Inner Mongolia is China’s third largest region by area. It forms an arid buffer zone between the rest of China and Mongolia / Russia to the north. The Gobi desert is at its heart; to the East it is bounded by the Heilongjiang (Amur) River to the south-east by the Great Wall. The desert sands in the South and West are hot in summer but bitterly cold in winter with snow. Most of the inhabited areas are in the narrow valley of the Yellow River (Huang He) as it loops its way north and then south. Mongol people form the dominant ethnic group and follow the Lamaist Buddhist religion. The Mongolian language is widely spoken and it is frequently seen written on signage for roads and shops.
Average temperature: -23ºC to -10ºC (-9.4ºF to 142ºF) in January, 17ºC to 26ºC (62.6ºF to 78.8ºF) in July.
Places to visit
1. Hohhot or in better Mandarin Chinese Huhehaote is the capital of Inner Mongolia; it is a city 400 years old with many Buddhist temples. Sights to see include the Inner Mongolia Museum; Xilitu Zhao Temple; Wutasi (five pagodas); Wang Zhaojun Tomb and the Great Mosque (reflecting the large Hui/Muslim population).
2. Baotou the largest city, is close by the Yellow River and has industry based around coal and steel. Wudangzhao Monastery near Baotou is one of the four largest Tibetan Buddhist temples in China. It consists of six halls for chanting Buddhist scriptures, three Living Buddha mansions, one mausoleum and multiple lama dormitories. The monastery looks solemn and grand.
3. The Genghis Khan Mausoleum is located in Ordos It was built by the Chinese government from 1954 to 1956. Featuring the traditional Mongolian style, the mausoleum is not the real burial place of the Khan because his burial site remains a mystery. It is just a cenotaph, where the coffin contains no body; there are only headdresses and accessories as decorations.
4. The Hulun Buir grasslands have been ranked as one of the three best grasslands in the world. The grasslands get their name from the Hulun and Buir It is one of the world’s best preserved grasslands, boasting more than 120 types of pastures. Although every season shows us the different beauty of the grasslands, the landscape from May to August is the most gorgeous as it is dotted with colorful flowers, birds, and cattle and sheep scattered among the grasses. Besides, you can enjoy various kinds of activities, including horseback and camelback riding, and watch the local horse racing and Mongolian wrestling.
5. Xiangshawan, also known as the Resonant Sand Gorge, gets its name from an echoing sound you hear when you step on the sands. It is located in the middle part of Dalad Banner near Ordos City. Here, you can enjoy the sand dunes and participate in various kinds of activities like sand surfing and camel riding. It is close to the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan and Zhaojun’s Tomb.
6. Located in Yuquan District of Hohhot, Dazhao Temple, also known as Hongci Temple and Wuliang Temple, was built in the 7th year of the Ming Dynasty (1579). It features a rare silver statue of Sakyamuni that measures 2.5 meters high. It is now a well-known attraction for its impressive buildings, splendid statues, delicate frescoes and fine collection of Buddhist scriptures, providing precious information for studying the society, economy and culture of ancient Inner Mongolia.
7. Located in Hexigten Banner, Hexigten Global Geopark covers an area of 5,000 square kilometers, featuring 10 types of geological and morphological landscapes, including glacier landforms, granite landforms, volcanic landforms, grasslands, lakes, rivers, and wetlands. Besides, among the various kinds of grasslands in Inner Mongolia. When the spring comes, the blooming flowers make for charming views.
8. The Naadam Festival is a large Mongolian gathering with sports and other activities each year. It is held in July or August at various locations and attracts large crowds.