Archive for the ‘Ningxia Travel’ Category

Tonghu Grassland in the Tengger Desert

Friday, July 10th, 2015
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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.

How to Visit Zhongwei in One Day

Friday, September 26th, 2014
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If you are planning Ningxia Tour, Zhongwei City(中卫), the second largest city after Yinchuan in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is highly recommended to be included on your Ningxia trip. Zhongwei is located 220 km southwest of Yinchuan, 290 km northeast of Lanzhou, 648km northwest of Xian and 749 km west of Taiyun. Zhongwei can be easily accessed by the above mentioned cities through long distance buses, trains and even flights as Zhongwei has a small airport.

Zhongwei is synonymous with a combination of Yellow River, desert,  oasis and mountains, a view seldom seen in other places in China. The Yellow River winds past the city of Zhongwei with a length of 182  km. Zhongwei is on the southern edge of Tengger Desert ( Tenggeli Desert), one of the four largest deserts in China. The unique landscape attracts a consistent flow of visitors each year. The best season to visit Zhongwei falls on May Through early October.

How to visit Zhongwei in one day? The over 1000 yellow-colored taxis are the main transport for travelers inside or outside the city of Zhongwei. You may hire a taxi for about RMB 130 to transfer between the major attractions in Zhongwei for your day trip.

Follow me to have a day trip to Zhongqwwei. First drive 30 km to reach Tonghu Grassland (通湖草原), 30 km northwest of Zhongwei city proper. Tonghu Grassland is actually under the administration of Inner Mongolia. But this grassland is often incorporated into the tourist zone in Zhongwei and Tonghu Grassland is managed by the people from Zhongwei.

On the way from Zhongwei downtown to Tonghu Grassland, you will drive past a large natural salt lake.  Jump off your car and enter the massive salt lake glistering under the sunshine, experiencing the natural treasure.

The salt lake glistering     under the sunshine.

The salt lake glistering under the sunshine.

Tonghu Grassland is located in the heart of Tengger Desert, a great charm of desert, lake and grassland unparalled by other grasslands which may be either much larger or beautiful than Tonghu Grassland. Tonghu Grassland is an AAAA scenic area rated by National Tourism Bureau with good facilities and safety measures. Horse riding,  camel riding, sand sliding are the main activities done by the visitors. Tonghu Grassland also offers Mongolian yurts for overnight to experience the Mongolian life.

Tonghu Grassland with Tonghu Lake and a backdrop of Tengger Desert. Entrance fee: RMB 60

Tonghu Grassland

Tonghu Grassland

Horse riding along a set horse riding route costs RMB 60

Camel riding on a fixed travel route costs RMB 60 per person

Camel Riding

Camel Riding

Staying overnight at a yurt is an interesting experience to feel the Mongolian life.

Mongolian Yurt

Mongolian Yurt

After visiting  Tonghu Grassland, continue to drive about 20km to get to Shapotou, a desert playground ( entrance fee: RMB 100), a unique combined view of sand dune, Yellow River and lush farm fields. Shanpotou is located on the south edge of Tengger Desert and north of Yellow River. The “S” Yellow River” is a fascinating scene, sought after by tourists and  photographers.

Shaputou

Shaputou

It seems Shaputou has been turned into an amusement park. In tourist high season, the park is packed with holiday makers engaged in various activities such as Hangglide (RMB100), zipline (RMB80), sand sliding (RMB30) and even bungee jump (RMB160). If you are not interested in the amusement park like activities, you may turn to  a travel agency which organizes more challenging camel trek across Tengger Desert, Yellow River trek, drifting on Yellow River with a leather raft and so on to experience the massive desert and Yellow River.

Now return to the city proper of Zhongwei and visit the magnificent Gao Temple built in Ming Dynasty with a long history of over 600 years. Entrance fee: RMB 30. It used to a temple comprising three religions – Buddhism, Taoism and Confucius. Now Gao Temple has more Buddhist elements than those attached to Confucius and Taoism.  The appeal of Gao Temple lies at its architecture – ornate stone and wood carving, and decorated elegant structures.  Gao Temple is located between Zhongwei Railway Station (RMB30)

The entrance to Gao Temple

The entrance to Gao Temple

The delicate and ornate wood and stone buildings inside the temple are worth your half or one hour exploration.
The main building of Gao Temple.

Gao Temple's main building

Gao Temple’s main building

The delicate and ornate architectures inside the temple,  always arouse a great interest.

Delicate Building

Delicate Building

The Drum Tower in Gao Temple

the drum tower

the drum tower

Zhongwei is a neat and laid back city. Compact, Zhongwei is a walkable city with Drum Tower at the center of Zhongwei.

Walk along East Gulou Tower  and turn right at the first cross,  you will find a huge Mao Zedong Statue which is in front of Zhongwei Railway Station.

Mao Zedong's Statue

Mao Zedong’s Statue

Opposite to the street with the huge Mao Zedong’s statue is an street rife with vendors and stalls.

Vendors and stalls

Vendors and stalls

Any questions, just drop a  line.

Best Places to See Autumn Leaves in Ningxia

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
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Plan your Ningxia Tour? Ningxia is a provincial region officially known as Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, one of the five minority autonomous regions in China. Hui people make up one third of the total population in Ningxia.

With Yinchuan as its capital city, Ningxia is situated on the northwest Loess highland with the Yellow River running though its dry land. Ningxia’s landscape features desert, loess, and mountainous areas. Once home to the Western Xia Dynasty, Ningxia still remains a mysterious place to many visitors.

Autumn, or October in particular is the best season to see its mesmerizing landscape blanketed by the colorful autumn leaves. If you are looking for the best places to see the fall foliage in Ningxia, we are going to reveal the top areas for the leaf peeping in Ningxia.

1. Autumn View at Shui Dong Gou Scenic Area ( Shuidonggou Valley)宁夏水洞沟景区秋色
Shui Dong Gou (Shui Dong Guo Valley)  is located about 40 km southeast of Yinchuan, the capital city of Ningxia. Shui Dong Gou is within Shui Dong Gou Village, Linhe Township, Lingwu City (宁夏灵武市临河镇水洞沟村).

Actually Shui Dong Gou Scenic Area is an archaeological site with an entrance fee RMB 130 ( a through ticket ).  The area is divided into two parts – a museum that houses the Palaeolithic-era relics that was first discovered in 1923; the second part is to visit the Ming-era Great Wall. To get to the Wall, you may need to walk 8 km,  or have a camel ride, or take a boat or golf cart for an easy travel.

The site has a 3-km long valley of reeds that dance with the wind. Walking along the wooden board pathways flanked by the yellow dancing reeds, people would feel relaxed and soul-recharging. The landscape features singing birds, yellow reeds, green water,  the ancient Great Wall, a wonderful autumn view!

Daily five buses going from Yinchuan Bus Station to Shui Dong Gou starting at 8:20am. If you miss the bus returning to Yinchuan,you may flag down any passing buses going to Yinchuan.

Reed Valley at Shui Dong Gou

Reed Valley at Shui Dong Gou

2.  Autumn Scene in the Western Xia Imperial Tombs 宁夏西夏皇陵深秋
The Western Xia Tombs are located at the foot of the Helan Mountain with an area of 50 square kilometers including nine imperial mausoleums and 250 tombs of imperial relatives and officials. They are dubbed the “Pyramids of China” by locals, about 40 km west of Yinchuan City.

Compared to the wooden and stone structures of the Ming and Qing imperial tombs, the Western Xia Tombs were made from earth and brick. Effected by the Buddhist architecture, the style of these tombs are the combine of Han culture, Buddhist culture and Dangxiang culture.

The main tombs have four corner towers, and an array of watchtowers, pavilions housing stone tablets, a sacrificial hall and a coffin platform, although most of these buildings are well beyond recognizable. Unfortunately, during the war against the ancient Mongolian army from 1220 to 1227, the imperiall tombs were damaged. What presents today is the piles of relics.

Walking along the wide path leading to the tombs area in autumn with the sun setting, you feel the mysterious history and the mesmerizing view.

Ticket Price: RMB60
How to get there: there are sightseeing buses in North Gate Bus Station, South Gate Bus Station and Nanguan Mosque to Western Xia Tomb.

Autumn Leaves at the Western Xia Imperial Tombs

Autumn Leaves at the Western Xia Imperial Tombs

 

3. Autumn Colors at Shahu Lake 宁夏沙湖秋景
Located on the Qianjin Farm, 56 kilometers northeast of Yinchuan, Shahu Lake is a little oasis set amid the sand dunes. Surrounding by 895 hectares of water surface, 1,837 hectares of marshes, 1,515 hectares of deserts and semi-drifting sand dunes, the Shahu Lake is a rare natural ecological phenomenon in desert-infested north China.

The clumpy reed marshes in Shahu Lake are home to tens of thousands of birds, such as white crane, black crane, swan and so on. Every spring, colorful bird eggs dote in the marshes, which is a real natural marvelous spectacle.

The park itself is a 22sq km collection of sand dunes, divided into zones offering all sorts of sand based activities. Shahu Lake offers such tourist services as sightseeing, cruise in the maze of reed marshes, boating, angling, and visits to an aquarium, a water-bound village, a Hui folklore park, a Western Xia villa and Mongolian yurts.

When autumn comes, the reeds turn yellow, dancing with the wind. People cruise on the lake with the autumn colors, a soul-recharging experience.

Ticket Price: RMB60
Opening Time: 08:00-18:00
Address: Xidatan, Pingluo County, Yinchuan

Autumn View at Shahu Lake

Autumn View at Shahu Lake

3. Autumn Leaves at Suyukou National Forest Park 苏峪口森林公园秋景
Suyukou National Forest Park is within the Helanshan National Reserve, about 50 km northwest of Yinchuan with an area of 9300 hectares, 70% vegetation coverage. It is home to more than 800 species of plants and animals, a famous eco-tourism site in Ningxia.

Surrounded by the massive mountains and covered by dense forests, the park features magnificent natural landscape – boundless forests of spruces, Chinese pine trees and needle junipers; precious bushes of wild cherries, lilac and Mongolian almond trees. When autumn comes, the park is a palette of colors.

Autumn Colors at Suyukou National Forest Park

Autumn Colors at Suyukou National Forest Park

4  Fall Foliage at Liupanshan Mountains ( Mount Liupan ) 六盘山秋景
Broadly speaking, Liupan Mountains extend southward from Ningxia across the eastern part of Gansu province and into western Shaanxi province. Narrowly speaking,  Mount Liupan refers to the second high peak in Guyuan, in the south of Ningxia. The mountain boasts a varied landscape of plants and animals. There are more than 150 kinds of plants of high economic value.

Mount Liupan stretches almost in an east-west direction with its mountain range at the altitude of over 2500 m. With ragged mountain paths (switchback roads), people have to experience 6 circling roads to reach the summit, hence the name of “Liupan”.
When autumn comes, Mount Liupan is a wonderland of autumn leaves.

Autumn Colors at LiupanMountains

Autumn Colors at Liupan Mountains

 

5 The Golden Banks of Yellow River ( Huang He)宁夏“黄河金岸”秋色
Autumn is a harvest time as well as a sea of colors. This is true when you walk or drive along the banks of Yellow River starting from Yinchuan to Wuling County in the south.

The long and massive banks of Yellow River are flanked with golden paddy rices, a stunning view to  please your eyes. This is the fruitful result of the great effort made by the local government to “Construct Yellow River Belt and Create the Golden Yellow River Banks”.

The Goden banks along Yellow River in Ningxia

The Goden banks along Yellow River in Ningxia

6. The Picturesque Wating Village 瓦亭村秋色如画
Wating Village is located in Dawan Township, Jingyuan County, Guyuan City in the south of Ningxia (宁夏固原市泾源县大湾乡瓦亭村). Wating Village is an ancient village which was the former site of the well-known pass – Xiaoguan Pass, one of the four famous passes in the ancient Guyuan. It was once an important pass defending against the northern nomads as well as an essential passage in the northern China.

Today there still exists an ancient city, resembling a  shape of Pipa ( a four-stringed Chinese musical instrument), hence the name of Pipa City”. Overlooking the ancient city from its northern mountain summit, the city looks like a Pipa quietly lying in the mountains.

Fall Foliage at Wating Village in Guyuan in the south of Ningxia

Fall Foliage at Wating Village in Guyuan in the south of Ningxia