renowned for its extensive collection of massive dinosaurs, mastodons, and many other kinds of fossilized remains from the Mesozoic period that have attracted global attention. The gold crowns on display there are virtually identical in design with the ones unearthed in Japan and dated to Japan's Kofun period. These findings contain some of the strongest hints that early Japan (before the nation state emerged) may have been part of a unified culture stretching from Central Asia over Korea to Japan. 


Suiyuan General Office & Residence  

Suiyuan General is the highest official in Inner Mogolia Area in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD). Built from 1737, the Suiyuan General Residence is an ideal place for us to know what the senior office & residence building and the history of Inner Mongolia is in ancient time.


Bashang Grasslands, on the border close to Beijing, is a popular retreat for urban residents wanting to get a taste of grasslands life.


In Baotou:

Wudangzhao Monastery is a vast complex and used to be the residence of the highest ranking lama in Inner Mongolia and now it is the only intact Tibetan Buddhist monastery there.


Xiangshawan, or "singing sands gorge," is located in the Gobi Desert and contains numerous tourist attractions including sand sledding and camel rides. 


In Ordos:

Mausoleum of Genghis Khan, rebuilt in 1954, 185 km to the south of Baotou, is a mausoleum, in which only his clothing is buried in memory of the great leader. The 5.5 hectares mausoleum includes three giant yurt halls which house coffins of the Khan, his wife, his son and his generals. In 13th century, Genghis Khan (1162-1227) and his Mongols conquered the half known world and established the largest empire ever in human history. With bow and sword, Genghis Khan and his Mongol cavalry crosssed the 15,000km Eurasian Steppe to the Dnieper River, opening the door of East and West, and connecting the civilizations on the route formed by the Mediterranean Sea, Iran, India and China in the Far East.


In East Inner Mongolia:

Near Hulun Buir City, Manzhouli city and Hilaer city

Hulun Buir (Hulunbuir) Grassland is located in Hailaer in the northeast of Inner Mongolia. With the most beautiful landscape of all the Inner Mongolia Grassland, it is the best natural grasslands in China and one of the world's 3 top grassland. It enjoys the reputation of the “Most unsullied Grassland” because of the lack of pollution in this area.


Situated near Hulun Buir City, this land is one of the world's three top grasslands. The plain was named after the handsome Hulun and beautiful Buir, two young Mongolian lovers in a legend. The young lovers are separated and become the lakes Hulun and Buir. The area is the home of many minority ethnic groups, and it is an important place for the festive occasions of the nomadic groups in north China. The Hulun Buir Grassland is known as the Kingdom of Pastureland and has more than 1,000 species of plants. On the grassland are green grass, beautiful flowers, zigzag rivers, crystal-clear lakes, sheep and cows, and herdsmen's yurts sending forth the fragrance of wine and of tea with milk. 


In spring, thousands of white swans hover in the sky here; in summer, flocks of cranes, egrets and storks gather; and in autumn wild geese fly over in tight formations to their havens in the south. Summer is the most spectaculars season on the grassland. Green waves of grass wave in the wind, larks sing by the waters, and blue butterflies dance on the petals of the flowers, form a peaceful and harmonious scene in which horses and sheep graze serenely. 


Hulun Buir Grassland is the most beautiful landscape of all the Inner Mongolia Grassland, possessing a meadow of more than 100,000,000 acres and a forest of over 200,000,000 acres, upwards of 500 lakes and some 3,000 rivers. The vast stretch of prairie seems to be a vast green blanket woven by Mother Nature as far as the eye can see. Stepping on it, the feeling of the soft and bouncy quality is breath-taking. Its title is well-deserved as one of the most beautiful, largest and unpolluted grasslands in the world. 


Here is China’s best-preserved grassland, home to over 120 enriched pastures, with grasses such as Elymus, Stipa and Chiendent. The total number of plants species is no less than 1300, forming different features of the vegetation scenery. Whenever midsummer approaches, the grassland is full of flowers perfume and birds singing, complete with the pure and fresh air. Smoke rises continuously from the scattered Mongolian Yurts and when a gentle breeze stirs the grass, the cattle and sheep sing with joy. And you can enjoy a day-tour on horseback or "camelback", take “leileiche”, go fishing close to the lake or hunt in the forests to enjoy the scenery of the grasslands.


In Chifeng:

Hexigten National Geopark - UNESCO designated Geopark. It contains 8 scenic areas: Arshihaty granite forest area, Qingshan granite mortar area, Dali Nur volcanic land form area, Huanggangliang Quaternary glacial vestige area, Reshuitang thermal spring area, Pingdingshan scenic Quaternary cirque group area, Xilamulun River valley area and Hunshandak sand land area. The geopark covers an area of 1750 km2. The Arshihaty Stone Forest in it has magnificent granite rock formations formed from natural erosion.


Arxan National Geopark, the biggest national volcano spring geopark in China in southwest of the Greater Hinggan Mountains, has the stunning scenery with colorful forests and blue sky in Autumn. It is covered with primeval forests. Visitors can appreciate the beautiful landscape formed by solidified lava, including Heavenly Lake and Shitanglin Forest. Besides, tourists can also find mineral spring and all kinds of wildlife there.


In Xilingol: 

Xilingol Grassland, one of the five largest natural pastures in the world. It consists of marshlands, grasslands, sand dunes, and wetlands, with over 1,200 plants growing on the grasslands. Gong Geer Grassland in Keshiketeng Qi (Hexigten Banner) of Chifeng is reputed as the"Natural Garden" epitomized by the boundless pasture, numerous flowers, clear waters and roaming hordes, a picturesque grassland.


In West Inner Mongolia:

Moon Lake

Aolunbalage Gorge

Tonghu Lake Scenic Area

Badain Jaran Desert

Mandela Mountain Rock Painting

Populus Euphratica Forest

Juyan Lake Scenic Area

Black City Remains Scenic Area

Haisenchulu Scenic Area

Consists of Badain Jaran Desert, Tengger Desert & Ulan Buh Desert, Alxa Desert World Geopark is the only one desert geopark in the world. The Badain Jaran Desert in the geopark is the most beautiful desert in China. It is 47,100 s km2 large, the 3rd biggest desert in China & 4th biggest desert in the world. This Geopark is notable for its three extremities in the world: 


First, there are massive sand dunes with relative height between 200 to 300 m densely distributed in Badain Jaran Desert, among which Bilutu Peak is the highest sand dune in the world with altitude of1609 m and relative elevation of 500 m, thus is famed as “the Sand Dune Everest”; 


Second, Badain Jaran Desert and Tengger Desert boast the largest number of desert lakes in the world. For instance, Nuoertu Lake is surrounded by 144 freshwater and salt water lakes around. One interesting phenomenon here is that one can float on the surface of the salt lake, and won’t sink down; 


Third, the largest areas of singing sand in the world are found in Badain Jaran Desert and Tengger Desert. Ascending the sand dune, you can hear the voice of those sands very clearly.


In Ningxia Province

In Yinchuan city

Chinese Islam Culture Garden in Yinchuan

Niu Street, the Muslim Market before Nanguan Grand Mosque


Near Yinchuan

The “Oriental Pyramid” - Xixia Regime Emperors Group Mausoleum (or interpreted as Western Xia Tombs) is located at the foot of the Helan Mountains, around 35km to the west of Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia. It is the mausoleum for Xixia Dynasty – built around 900 year ago. 


Occupying an area of some 50 s.km, the Xixia Regime Emperors Group Mausoleum at the foot of the Helan Mountains includes 9 imperial mausoleums and 250 tombs of imperial relatives and officials. This burial complex lies some 40 km westward from capital city of the Western Xia Dynasty (a Locality Separatist Regime existed between 1038 and 1227), the Xingqing Fu or Xingqing, what is modern-day Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.


The Western Xia dynasty was finally conquered by the Mongols under Genghis Khan. The Western Xia Empire was founded by the Tangut ethnic group, about which little is currently known. Of current excavations, only the No.3 mausoleum has been adequately excavated and researched. This mausoleum is attributed to Western Xia's first emperor Jingzong, born Li Yuanhao, (1003-1048), has been determined as a pavilion-tower construction fusing both traditional mausoleum and temple styles with Buddhist characteristics.


Shapotou Tour Area is the site of the world-renowned Shapotou Desert Experimental Research Station. The research station is located at the southern end of the dune sea of Tengger Desert on the banks of the Yellow River. Research at station includes dune stabilization using grasses and microbial mats. Regions stabilized in the 1950s are now used for fruit and vine crops. Sand dune stabilization in the region is required to curtail burial of the trans-Asia Baotou–Lanzhou Railway.


Scenic Shahu Lake (Sand Lake). Consists of desert (an island of sand) and surrounding lake and marshlands. The reed marshes around the lake are habitats for more than 1 million birds in 190 or so kinds, including swans and red-crested cranes. 


When to Go

For Inner Mongolia

Climate in Inner Mongolia is very different during the year. Winter is cold and can be very long(Sep-Mar), with frequent blizzards and snow, the cold may not mean suffering, but a godsend. Mongolians have long been accustomed to the cold season and find a unique pleasure. Usually summer is short and warm. The climate changes from arid to semi-humid from west to east, and to humid in the northeast. The annual rainfall is 80 - 450 millimeters, also increasing from west to east. The main feature of the continental climate here is that the different in temperature between days and nights is very big, so tourists should wear layer of clothes when traveling here.  


Generally speaking, travelling is difficult in winter, but it is ideal time for enjoying the spectacular snow scenery. The grasslands show their beauty only in summer. Early autumn (from the middle of August to the end of September) is the best time to explore the desert as the temperatures are very temperate.


Winter in Inner Mongolia

Speaking of Inner Mongolia travel, perhaps you are still immersed in the vast grassland in early summer, and among the vast desert. You maybe think it is not suitable to travel Inner Mongolia in the winter for its winter is long and cold, even at low temperature of minus 30 ℃. Added to this, there will be storms and other extreme weather.


However, Inner Mongolia has a unique kind of winter landscape of snow and ice. If lucky, the winter grasslands are covered by ice and snow. People not only can enjoy the flying snow, endless snow, feeling the atmosphere of "A Thouand-Mile Ice and A Thousand-Mile Snow", you can also participate in various ski and snow activities.


Winter is also a good time to go there if you want to see temples, museums, local commercial streets, because at that time you don't have to compete with other tourists for resources like accommodation, transport. In addition, the places you're interested in will be fairly empty, such as temples, monasteries etc. You can enjoy a 5 star hotel at the price of 3 star hotel!


However, you must pay attention to the prevention against the cold in winter as well as the security while you are doing ice or snow activities.


For Ningxia:

Situated in Northwest China, Ningxia features long and chilly winter, short and hot summer, rare snow and rainfall, arid climate, winding with sand, warm in south and cold in north. Period from June to September is the rainy period of Ningxia. The coldest month for a year is January, and the average temperature is -8° C (18° F) and the lowest temperature is about -22° C (-8° F).


The most typical feature in Ningxia is the big difference in temperature between day and night. In most places of Ningxia, the difference temperature within one day can be up to 14° C (57° F). Hence, even in summer, travelers intending to Ningxia still need to bring with several warm clothes. The best time to visit Ningxia is in the period from May to October.


Travel Tips 

1. The temperature by the daytime in Inner Mongolia is hot, but the temperature in evening is low, so please prepare more cloth.

2. The commodities in Xilamuren Glassland Tourist Accommodation area is kind of expensive. The Horse riding is also not cheap. 

3. Maybe the local guide will introduce you to take the roast sheep leg. This is the most famous local cuisine - but it is also not cheap. If you do not like, just tell to the guide clearly. It is no problem.

4. The sand in the Xiangshawai Desert (Resonant Sand Bay) is very very fine. No matter how careful you will be, it will get into everywhere on you. So please take care of your DC there. 


Some more tips:

On seeing flocks and herds on the grassland, you'd better go round to stay away from them, because it is considered as an offense to the owner for walking through the flocks and herds. 


Taking a Family visit. Go to your seat in the Mongolian yurt from the left-hand side of the stove, and sit on the west or north side. Don't sit on the east, which is the place of the host's living room. You can sit on the ground without taking off your shoes.