How to Visit Helan Mountain Rock Art

December 17th, 2014
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Helan Mountain, or Helan Shan is an natural barrier extending for 250km from north to south, which divides Inner Mongolia and Ningxia. The west slopes of Helan Shan are gentle and smooth, connecting Alashan Plateau while the east slopes are rugged and steep, overlooking at Yinchuan Plain.

On the over-30 passes in the east slopes of Helan Shan and the wild grasslands on  the alluvial fan,  exist some  6,000 images and graphs, pictographs of rock carvings. The rock engravings at Helan Shan mainly depict animals,  plants, hunting scenes,  faces and figures.  They are the last remnants of the nomadic tribes living on the steppes.

The rock carvings at Helan Mountain date back to some 10,000 years,  predating any dynasties that once appeared in  the area. The Helan Shan rock art belongs to China north rock art system with various animal images – domestic animals: cattle, horse, donkey, camel and wild animals: tiger, wolf, leopard. Sheep is widely used in the Helan Shan including bharal, antelopes and sheep.

The rock carvings in one pass or valley in the east slope of  Helan Mountain is selected and built into a rock art park known as “Rock Art of  Helan Mountain “贺兰山岩画” open to the public, one of the most magnificent sights in Ningxia. The Rock Art Park is located about 56 km to the northwest of Yinchun city proper.

There is no direct bus service between the rock art park and the city of Yinchuan.  You may take the public bus No.17 from Yinchuan Railway Station to China West Film Studio (RMB 5) where you hire a taxi to the rock art park (RMB 100); or you may hire a taxi to visit both China West Film Studio and Helan Shan Rock Art Park (RMB 200-300); or you may hire a taxi to visit the three sites – West Xia Imperial Tombs, China West Film Studio and Helan Shan Rock Art Park (300-400RMB).

Entrance fee: RMB 70 ( including the entry to World Rock Art Museum and a gold-car to the valley holding the rock carvings.
Enquiry: 0951 – 6010049

Now follow me to have a glimpse of the impressive rock art of  Helan Shan on your Ningxia tour.

The rock park is located on the east foot of Helan Shan. The wide entrance leads first to Yinchuan World Rock Art Museum

The rock park is located on the east foot of Helan Shan

The rock park is located on the east foot of Helan Shan

Yinchuan World Rock Art Museum displays the  exhibits  and pictures of the rock carvings from all over the world.  Rock art are images or graphs carved or painted on rocks left by our primitive people. It is a world cultural phenomenon.

Yinchuan World Rock Art Museum

Yinchuan World Rock Art Museum

You need to take an electric car going from  the rock art museum to the site of the valley holding the rock carvings.  The ticket for the electric car service is included in your entrance fee for the rock art mseum.

The rock art museum is the only rock art  themed museum in the world. Various kinds of rock art forms are distributed in 70 countries and 150 regions.

the only rock art  themed museum in the world.

the only rock art themed museum in the world.

You need to  take an electric car going from  the rock art museum to the site of the valley.

 take an electric car going from  the rock art museum to the site of the valley

take an electric car going from the rock art museum to the site of the valley

Along the foot of the valley is carved with numerous images and graphs carved by the nomadic tribes 6,000 years back.

 A wooden path winds along the edge of the valley

A wooden path winds along the edge of the valley

The rock carvings park is built around a valley with boardwalks .

The rock carvings park is built around a valley with boardwalks .

The rock carvings park is built around a valley with boardwalks .

The valley contains the rock carvings.

The valley contains the rock carvings.

The valley contains the rock carvings.

Viewing the rock art at the valley.

Viewing the rock art at the valley.

Viewing the rock art at the valley.

A close up view of the rock carvings – face and figures

A close up view of the rock carvings - face and figures

A close up view of the rock carvings – face and figures

More rock engravings at the valley.

More rock engravings at the valley 1.

More rock engravings at the valley 1.

Stroll along the boardwalks around the edges of the valley for more rock carvings.  Basically it takes 2-3 hours to cover the major sites of rock carvings.

  Basically it takes 2-3 hours to cover the major sites of rock carvings.

Basically it takes 2-3 hours to cover the major sites of rock carvings.

Walking while viewing the rock carvings

Walking while viewing the rock carvings

Walking while viewing the rock carvings

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How to visit Yinchuan in 2 Days
How to visit West Xia Imperial Tombs 

Any questions,  just drop a line.

How to Visit Western Xia Imperial Tombs

December 14th, 2014
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If you are going to visit Yinchuan on your Ningxia Tour, you are highly recommended  to visit  the original site of the Western Xia Imperial Tombs,  the most important sight  in Ningxia.  The complex of  imperial tombs is located 35 km west of  the city of Yinchuan,  the capital city of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and on the eastern slopes in the middle section of  Helan Mountains.

The Western Xia Imperial Tombs are the burial site of the 9 emperor mausoleums, 254 subordinate tombs in Western Xia Dynasty. Western Xia Dynasty was founded by Tangut ethnic group in 1038 and destroyed in 1227 by the Mongols which later established Yuan Dynasty ( 1279 – 1368 ).

The imperial tombs are now on the tentative lists of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. The Tombs are the best-preserved historic cultural heritage representing the Tangut civilization at the largest scale and in the highest rank.

How to get to Western Xia Imperial Tombs from Yinchuan?

1)  Take a bus from Beimen Tourist Bus Station:  Leaving from Yinchuan at 8:30 and 9:30;  back from  13:30 and 15:30
2) During tourist peak season ( late April – late October ), a  special tour bus is operated at  Crescent Square ( Xinyue Guangchang )  to the tombs at 09:00 every day.
3) Share a taxi  from Yinchuan
4) Using a local travel agency
People often combine the three sites on a day trip outside Yinchuang including Western Xia Imperial Tombs,  Western China  Film Studio and Rock Art at Helanshan Mountain.

Entrance Fee:  RMB 60  including the fee  for electric car
Opening Hours:  8:00 – 18:00

Now follow me to have a glimpse of the Western Xia Imperial Tombs.

The South Entrance to the tombs

The South Entrance to the tombs

The South Entrance to the tombs

First take an electric car from the gate to the museum in the compound.

First take an electric car from the gate to the museum in the compound.

First take an electric car from the gate to the museum in the compound.

Visitors are arranged to visit Western Xia Museum.  The museum displays the impressive artifacts related to Western Xia culture.

Western Xia Museum

Western Xia Museum

Visitors are briefed on the layout model of the Western Xia Dynasty and the location of the tombs  and Helan Mountain.

the layout of the former Western Xia Dynasty

the layout of Western Xia Dynasty

Of the 9 imperial tombs, the Tomb No.03 is the largest one , which was attributed to the founder of Western Xia Dynasty – Mr.Li Yuanhao. The tomb was originally constructed in an octagonal pagoda style with outer wooden structure and rammed earth inside. The tomb was built within an inner city. Now you have a brief introduction to the tomb construction.

The tomb was originally constructed in an Octagonal pavilion style

The tomb was originally constructed in an Octagonal pagoda of seven storeys

The stone pedestal of a figure excavated from the No.08′ emperor’s tomb 1972.

The stone pedestal of a figure

The stone pedestal of a figure

Move from Western Xia Dynasty Museum,  and walk on the  path leading to the Tomb No.03.

Enter the complex of the Western Xia Tombs

Enter the complex of the Western Xia Tombs

The Tomb no.03’s  imperial burial site was composed of the tomb itself, the inner city and the moon city. Below is the ruins of the rammed walls of the former moon city in front of the inner city.

the former moon city in front of the inner city.

the former moon city in front of the inner city.

The inner city in a rectangle layout is the symbol of the imperial palace in the real world.  Four gates were built as well as four towers on the four corners. The walls were rammed with plank, which is 3.5 meters wide and painted in red.  The wall was decorated with projecting eaves covered with tiles.

The ruins of the rammed wall of the inneer city

The ruins of the rammed wall of the inneer city

North of the Tomb No.03 is the imperial sacred way. North of the imperial sacred way is the Sacrifice Temple. Today the temple has disappeared and only the foundation is still discernable.

the Sacrifice Temple.

the ruined Sacrifice Temple.

After  the ruined Sacrifice Temple is the imperial path or the Tomb Gallery.  The gallery is 46 meters long  and 24 degree of inclination.

 the Tomb Gallery

the Tomb Gallery

 

The Tomb Tower (Tomb No.03) is the main structure in the imperial tomb complex.  The main body of the tower  or pagoda was constructed with earth and covered with wooden structure of seven storeys.  The current base of the tomb is  36 meters in  diameters and 24 meters in height.

he Tomb Tower (Tomb No.03)

he Tomb Tower (Tomb No.03)

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How to visit Yinchuan in 2 days.
Top 10 Attractions in Yinchuan 

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Wushan Night Market in Hangzhou

December 12th, 2014
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If you’d like to kill 1-2 hour at night on your Hangzhou tour, Wushan Night Market is one of your best choices.  Wushan Night Market is mainly located on  the north-south Huixing Road (惠兴路) which meets the east-west  Renhe Road (仁和路) on the north for a T junction and Youdian Road (邮电) on the south again for a T road.  So you may enter the night market (Huixing Road 惠兴路) from Renhe Road and Youdian Road.

If you are still quite in the dark as how to find the correct way leading to Wushan Night Market,  you may first go to Zhongshan International Hotel Hangzhou  (杭州中山国际大酒店).  Walk along Pinghai Road (平海路) to the west direction from the hotel, you will soon come cross a road leading to the south known as Yuewang Road (岳王路). You walk down south the Yuewang Road, soon you will come across Renhe Road (仁和路)where the night market is located.

Take subway line 1 and get off at the station of Longxianqiao (龙翔桥)and exit from Exit D4. Then walk along Pinghai Road (平海路)to the east direction for a few minutes, you will see Zhongshan International Hotel Hangzhou. On the right side of the hotel is a south-north road known as Yuewang Road (岳王) leading to Renhe Road (仁和路)where the night market is located.

Wushan Night Market is mainly laid out on the north-south Huixing Road and some stalls are on the east-west Renhe Road, so the night market twists. Like other night markets, Wushan Night Market is undeniably busy and bustling. A long row of stalls lit up offer everything from clothing, hair paraphernalia, Mao memorabilia,   jewellery, paper fans, electronic accessories  to scarves, watches, shoes handicrafts, hand bages, luggage and trinkets and nik-naks.

Just get yourself lost in the crowd for 1-2 hour and hunt for the best deals. Don’t remember to haggle hard.

Now follow me to have a close-up view of Wushan Night Market.

Wushan Night Market, as its name suggests, a temporary market, only exists at nightfall.  Connected stalls are lined up along the roads, busy and bustling.

 a temporary market, only exists at nightfall

a temporary market, only exists at nightfall

The stall sells different underwear.

The stall sells different underwear.

The stall sells different underwear.

Sell cloth  and plush slippers of various kinds and sizes.

 cloth  and plush slippers

cloth and plush slippers

Wallets and suitcases

Wallets and suitcases

Wallets and suitcases

Garments, Shirts and blouses.

Garments, Shirts and blouses.

Garments, Shirts and blouses.

Various Watches

Various Watches

Various Watches

Lady hang bags and Makeup Accessories

Lady hang bags and Makeup Accessories

Lady hang bags and Makeup Accessories

winter knit hat

winter knit hat

winter knit hat

Huixing Road is packed with stalls

Huixing Road is packed with stalls

Huixing Road is packed with stalls

Choosing trinkets and nik naks

Choosing trinkets and nik naks

Choosing trinkets and nik naks

Get yourself lost in the crowd of stalls

Get yourself lost in the crowd of stalls

Get yourself lost in the crowd of stalls

Bargain Hard

Bargain Hard

Bargain Hard.

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Pedestrian Streets in Hangzhou

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