The province of Inner Mongolia occupies over 10% of China’s land area but with a population of only 25 million, just slightly more than Shanghai, it is one of the least populated areas of China. Bordering both Mongolia and Russia, the wide open spaces are what attract visitors to its shores.
Founded in 1558, Hohhot is the capital of Inner Mongolia and has a population of just over 1 million people. The city is the main entry point for tourists wanting to explore the surrounding countryside, the grasslands. Hohhot is also popular in July/August as it hosts the Mongolian Naadam Festival.
Built over 250 years ago, the Wuta Pagoda is a five storey pagoda which houses a Mongolian star chart. It bears the hallmarks of an Indian-influenced architect.
Da Zhao Lamasery
Da Zhao is the largest lamasery in Holhot still in use as a temple today. Visitors can watch monks practicing their praying and chanting in the main prayer hall.
Built in the Qing Dynasty, the Great Mosque is a place to explore the influence of the Muslim culture in Holhot.
Museum of Inner Mongolia
The Museum of Inner Mongolia houses a good collection of Mongolian traditional costumes, archery equipment and horse attire, as well as documenting Inner Mongolia’s other ethnic minorities.
Wusuto Zhao is a Buddhist monastery in Holhot. Built in 1606 the predominantly Mongolian styled architecture includes some Chinese and Tibetan features. Inside the monastery there are Ming dynasty murals on display as well as intricate woodcarvings with imperial dragon motifs.
Bai Ta (White Pagoda)
20kms to the east of Holhot, Bai Ta is a seven storey white pagoda that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside from its peak.
The Mongolian Grasslands are the most popular attraction for tourists in Inner Mongolia. The wide open spaces, the yurts (camps), the horseback riding and the traditional Mongolian cultures all combine to make this an unique experience.
Xialmuren – Gegentala – Huitengxile
These three areas, all situated within 2-3 hours drive of Holhot, are the most popular areas for the grasslands tours.
Located 200kms west of Holhot and with a population of over 2 million people, Baotou is the largest city in Inner Mongolia. It is mainly used by tourists as a transit point.
In its heyday, Wudang Lamasery used to house over a thousand Tibetan Buddhist monks. Located 70kms from Baotou, its main attraction today are the detailed Qing murals hanging in the main prayer hall.
Resonant Sand Gorge
Resonant Sand Gorge is a small part of the desert within the grasslands area. With sand dunes over 100m high, the gorge’s attractions include hiking, camel rides and dune boarding.
The most popular attraction in Donsheng, a town of 100,000 people, is its proximity to Genghis Khan’s Mausoleum.
Ghengis Khan Mausoleum
Reputed to be the final resting place of Genghis Khan, this mausoleum also houses an array of artifacts. It is considered to be a sacred place for Mongolians.
Manzhouli is located in the North-East part of Inner Mongolia Province and is a border town between China and Russia. Manzhouli is renowned for its markets, which attract Russians from across the border.
Dalai Hu (Dalai Lake)
Located nearly 40kms from Manzhouli, Dalai Lake is one of the largest lakes in China and is very popular amongst local fisherman.