Archive for the ‘Hohhot Travel’ Category

Meidaizhao Temple

Friday, July 10th, 2015
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Meidaizhao Temple is located in Meidaizhao Village below the massive Daqing Mountain of the Yinshan Range, Tumote Right Banner, Dong He District, Baotou. Meidaizhao lies between Baotou ( 98km east of Baotou) and Hohhot ( 99km west of Hohhot), just on the north of National Highway 110 and Jingzang Expressway, a historical site conveniently accessible either from Hohhot or Baotou.

Meidaizhao was originally built in 1565 as a fortified capital city of the Daming Golden Kingdom in Ming Dynasty, also known as Altan Khan Kingdom, (a vassal of Ming Dynasty) established by Altan Khan (1507 – 1582) . Altan Khan was a descendant of Kublai Khan (1215–1294). He managed to unite the Mongols in the north and the south. His name means “Golden Khan” in the Mongolian language, hence the kingdom’s name.

In 1571, Altan Khan was granted the title Shunyi Wang from the Longqing Emperor (March 4, 1537- July 5, 1572), the 12th emperor of China (Ming dynasty). With the assistance of his wife known as Sannianzi (Grand Queen), the Daming Golden Kingdom kept peace peace with the Ming Dynasty for over 40 years.

With a new city known as “Green City” built by Altan Khan and the Grand Queen in the current old town in Hohhot, the political center of Altan Khan Kingdom was move on to Hohhot. In 1606, the Meidaizhao fortress was transformed into a lamasery.

The present temple occupies an area of 4000 square meters encompassing the over 200 Ming and Qing era buildings including Sakyamuni Hall (Hall of Great Hero), Glazed Hall, Dalai Temple, Sannianzi Hall. The temple is surrounded by a 5-meter high stone wall in a rectangular shape with a perimeter of 681 meters. The big draw is the 1650-square-meter murals in Ming and Qing Dynasties preserved in the Hall of Great Hero.

If you are planning Inner Mongolia tour, a side trip to Meidaizhao either from Baotou or Hohhot is highly recommended.

Follow me to have a glimpse of the ancient city of Meidaizhao Temple.

The south gate to the fortress temple and Daqingshan Mountain lies behind the temple.

The south gate to the fortress temple

The south gate to the fortress temple

The two old pine trees in front of the Great Hero Hall ( Sakyamuni Hall ) are known as “Listening to Buddhist Scripture” pine trees, west is female and east male, over 400 years old when the temple was originally started being built.

Listening to Buddhist Scripture" pine trees,

Listening to Buddhist Scripture” pine trees,

The Sakyamuni Hall is home to the 1650-square-meter murals in Ming and Qing Dynasties ( Camera-forbidden ).

The Sykyamuni Hall

The Sykyamuni Hall

The Nai Qiong Temple is the former dwelling place for Mal Da Li living buddha in Qing Dynasty. The original statue of Mal Da Li is not available. Instead, it shrines the statue of Guardian of God.

The Nai Qiong Temple

The Nai Qiong Temple

Built in 1566, the Glazed Hall (Liuli Hall) was formerly the meeting hall of Altan Khan Kingdom. Now it is devoted to Three Buddhas, a typical Ming architecture.

the Glazed Hal

the Glazed Hal

The Dalai Temple is given to the Third Dalai Lama – Sonam Gyatso who came here in 1582 for practicing Buddhism and held a new funeral ceremony for Altan Khan. The title of Dalai Lama was given by Altan Khan.

This Dalai Temple is given to the Third Dalai Lama

This Dalai Temple is given to the Third Dalai Lama

The Grand Queen Hall, a burial place for the third wife ( also known as Sannianzi) of Altan Khan. She assisted her husband managing the kingdom and keeping good relationship with the Ming Dynasty for over 40 years.

The Grand Queen Hall,

The Grand Queen Hall,

The statues of Alta Khan and the Grand Queen ( Sannianzi – third wife).

The statues of Alta Khan and the Grand Queen

The statues of Alta Khan and the Grand Queen

The fortified temple stands facing the south below Daqing Mountain on the north, surrounded by a 681-meter long stone wall, 5 meters high. Ascending the wall, you are able to have a clear picture of the ancient city, a former capital of Altan Khan Kingdom.

Ascending the wall, you are able to have a clear picture of the ancient city

Ascending the wall, you are able to have a clear picture of the ancient city

 

The northern wall of the temple below the Daqing Mountain.

The northern wall

The northern wall

One of the corner towers ( Turrets) on the wall

One of the corner towers ( Turrets) on the wall

One of the corner towers ( Turrets) on the wall

Standing on the wall, you are able to have a clear picture of the Sakymuni Hall and Glazed Hall.

a clear picture of the Sakymuni Hall and Glazed Hall.

a clear picture of the Sakymuni Hall and Glazed Hall.

Any questions, just drop a line.

Tags: Meidaizhao, Meidaizhao Lamasery, Meidaizhao Monastery

How to go to Hohhot from Beijing

Friday, June 20th, 2014
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Plan your Inner Mongolia tour from  Beijing?  Basically Hohhot,  capital city of Inner Mongolia, very often is your springboard to jump onto the grassland in the exotic province, escaping the heat and bustle and hustle of Beijing.  Hohhot itself is worth your 1-2 day exploration with its unique historical sites and a large Hui Muslim community.

Hohhot is about 500 km northwest of Beijing, 8-10 hour by train,  one hour by flight and 6  and half  hours by road. So basically you have three choices of transportation tools going from Beijing to Hohhot and vice versa.

Which one to choose depends on your preference, your time, budget and the availability of these transportation tools at the time when you start your journey. Now let’s go one by one in terms of the ways of travel from Beijing to Hohhot.

Go to Hohhot from Beijing

Go to Hohhot from Beijing

Beijing Hohhot By Train 
Currently there are 16 daily trains, either direct or passing by trains, going between Beijing and Hohhot. Some trains leave from Beijing West Railway Station and others  start from Beijing Railway Station. You should understand which train station you will use.

Among the 16 daily trains, there are only three trains which start from Beijing and ends at Hohhot. The rest of the trains  are just passing by trains with stops at Hohhot or Beijing.  These three trains are most sought after by those who want to take a train trip from Beijing to Hohhot since  the train tickets are comparatively easier to obtain and manage.

All the three through trains going between Beijing and Hohhot start from Beijing West Railway Station and arrive at Hohhot East Railway Station or Hohhot Railway Station.

Beijing West Railway Station – Hohhot East Railway Station
K617 ( 10:40 – 19:10 )

Beijing West Railway Station – Hohhot  Railway Station
T315 ( 15:29 – 21:53 )

Beijing West Railway Station – Hohhot  Railway Station
K89 ( 22:15- next day 7:10 am)

Train tickets: RMB240 ( soft sleepers) ; RMB 132 ( hard sleepers)

For most travelers, K89 is the best choice of experiencing Chinese train ride,  saving  and money by staying overnight on train. K89 is difficult to get during the tourist high season from June to October. So it is preferable to book your train tickets well in advance.

Beijing Hohhot by Road
Hohhot can be easily reached by road along the G7 National Highway. You may drive directly from Beijing by your private vehicle or take a long distance bus. Definitely, self-drive would be faster taking 6-7 hours from Beijing to Hohhot while  a long-distance bus will take you 8 or 11 hours.

There are daily 6 buses starting from Beijing Liuliqiao Long-Distance Bus Station to Hohhot. The buses are scheduled at 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 12:30  and 14:30 and bus fare around RMB 149.

 Liuliqiao Long-distance Bus Station 六里桥客运站
Add: Jia 19, Liuliqiao Nanli, Fengtai District 丰台区六里桥南里甲19号
How to get there: Take public buses like Te2, Te7, Te 8 (inner loop), 201, 205…
Tel:010-83831716
Destinations: Datong.  Shijiazhuang, Baoding, Hunyuan,Yingxian, Changzhi,  Wuxi, Hefei…

Beijing – Hohhot by Flight
Approx. 10 daily flights run between Beijing and Hohhot and most of the flights are operated by Air China.  One flight is run by Beijing Capital Airlines (a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines). One flight is operated by China United Airline that uses Beijing Nanyuan Airport as its home airport. 

The flight normally takes about one hour and 10 minutes. The Beijing and Hohhot flights are mainly focused on afternoon or evening flights.Taking a flight from Beijing to Hohhot, especially an evening flight is often chosen since it won’t affect your daytime trip in Beijing. Air Fare: RMB 550 ( full rate ).Related Hohhot Travel Articles

Hohhot Trip
Hohhot Car Rental
Hohhot Railway Station
Hohhot Taxi 
Hohhot Bus
Hohhot Airport
Jinjiang Hotel
Hohhot Food

Any questions, just drop a line.

Hohhot Tourist Scams, Tourist traps in Hohhot

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
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War Chariot Yurts in Gegentala Grassland

Plan your Hohhot Trip? Hohhot is the capital of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in northern China. It is an ideal place to relax away from modern day pressure thanks to the magnificent natural beauty as well as fantastic cultural sites. While travelling in Hohhot, there are several tourist scams that visitors should be aware of. Always be careful with what you do and with whom you can trust in Hohhot.

 
Super-cheap Grassland Tours
There are always many cheap tours offer to you when you arriving at Hohhot. For example, tour to the grassland. They will ask for more money after you stay on the grassland, and take you to shopping places and force you to buy a lot of things which you don’t want to buy. What’s more, if the grassland is not famous, the quality of grass may very poor. You should find a standard tour agency and go to a famous grassland (
Gegentala Grassland, for example) to start your tour in Hohhot.
 
Souvenirs Scams
Arriving in Hohhot, you can find many snacks and souvenirs which you could hardly find in other places, cheese and Mongolian Knives, for example. If you want to take them home as a memory, you can buy them in large markets rather than small stores in the attraction site. Most of the souvenirs in small stores are very expensive. What’s more, they may even fake. At first, the sellers will let you have a taste of the cheese. If you think it is good, they will sell you some fake ones rather than the cheese you have ever tasted. Don’t believe them.
 
“Black” Taxis
“Black” taxis refer to the illegal taxis or cars that can be found in Hohhot. You may encounter them almost everywhere you need a taxi, including the city center or around attractions. The drivers will approach you and asking “where are you going”. They will not only overcharge you but there have been reports of tourists taken out into the middle of nowhere where several of the black taxi drivers friend showed up and took all of the tourists belongings. Don’t even talk to these people.
 
“Black” Tour Guide
You can find ‘Black’ Tour Guide almost everywhere of large cities of China, Hohhot is not an exception. An attractive male or female will approach the tourist and offer to be a free or a very cheap tour guide. They take visitors to some stores on the way to the attractions and force them to shop. The products in the stores are expensive with poor quality. The visitors are all cheated by the “Black” tour guide. Just remember, there is no free lunch in the world, so leave them far away from you.
 
Pickpockets
Pickpockets always can be found in the major tourist sites of China, Hohhot is not an exception. Always keep your eyes on your bags, and carry your wallets in a front pocket or a pocket inside your coat when you are walking on the street or taking the bus. Beware of these young men and also of the ladies in whose interests they ply their trade. If you are stolen, or you find other being stolen, or you have pickpocket clues, you are encouraged to call the anti-pickpocket hotline 110.
 
More travel information on Hohhot
Hohhot Trip
Hohhot Car Rental
Hohhot Railway Station
Hohhot Taxi
Hohhot Bus
Hohhot Airport
Jinjiang Hotel
Hohhot Food