Archive for the ‘Inner Mongolia Travel’ Category

Top 10 Attractions in Hohhot

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017
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Plan your Hohhot Tour? The capital city of Hohhot is usually your springboard to delve into the Inner Mongolia. If time permits, you can also have a pop by Hohhot. Here we have a list of the top 10 attractions in Hohhot, which may be helpful for your arranging your short trip to Hohhot.

Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in northern China, lies between the Yinshan Mountain and the Yellow River. 36 ethnic groups and some 50 odd ancient temples make this grassland paradise particularly charming.

Hohhot is also a common base point for travelers who travel vast grasslands like Gegentala, Huitengxile and Xilamuren on a mesmerizing Inner Mongolia Tour.

No. 01: Gegentala Grassland
Situated in the territory of Siziwang Banner, 130 kilometers from Hohhot, Gegentala Grassland is the largest and a unique Mongolian scenic spot bearing the Mongolian ethical features of China.

In Mongolian “Gegentala” means a summer resort or the place of grazing in summer. Gegentala Grassland belongs to typical grassland scenery. It is one of the first batches of 4A-class scenic spots of the country.

Opening Hours: All Day
How to get there: take a bus along the provincial highway 102 from Hohhot to the grassland. It will only spend you about 2 hours.

Gegentala Grassland

Gegentala Grassland


No. 02: Huitengxile Grassland
Huitengxile means “cold plateau” in Mongolian. Huitengxile Grassland is located 135 kilometers east of Hohhot, and 80 kilometers from the city of Jining. There are small, yellow flowers covering the mountains. The landscape has erect cliffs and pure, cascading springs. This, set against the boundless grassland and the beautiful delicate color of the Jiangnan water-village, is a magnificent sight.

There are fertile land and plenty of rainfall. Tourists can enjoy their stay here riding on horseback, archery, watching wrestling, and joining in singing and dancing in the open air.

Opening Hours: all day
How to get there: take long-distance bus from the downtown area of Hohhot

 Huitengxile Grassland

Huitengxile Grassland


No. 03: Dazhao Lamasery
As the oldest building and the largest Gelukpa (Yellow Hat Sect) temple in Inner Mongolia, Dazhao Temple, has considerable position in Hohhot and many important celebrations are also held here. Temple is well-known for the impressive buildings, splendid statues, delicate murals, musical instruments and fine collection of Buddhist scriptures.

Of its abundant religious relics perhaps 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.

Entrance Fee: CNY 35
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
How to get there: take bus No. 57 to Dazhao Lamasery

Dazhao Lamasery

Dazhao Lamasery


No. 04: Zhaojun Tomb
Surrounded by green grasses and towering ancient trees, Zhaojun Tomb, also called Green Mound or Green Grave, is located south of the city of Hohhot. It was built to commemorate a great woman named Wang Zhaojun, who was one of the four most beautiful ladies in ancient China, and who sacrificed herself for the unity of China by marrying Khan.

Zhaojun Tomb is not only a burial site but an historic monument commemorating peace between the races. Zhaojun Tomb is a shining pearl on north grassland of China and has become a world famous tourist destination.

Entrance Fee: CNY 65
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
How to get there: take Bus No. 44 from the train station to Zhaojun Tomb

Zhaojun Tomb

Zhaojun Tomb


No. 05: Xilamuren Grassland
Xilamuren, meaning “yellow river” in Mongolian, is located 100 kilometers (62miles) north of Hohhot. Xilamuren Grasslands is characterized by rolling hills and lush green grass. Xilamuren Grasslands is the nearest such tourist attraction to Hohhot.

The best time to visit the grassland is in summer and autumn. At this time of year, the pleasant climate, the blue sky and white clouds, the rolling grass, the wandering flocks and herds, the passionate herdsmen and their Mongolian food will undoubtedly leave you with a deep impression. During the Nadam Festival held every summer, tourists can enjoy a series of different activities.

How to get there: take long-distance bus from the downtown area of Baotou, it will take you about 2 hours

 Xilamuren Grassland

Xilamuren Grassland


No. 06: Five Pagoda
Five pagodas standing side by side on the seat, the central one has seven stories while the rest on the four corners are all five-story high. The body of the pagoda is glazed in greens and yellows. It is representative of the architectural achievements that were made in the Qing Dynasty.

The pagoda is 16 meters high (about 51 feet) and it is composed of three parts: the base, the seat and the top (five pagodas). It is an important Tibetan Buddhist temple.

Entrance Fee: CNY 25
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00
How to get there: take Bus No. 1 from the train station and get off at Wujing Hospital

No. 07: Jiangjun Yashu at Suiyuan City
Situated in Hohhot city, Jiangjun Yashu is the only preserved historical building of cultural relics in Mongolian area of China. It enjoy a higher station in the national historic site of cultural relic.

During the Qing Dynasty, in order to consolidate the northwest boarder, in addition to the Hohhot city, Qing Dynasty ordered to build new town called Suiyuan city.

Entrance Fee: CNY 25
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:30

Jiangjun Yashu at Suiyuan City

Jiangjun Yashu at Suiyuan City


No. 08: Inner Mongolia Museum
Located at Hohhot, the Inner Mongolian Museum is a local comprehensive museum, boasting a good selection of Mongolian items and a historical lineage of this vast grassland. Construction began in 1955, and the museum was open to the public on May 1, 1957.

The Museum covers an area of 5,000 square meters, with 3,500 square meters for the exhibition halls. It is a two-storeyed white building with a white sculpture of a running courser on its top. The Museum features four exhibition halls.

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 9:00-1:700
How to get there: take Buses No. 1, 5, 13, 21, 22, 24, 34, 303…

Inner Mongolia Museum

Inner Mongolia Museum

No. 09: Wanbu Huayanjing PagodaThe Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda is located in the southeast of Baita Village in the east suburbs, about 17 kilometers from Hohhot City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. It was said to be built in Emperor Shengzong’s reign (983 – 1031) of the Liao Dynasty.

With an octagonal plane, the pagoda has seven storeys and is 45.18 meters high. It has a high pedestal, with supine lotuss on the top, and there are spiral stairs inside and you can climb up to look far into the distance. The bricks on its surface were carved with fine pictures.

Entrance Fee: CNY 35
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:30
How to get there: take the regular bus from Hohhot to Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda

Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda

Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda


No. 10: Xilituzhao Lamasery
Xilituzhao Lamasery or Xilitu Lamasery is located just to the east of Dazhao Lamasery in Yuquan District of Hohhot. The temple was founded in the Tibetan style in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It houses the residence of the 11th Grand Living Buddha.

Xilituzhao Lamasery is still very active today. sometimes visitors may come across Tibetan monks and followers in prayer, you may get the chance to see one of the temple festivals, where traditional instruments are played. It is sometimes possible to find a monk who can speak English and can take you around.

Entrance Fee: CNY 30
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
How to get there: take Tourist Bus to get there

Xilituzhao Lamasery

Xilituzhao Lamasery

Tip:  Hassle-free Hohhot Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Hohhot guided tours:

 Hohhot City Highlight Day Tour    from 75 p/p
Hohhot Grassland Day Tour   from 59 p/p
Hohhot 3 Day Tour Package  from 230 p/p
Hohhot Car Rental with a driver from US$ 55

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Hohhot
Best Time to Visit Hohhot

Any questions, just drop a line.

 

Road Trip from Ergun to Linjiang Village

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
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Ergun, or E’erguna (额尔古纳市) is part of the prefecture-level city of Hulunbuir. The 200-km road trip from Ergun City to the beguiling Linjiang (临江), a village bordering with Russia, is the highlight of our 8-day photography Hulunbuir Prairie tour.

It features cottony clouds hovering so low you could catch, cattle grazing; sheep roaming and horses running wild with their masters. We also have a short side trip to Shiwei on route, one of the smallest ethnic minority groups in China – the China’s Russian Ethnic Minority.  Finally we stay overnight at the quiet and serene bordering village – Linjiang.

One of the features of a photography tour is “off the cuff “,  stopping at the places where we see beautiful photogenic spots: rolling green hills, wild flowers, white clouds, grazing cattle and sheep. We don’t get off at those touristy and commercialized horse-riding and costume hiring camps and stations along the highways.

Not long after we leave Ergun City, we encounter the stupendous scenery of cottony clouds,  so low we are afraid they will hit our tour bus!

We are hit by cottony clouds.

We are hit by cottony clouds.

 

But what makes us stop and get off our bus is the undulating green hills that teems with grazing cattle on the right side of the highway! We lose no time, asking our bus driver to pull over and disembarking immediately.

Standing by the roadside, we zoom in and out for the stupendous view!

Standing by the roadside, we zoom in and out for the stupendous view!

 

Standing by the roadside, I use my long lens camera zooming in and out for the magnificent views of the harmonious beauty unfolded before our eyes, and exhilarated by the gift from the heaven.

Exhilarated by the gift from the heaven

Exhilarated by the gift from the heaven

 

The green hillslopes are dappled with changing sunlight and colors, mostly wanted by photography enthusiasts.

The green hill slopes are dappled with changing sunlight and colors

The green hillslopes are dappled with changing sunlight and colors.

 

Back to the bus, we continue to hit the road, busing on the highway to Shiwei Township, a bordering village only 11 km to the southwest of Linjiang Village – our destination.

Our choice of Linjiang Village for our overnight stay is mainly due to the fact that Linjiang Village has not succumbed to tourist mania that has affected the nearby Shiwei Village.

Ergun River cuts through the border area.

Ergun River cuts through the border area.

 

We are given only two hours sightseeing around Shiwei Township. Located on the east bank of Ergun River, Shiwei is now a lively border town abutting Russia inhabited mostly by the Chinese-Russian descendants. Shiwei was once  a cradle of multi-ethnic groups including Mongols.

Zoom in for a close look at the village on the Russian side.

Zoom in for a close look at the village on the Russian side.

 

About 10 years ago Shiwei was on the limelight for its natural and pristine beauty, and even elected as one of the 10 most beautiful villages in China at that time.

Even since, the village has been aways packed with tourists in high season.  Now Shiwe is no longer a laid-back village that has fallen to the victim of mass tourism.

The Russian-style wooden houses

The Russian-style wooden houses

 

But that doesn’t deter us from making use of the two hours snapping some pictures recording the best part of Shiwei. The town  features the Russian style in terms of architectures and living habits.

Stay overnight in a traditional Russian style wooden house is a top choice for many tourists.

Traditional Russian style wooden houses

Traditional Russian style wooden houses

 

Two hour later finds us heading to the bucolic hamlet – Linjiang, also a bordering village with Russia,  separated by Ergun River.

Before we reach the laid-back village, we are led to hike up a high viewing place for a soul-recharging glimpse of the big bend on Ergun River.

 Put up our tripods and set our cameras in right conditions

Put up our tripods and set our cameras in right conditions

 

We are also required by our instructor to put up our tripods and set our cameras in right conditions to catch the glowing sunset over the big curve of the sublime border river with the other side being Russia.

Catch the glowing sunset over the big curve

Catch the glowing sunset over the big curve

 

At the end of our road trip, we get to the anachronistic hamlet – Linjiang Village abutting Russia. This tiny hamlet is really a time wrap hemmed by rolling green hills without much modernity in sight. There is a quietness and serenity over the two-horse village.

We are arranged to stay overnight in a privately owned inn. After walking in the dimly lit village street and back to my room, I fall into sleep soon,  too tired to take a shower as usual after the exciting but exhausting day trip.

Next morning I wake up naturally, missing the sunrise over the charm village. But later I soon get to know that a thick fog has been hovering over the village and we don’t have sunrise on that morning.

One of my fellow travelers – Ms. Li Xin does get up that morning, climbing up on the hills over the village for a spirit-recharge view though she fails to catch the sunrise due to the heavy haze.  Below are the two pictures taken both by Ms Li Xin and the other fellow traveler on that foggy morning:

The fog-shrouded Linjiang Village in the early morning

The fog-shrouded Linjiang Village in the early morning

 

Ms Li Xin at work in the foggy morning

Ms Li Xin at work in the foggy morning

 

We are again only allowed a few hours walking around the serene village. The temptation to see the village is so great that I jump up from my warm bed,  putting on clothes, taking out my long lens camera and mobile phone, and darting to the streets to catch the beautiful morning of the bucolic village.

Linjiang Village

Linjiang Village

 

Linjiang Village

Linjiang Village

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Sunrise Glow over Hulunbuir Grasslands

Monday, August 29th, 2016
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Plan your Inner Mongolia tour? Located in northeastern Inner Mongolia, the Hulunbuir Grasslands are often billed as the “most unsullied grasslands” in China.  Named after the two lakes –  Hulun and Buir,  Hulunbuir Grasslands feature the expansive grasslands, forests, lakes and rivers.

40 km to the northeast of Hailar ( the city center of Hulunbuir ), the Golden Horde Tribes ( Jin Zhang Han) are located in the heartland of Hulunbuir Grasslands, the only place developed and open to tourists.

In the Golden Horde Tribes, there are plenty of yurts for you to choose, ranging from multi-people yurts to standard two-sharing yurts. They also offer basic food service and other recreational activities like horseback riding, horse racing and wrestling, and evening bon-fire party.

Among other  things to do in the Golden Horde Tribes, getting up early in the morning for the sunrise glow over the expansive grasslands is one of my favorites on my recent photography trip to Hulunbuir Grasslands.

Below are some of the pictures taken on the early morning July 29, 2016, of the sunrise glow over Hulunbuir Grasslands.

Sunrise over Golden Horde Tripes in Hulunbuir

Sunrise over Golden Horde Tribes in Hulunbuir

 

Sunrise Glow over Golden Horde Tripes in Hulunbuir

Sunrise Glow over Golden Horde Tribes in Hulunbuir

 

The Yurts under the Golden lights of the sunrise

The Yurts under the golden lights of the sunrise

 

Thick Fog over the Grassland under the sunrise glow.

Thick Fog over the Grassland in the sunrise glow.

 

Hulunbuir Grassland under the Sunrise Glow

Sunrise Glow over Hulunbuir Grassland

 

Grazing Sheep in the sunrise glow

Grazing Sheep in the sunrise glow

 

Grazing under the Sunrise Glow.

Grazing in the Sunrise Glow.

 

Early Birds in the sunrise glow

Early Birds in the sunrise glow

 

My Working - Taking Photos on Hulunbuir GRasslands

My Working – Taking Photos on Hulunbuir GRasslands

 

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Northeast Inner Mongolia Tour

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