Plan your Ningxia Tour? As the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Yichuan is an often-overlooked city that is irrigated by the mighty Yellow River amidst the arid landscape of China’s dry northwest. Making up 28% of the city’s population, the Hui influence throughout the city is obvious.
Yinchuan has a desert climate (Köppen BWk) with cold and windy (but dry) winters, dust-laden springs, hot and somewhat humid summers, and rather short autumns.
Sand Lake Scenic Resort
West Xia Imperial Tombs
Jade Emperor Pavilion
Located on the desert plains of Ningxia, just 56 kilometers outside the capital city Yinchuan, The Sand Lake is one of Ningxia’s well-renowned scenic destinations, famed for its spectacular scenery of the peaceful lake, soft sand, aquatic reed and amazing sand sculptures.
The desert of the scenic area spans an area of 12.7 square kilometers on which tourist and experience exciting desert activities such as motorbike sliding and camel riding. To the east of the desert flows the mighty Yellow River, to the west lays the towering Helan Mountain Range.
Ticket Price: 60Yuan (peak seasons); 40 Yuan (low seasons)
Opening Time: 08:00-18:00
How to get there: get a bus from Yinchuan Beimen Tour Bus Station to thr Sand Lake Scenic Area
The West Xia Imperial Tombs are 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) west of Yinchuan on east side of Mt. Helan. The Western Xia Empire was founded by Emperor Yuanhao in 1038 and established itself as a popular empire amongst the Qiang Minority of Ningxia.
At the height of its power and splendour, the empire was amalgamated into an area of around 830, 000 square kilometers, including Ningxia, Gansu, East Qinghai, North Shaanxi, East Xinjiang, West Inner-Mongolia and the south part of the Republic of Mongolia. The empire passed through 10 emperors in its short ruling duration of 190 years and was conquered by the Mongolian empire in 1227.
Ticket Price: 40Yuan
Opening Time: 08:00-19:00 (Wu Imperial Tomb); 08:00-21:00 (Museum and Art Museum)
How to get there: Buses No. 1, 2, 4 or 18 to the Train Station, and then rent a car to the West Xia Imperial Tombs
Chengtiansi Pagoda (the ”Western Pagoda”) is located in Yinchuan’s Chengtian Temple (Chengtian Si) and is known to be the tallest ancient brick pagoda in the region, dating back to 1050.
Chengtiansi Pagoda is the only one to record its actual building time in writing. Chengtiansi Pagoda has been well preserved and become one of key protected cultural relic sites. In addition, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Museum is located in the Temple. It mainly displays rare cultural relics of the Western Xia Dynasty and Ningxia, and has now become one of the most important places to visit for both sightseeing and recreational purposes.
Ticket Price: 5Yuan
Opening Time: 08:00-17:00
How to get there: take Bus No .2 from Nanmen
Located about 1.5 kilometers northwest of downtown Yinchuan in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the Haibao Pagoda Temple is one of the major Buddhist temples opened to public in China. And, the pagoda in the temple is the most ancient Buddhist architecture in Ningxia, and is among the first group of national key cultural relics sites.
Surrounded by exuberant poplars, willows and other trees, the temple has a quiet surrounding. It is said that there was a lake here long ago and the Haibao Pagoda was situated on an island in the lake. Bulrushes grew thickly in the lake and a lot of fish stayed in the water. Every March 4 of the lunar year, people got out of the city and crossed the lake by boat to attend the annual temple fair.
Entrance Fee: CNY 10
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00
How to get there: take a taxi to Haibao Pagoda from downtown area
Situated at the crossroads of Jiefang Road and Yuhuangge Street in Yinchuan City, Jade Emperor Pavilion has a history of more than 600 years. As the name suggests, the Jade Emperor’s Pavilion is dedicated to the worship of the Jade Emperor, or Thni Kong.
The Jade Emperor Pavilion is the main structure within a group of buildings and has a height of about 22 meters (72 feet) and covers an area of about 1040 square meters (1244 square yards). It stands on a rectangular rammed-earth base, through which runs a north-south archway; there are steps providing access to the pavilion on the north-western side.
Ticket Price: free
Opening Time: the whole day
How to get there: Bus No. 1 from the train station
The Yinchuan Nanguan Mosque is an Arabic style Mosque located in the heart of a thriving metropolis, and is the home of the Islamic Cultural Center in Yinchuan, as well as the main location of prayer.
The Nanguan Mosque is endowed with Islamic architectural style that is characterized by grand domes, long tines and arch doors and windows. The temple is stylishly outfitted with fountains adoring all the gardens, the walls are covered in marble and as well as several ancient artworks and frescos, many imported or inspired by works from the Middle-East.
Ticket Price: 10Yuan
Opening Time: the whole day
How to get there: Buses No. 1, 2, 3, 11, 19, or 20 to Nanguan Mosque; or take a taxi to get there
Shapotou, situated in Zhongwei city, about 200km away from Yinchuan, was appraised by the National Tourism Administration as the AAAA class.
Shapotou Tourism Area is regarded as one of the five most beautiful deserts in China, and is widely recognized as the Capital of Sand. Standing on the sand hill, one can see the desert extending to the north, and to the south, a boundless oasis. Both the grandeur of the north of China and the elegance of the south come together in this lovely place.
Helan Mountain Scenic Area, home to The Suyu Canyon Naional Park, is located 50 kilometers outside of Yinchuan. there are tens of thousands of rock carvings by ancient nomadic tribes, which are known as Helanshan Rock Carvings.
According to the textual research by specialists, these rock carvings can be dating back to 6000 years before the dynasties of Ming and Qing. Most of the Helanshan Rock Carvings are concentrated at Helankou Pass. The paintings were drawn in various styles with profound connotation and scattered only in certain areas. Helanshan Rock carvings have produced a great influence on the world.
Ticket Price: 10Yuan
Opening Time: 08:00-16:00
How to get there: You can rent a car to Helan Shan Rock Carving from Zhengbeibao which will cost you 20 Yuan with half a hour journey.
The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Museum, located in the capital of the region, l Yinchuan city, in the old city district, is a comprehensive historical museum of provincial level in China. The Museum was prepared in 1959 and officially completed in 1973.
The Museum has collected over 10,000 cultural relics, of which 45 are Class One collection. The overwhelming majority of the relics collected by the Museum were obtained from archeological survey and field excavation with the exception of small quantity of collected items and the items left over through the ages.
Ticket Price: free
Opening Time: 08:00-18:00 (closed on Monday)
How to get there: take Buses No .2, 17, 20, 25, 31, 32, 33, 45 or 102 to get there