Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on China’s northern border is a long, narrow strip of land sloping from northeast to southwest.Hohhot is the capital of Inner Mongolia. The vast grasslands have always been symbolic of Inner Mongolia. Mongolian art often depicts the grassland, emphasizing the nomadic traditions of the Mongol people. Inner Mongolia is home to the mausoleum of Genghis Khan, the Zhaojun Tomb, part of the ancient Great Wall, Wudang Monastery at the bottom of the Yinshan Mountains.For a traveler to Inner Mongolia, below is a list of the top things to do.
Xilamuren Grassland is one of the must-see attractions in Inner Mongolia. In Mongolian language, Xilamuren means “yellow water”, and some people would like to call it “Zhao River”. This grassland is about 90km away from Hohhot in the north.Xilamuren Grassland is a typical highland pasture. In summer and autumn, there will be green grasses and flowers everywhere. In recent years, because of investigations and constructions of the local government, Xilamuren Grassland has become a famous grassland scenic area of Inner Mongolia with quite perfect hospitality facilities.
In Xilamuren Grassland, the Naadam will be held every year. In this festival, the three sports of wrestling, horse racing and archery are the three skills of Mongolian men. Here, visitors can watch the superb performances of the agile and brave prairie people as well as to take part in the activities to show their charm.
In Xilamuren Grassland, travelers can appreciate the beautiful sceneries of the prairie, feel the heroic mood of prairie nomads, participate in the grand ceremony of Ovoo Worshipping, enjoy the typical delicacies of prairie nomads, and taste the unique and robust culture of Mongols. Here, the enchanting ovoos, the Great Wall of Qin and Han dynasties, and the fascinating prairie sunrises and sunsets are all lifelong unforgettable.
This place has a large temperature difference between day and night. In midsummer night, it’s cool like in autumn. On this vast grassland, the magnificent Puhui Temple, the intelligence gathering of people from different banners, is a summer palace exclusive to the Living Buddha. The Xilamuren River flows by this temple, adding some dynamic beauty to it. Lying quietly on the grassland by the beautiful Xilamuren River and listening to the chanting, the sound from the heaven, you’ll find the way to deal with your troubles in work and calm your irritable mood.
Crossing the Xilamuren River behind the Puhui Temple, then you’ll reach to the Alebin Ovoo Hill to overlook the vast grassland. Here, there are 62 Mongolian gers, 30 among which are modern star-standard accommodations for visitors. Besides, there’s also unique ethnic food for you to have a taste. After appreciating the ancient buildings, you can also to the boundless grassland to enjoy the natural beauty.
Resonant Sand Gorge means “the desert with horns” in the Mongolian language. Located the east side of Kubuqi Desert, this site is in a crescent shape with gold color. Resonant Sand Gorge is featured by its amazing desert landscape and the whispering sand dunes. In the conditions of the dry climate, people will hear sounds like a bugle and drumbeat in the sand if they surf along the slopes of the dunes.
Resonant Sand Gorge is to the south of Baotou City. Reaching there, we should pass through the majestic Yellow River Bridge and then enter the Kubuqi Desert as it is a part of Kubuqi Desert. All the year round, as long as in sunny and dry days, the sands would send out buzzing sounds like the roar of the helicopter engine when people slid down from the top of the dune. If people dig the sand with their hands, the sand will also send out “wah-wah” sounds like frog’s croaking. So special and marvelous. In the depths of the forest of the Resonant Sand Gorge, namely the “Desert Oasis”, there’s a reception center equipped with bathrooms and outdoor-lights dance hall.
Backing on the Kubuqi Desert and facing to Hantai River, the Resonant Sand Gorge is a crescent-shape sand dune with a height of 110m, a width of 200m and a slope of 45 degrees. It is a huge sandy echo wall standing on the edge of desert, and a rare and precious natural tourism resource. In 2km to the south of crescent-shape sand dune, there is a water-purifying lake. This lake is a small-area sand pool. As its water never dries up, it’s a rare desert spring. In about 3km to the west of this lake, there is a highland dominating the desert. With an altitude of 1486m, it houses the famous Kubuqi Yinken Ovoo. The mysterious phenomenon of sand singing attracts domestic and foreign tourist to come in a continuous stream. The singing of sands is like the soughing of wind in the pines in spring, chirps or croaks in summer, neighs or monkey crows in autumn, or thunder splitting the air in winter. While, about reasons of the sand singing, opinions are widely divided. People advance theories like sifting and smoothly grinding, friction static, geographical environment, resonance box and so on. However, there is no unanimous conclusion yet. People are still exploring the secrets of sand singing.
In recent years, Resonant Sand Gorge Scenic Area has developed tourism activities like desert camel tour, desert paragliding, sandboarding, and local ethnic dances & songs, etc.
Resonant Sand Gorge Scenic Area is 260km to the airport and railway station of Hohhot City from expressway, 45km to the airport and railway station of Baotou City from expressway, about 3km to Baotou-Dongsheng Expressway, and 1km to Resonant Sand Gorge Railway Station. The route Beijing-Hohhot-Baotou-Resonant Sand Gorge-Dongsheng District of Erdos City has good road conditions as it’s a freeway.
Genghis Khan Mausoleum
Genghis Khan MausoleumThe Genghis Khan Mausoleum was built in the year 1954 and is a major attraction in Inner Mongolia.Although there have been several disputes over the authenticity of this monument, it still attracts thousands of people each month and is now considered to be a holy location.
Genghis Khan is a Mongolian hero. He reunified the chaotic Inner Mongolia prairie and led his people to be a great civilization and made great contributions to the founding of the powerful Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and the unification of China which enhanced greatly the interactions of the peoples of China. Due to this great feat, he was named ‘Genghis Khan’ by Mongolian tribes, meaning ‘powerful king’ in Mongolian. Today, Genghis Khan is still worshipped and remembered by his people.
Most people, however, believe that this mausoleum is not where he was really buried but is rather a gathering place for Mongolians to offer sacrifice. Whether this is true or not, the mausoleum remains a sacred place with great significance for Mongolian people.
The Kubuqi Desert is one of the largest in China. Located south of the famous Gobi desert, it is a paradise of sand and blue sky. Ideal with experiencing a desert in one day, a camel brings us to the dunes, lost in the middle of nowhere.It is the nearest desert to Beijing and the seventh largest desert in China.
This desert has the general magnificent beauty of desert and a little beauty of ethnic minorities of Mongols as it lies on the Erdos Plateau.The rich travel resources including the desert, lakes, grasslands, wetlands and oasis are all can be found in Kubuqi. In addition, over thousand birds including the rare white swans inhabit the area in or around the desert.The splendid scene is just in a shape of bow. And “kubuqi” means “bow” in the Mongolian language. This desert is looked like a golden bow in the earth.
The proposed activities
The entrance to the desert was designed to allow a day of walking without experiencing a great deal of difficulty in the desert. Thus, trucks take visitors to the dunes to take them to the heights of the desert. If you were to conduct the walk by foot, the uphill walk would take a lot of time and may be painful. Once in the desert, camels take you further forward, even in a small place where a mini-zoo was built. The zoo is an opportunity to see and learn about animals in this environment, as it houses live animals in cages and skeletons of desert animals. From there, it is possible to walk from the countless dunes. Everywhere you look it is only sand and blue sky, which makes the pleasure all of the greater. Returning to the desert, some less typical activities are also offered, such as walks in the quarter or archery.
Wudangzhao Monastery70 kilometers (approx. 43 miles) northeast of Baotou, near a valley named Wudang Gou, lies the Wudangzhao Monastery which is a large Tibetan Buddhist monastery. It is the biggest and the best preserved lama monastery in Inner Mongolia’s Autonomous Region. ‘Bada Gele Monastery’ is its Tibetan name, meaning white lotus. ‘Wudangzhao’ in Mongolian means ‘willow’. Willows are prosperous in the valley, thus the name.At its most prosperous time, there were more than 1200 lamas in the temple.The Tibetan style construction of the monastery is similar to the style of Tashilumpo Monastery in Tibet and is attractive. All the palaces, halls and rooms in the monastery are constructed in the traditional Tibetan style. In the monastery, there are many lections in Tibetan language and most precious art treasures such as the figures of Buddha and the murals made of gold, silver, bronze, wood and mud.
The Wudangzhao Monastery is not only the largest lamasery in Inner Mongolia but also the best preserved. This monastery is impressive and majestic. Although its Tibetan architecture is quite unusual for the region, its appearance still favors that of the lamasery in Tibet. In addition, this site offers a beautiful natural setting to enjoy the green valley areas.It is a group of white architectures built on the hills according to the principles of physiognomy. The white monastery stands out against the background of the green trees, making it appear very majestic.
The main buildings in Wudangzhao Monastery are composed of six halls, three living Buddha residences, and a funeral hall where the relics of several living Buddhas are preserved.
The six halls are Suguqin Hall, Dongkuo’er Hall, Queyiri Hall, Dangge Xide Hall, Ahui Hall and Ribenlun Hall. The Suguqin Hall is the uppermost one where all the lamas in the monastery gather to recite the lections. The floor is covered with red carpet, and the walls are covered with the colorful paintings depicting Buddhist stories. Queyiri Hall is situated to the west of Suguqin Hall. The Laughing Buddha is worshipped here. The hall is in fact a department where the Buddhist sutra and the religious philosophy are studied. Dangge Xide Hall is also named Jingang Hall, for several Jingang Buddha statues are worshipped there. Dangqi Xide Hall is the smallest hall in the monastery. In it are several Buddhist statues, among which the most notable one is a Buddha, named Daweide, who has nine heads, 34 arms and 16 feet.
According to statistics, there are some 1,500 Buddhist statues and abundant fine murals which reflect the historical characters, customs, myths and beautiful landscape. All the collections in the Wudangzhao Monastery are precious materials for studying the history and culture of minorities.
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