Archive for the ‘Ningxia Travel’ Category

How to Visit Western Xia Imperial Tombs

Friday, July 10th, 2015
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

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.  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 pavilion style

The layout model of the Western Xia Dynasty

the layout model of the Western Xia Dynasty

the layout model of the Western Xia Dynasty

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.

Walking toward the Tomb No.03.

Walking toward the Tomb No.03.

Walking toward the Tomb No.03.

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

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 ruined 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)

The Tomb Tower (Tomb No.03)

Tip:  Hassle-free Yinchuan Guided Tours
06611
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Yinchuan Guided Tours:

Yinchuan One Day Excursion Tour  from US$ 95 p/p
Yinchuan 3 Day Tour   from US$ 235 p/p
Yinchuan Car Rental with Driver

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Yinchuan
How to Visit Yinchuan in 2 Days
Western Xia Imperial Tombs
Helan Mountain Rock Art
Great Wall at Shuidonggou
West Film Studio
Yinchuan Taxi

Any questions, just drop a line.

 

How to Visit Helan Mountain Rock Art

Friday, July 10th, 2015
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

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.

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

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

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

A wooden path winds along the edge of the valley

Viewing the rock art at the valley.

More rock engravings at the valley.

More rock engravings at the valley.

 

More rock engravings at the valley.

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

Basically it takes 2-3 hours

 

Tip:  Hassle-free Yinchuan Guided Tours
06611
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Yinchuan Guided Tours:

Yinchuan One Day Excursion Tour  from US$ 95 p/p
Yinchuan 3 Day Tour   from US$ 235 p/p
Yinchuan Car Rental with Driver

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Yinchuan
How to Visit Yinchuan in 2 Days
Western Xia Imperial Tombs
Helan Mountain Rock Art
Great Wall at Shuidonggou
West Film Studio
Yinchuan Taxi

Any questions, just drop a line.

Tonghu Grassland in the Tengger Desert

Friday, July 10th, 2015
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Tonghu Grassland (通湖草原) is actually a wetland grassland in the heart of Tengger Desert. This AAAA National Scenic Area encompasses the mesmerizing landscapes of the sand dunes, inter-connected lakes, and huge grassland area.

In Tonghu Grassland, you are able to ride a horse galloping on the grassland or go for a camel ride on the desert, a good place to experience Mongolian life and leisure travel.

Tonghua Grassland is located just north of the shared border between Inner Mongolia and Ningxia. Though under the jurisdiction of Inner Mongolia, many workers from Zhongwei in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region since Tonghu Grassland Scenic Area is only 30km to the northwest of the city of Zhongwei, and only 8.3 km north of Shapotou. Either you plan your Inner Mongolia tour or Ningxia tour, a side trip to Tonghu Grassland is an interesting experience.

The most popular mode of traveling from Zhongwei and Tonghu Grassland is to hire a local yellow taxi. After your travel in Tonghu Wetland Grassland, you are supposed to take the same taxi back to Zhongwei or another AAAAA scenic area of Shapotou.

Entrance Fee: RMB 60
Opening Hours: 6:00 – 22:00

Now follow me to have a glimpse of Tonghu Wetland Grassland.

Hire a local yellow taxi from Zhongwei to Tonghu Grassland.

Hire a local yellow taxi from Zhongwei to Tonghu Grassland.

Hire a local yellow taxi from Zhongwei to Tonghu Grassland.

The entrance to Tonghu Grassland. On the right side is the ticketing office.

The entrance to Tonghu Grassland

The entrance to Tonghu Grassland

By the gate , you are able to clearly view the lake, the wetland grassland and the Tengger Desert.

The lake, the wetland grassland and the Tengger Desert

The lake, the wetland grassland and the Tengger Desert

The Tonghu Wet Grassland surrounded by the desert. Your ticket includes the little train car ride from the entrance to the heartland of Tonghu Grassland Scenic District.

the golf car ride from the entrance to the heartland of Tonghu Grassland Scenic District

the golf car ride from the entrance to the heartland of Tonghu Grassland Scenic District

The workers at the grassland scenic area welcomes visitors coming afar with the white hada, a piece of silk used as a greeting gift among Mongol nationalities.

Welcome visitors coming afar with the white hada

Welcome visitors coming afar with the white hada

Tonghu Grassland Scenic Area is mainly composed of three parts – a horse riding district linked to the wetland grassland, yurt district for overnight visitors and desert playground.

a horse riding district

a horse riding district

The yurt area is scattered with various kinds of Mongolian yurts ranging from economic and deluxe classes with catering facilities. Staying overnight on the grassland under the starry sky is a delightful experience.

The yurt area is scattered with various kinds of Mongolian yurts

The yurt area is scattered with various kinds of Mongolian yurts

The third area is the desert playground. To get to the edge of the Tengger Desert, you again need to take the little train golf car from the horse riding place.

On the way to the desert

On the way to the desert

Tengger Desert is the fourth largest desert in China. Here there are plentiful sand activities – camel ride, sand slides, jeep on the desert and sand surfing,etc.

Camel Ride

Camel Ride

 

Add on
Narat Grasslands Yili Xinjiang
Ruoergai Grassland in Sichuan
Top 10 Grasslands in China

Any questions, just drop a line.