Inner Mongolia, officially the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region or Nei Mongol Autonomous Region, is one of the autonomous regions of China, located in the north of the country. Its border includes most of the length of China's border with Mongolia, and a small section of China's border with Russia. Its capital is Hohhot; other major cities include Baotou, Chifeng, and Ordos.
4.5 based on 112 reviews
Vast grassland on gentle rolling hillocks stretching as far as eyes can see, pristine rivers snaking through virgin coniferous forest, unparalleled starry night sky, this trip had it all. We were a group of friends (6), and went around the northern region of Hulunbuir for 7 days. We hired a driver who doubled as the guide. We went during mid-June, the temperature was around 16-30 degrees, which was quite bearable. Unfortunately the flowers were not in full bloom, we were told that the flowers will cover entire hill slopes later in the season. Although the mosquitoes were still not in full force, all of us still got bitten. Our journey brought us to within 2 stone throws away from Russia (I tried, stone did not make it across the border river), and also the Mo'erdaoga, where the guide treated us to his personal stash of alcohol (Mo Mao). We also tried horse-riding and visited an elk farm.
The guide was very friendly and knowledgeable about the entire tour area. We were eating at similar price to locals thanks to him, and our accommodation every night is very affordable. A special mention to the lamb in Hulunbuir, where there is absolutely no foul smell that some people disliked. It was a fantastic experience and one can adjust the comfort level according to your own budget.
4 based on 138 reviews
This is a good place to see dinosaur bones and fossils from the area. There are some good exhibits on the human history from the PRC perspective. Not everything has English captions but certainly enough to get a good sense of what you are seeing. Take your passport to get free entry. If you spend ant time in Hohhot you should visit the museum.
4.5 based on 67 reviews
The National Park is absolutely beautiful in summer. The view of the open grassland, the Mysterious Heavenly Lake, the ponds and the Halaha river are just breathtaking. The park is about 2-3 hours drive from the town of Aershan. The drive is quite bumpy...but upon reaching the location it is all worth it. Entrance to the park is 180yuan. Facilities such as toilets and restaurants are available around.
4 based on 67 reviews
we were here on a rainy day. not much english info had been provided at the info and ticket counter. communication was difficult. we had been told that we had to walk on and off in the rain to get to the actual mausoleum and the museum. we decided to wait and kill the time by driving around the area to see the sculptures and beautiful landscape. the mausoleum is surrounded by the scenic prairie and ethnic mongolian reserve where there are tourist activities like horse riding and visiting locals who lived in the yurt. of course, we could only look through the rain. after a few hours, the rain didn't seem to stop. we decided to return to the hotel. what a pity.
5 based on 28 reviews
The Badain Jaran Desert was fantastic. Definitely do it if you get the chance!
You can't go into the desert without going through the Zhufeng Travel Agency based in the Jinge Hotel. They seem to have a monopoly on the whole thing, unfortunately. They offer two different packages for riding in the desert: a 3,000 RMB "traditional" package (up from 2,000 RMB in early 2014) and the newly released 2,400 RMB "western route" package. The former takes you through the main gates of the desert, where you pay an additional 220 RMB/pax for an entry ticket. Then you do a big loop through the desert, where you pass various oases, a Mongolian temple, and the highest *stationary* sand dune in the world. The western route is cheaper because you don't go in through the main gate but rather through a break in the fence on the western side of the desert, thus avoiding the entry ticket. You also don't do the complete circuit, but rather ride around the western half of the desert, missing the temple and the highest dune, but still seeing all the oases and staying at the same accommodation.
I was on the fence about which package to go with, but eventually chose the western route because it wasn't worth paying over $100 USD more just to see some temple and the "highest dune". I was glad we made this decision. The pro of the western route is that it's more adventurous. For half of the drive into the desert, the driver literally made up the path on his own, watching the sun to gauge direction and driving over bare sand dunes. It was wild. He eventually joined up with a set jeep path that had been previously blazed, but if you're going on the traditional route you're on a set path the entire time.
Jeeps can hold up to four people, so remember to ask the agency if other travelers are looking to share a ride. The agency will charge a 100 RMB fee per party if they match you with other travelers, but it's a big money-saver overall.
ACTIVITIES & ACCOMMODATIONS
The drive into the desert takes about 4-5 hours depending on how often you stop to take pictures. You pass about three different oases in the Western route before reaching the place you'll sleep. We really enjoyed the accommodations in the Mongolian yurts, as it felt very rustic. A Mongolian man runs the small camp and his camels wear pants (!) to protect from mosquitoes. It's a quiet, peaceful place, right next to a salty oasis.
We spent the afternoon exploring the grounds and swimming in the oasis, which was a highlight for me. Because the water is naturally salty, there's a high degree of buoyancy, sort of like the Dead Sea but on a smaller scale. You just have to make sure and not get the water in your eyes and mouth. We floated around for a while, then washed off and slept for the hottest part of the afternoon. At night, we ate a tasty dinner that included camel meat, camel yoghurt, greens and milk tea. Then we played cards in the evening before bed. The next morning, we drove back to the hotel and arrived in time for the 3:30pm bus to Zhangye.
- If you're at all prone to carsickness, bring some type of Dramamine. You can buy a Chinese version for 2 RMB at the pharmacies in Alxa Youqi.
- Sunscreen. The desert sun will burn you like a shrimp.
- Insect repellant. We didn't run into any mosquitoes, but the experienced driver was so wary, he left to sleep in his jeep up on a dune, far from the oasis mosquitoes.
- Water, and lots of it. Recommend 2 liters per person.
Most folks either take the 3 hour bus up from Zhangye, or take the 8 hour bus over from Alashan Zuoqi. Note that as of February 2014, there's an airport in Alashan Youqi with daily flights to Zuoqi! We learned about this only after arriving at Youqi, otherwise I would have flown over and saved a ton of time.
4.5 based on 32 reviews
4 based on 45 reviews
yes the gentleman who described this attraction as amazing is spot on ........ they have an incredible array of important and not so important people represented .... beautifully done ........and the dolls are cheap as ... to buy in the city.
4.5 based on 21 reviews
The wonderful grasslands around Xilinhot and the Xilinguole Grassland Nature Reseve remind me so much of my home country, South Africa. Blue sky, fresh air and the feeling of being in nature makes a visit to the reserve really worthwhile.Visiting it with my Mongolian friend, Nars made it even better because he could explain to me the history and a lot about the Mongolian culture. The best time to visit the grasslands is from May-September, the weather is great and you will have a wonderful time. You can also stay overnight in a traditional Mongolian yurt, enjoy Mongolian music, food and horse milk wine!
4 based on 35 reviews
This was the Disneyland of Deserts. You ride a cable car into the sand dune desert area and then take a ride on a "ship" to enter the attraction area where you can ride camels, take a zipline, ride in ATV's, ride a bike around a track, play golf, play volleyball and soccer, etc. Once you've finished there and returned via "ship" to the first area you can slide down the dune, which was fun, and then take a final cable car back to the entrance/parking area.
It was fairly busy, even on a Monday, and our guide informed us it is even busier on the weekends with long lines to do things.
We were hoping for a more "authentic" desert experience and definitely had to temper our expectations when this was what we arrived at, but if you can just enjoy what there is to do, you will probably have a good time.
Definitely bring water, sunscreen, and a hat as there is some shade, but a lot of walking outside between the different activities.
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