8 Things To Experience In Inner Mongolia
- On April 12, 2017
- By Shannon Ullman
- In General
When most people think of visiting China, they think about the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, and the Terracotta Warriors. People don’t typically think of Inner Mongolia as a travel destination in China. People might not even be aware that Inner Mongolia is part of China and not actually considered Mongolia! Whether you knew it or not, Inner Mongolia is certainly worth a visit. With a distinctly different culture and landscape than mainland China, Inner Mongolia is a must see! If you think you will make the visit, here are eight things that you have to experience.
A Home Stay
What better way to learn about the local culture than staying with actual locals? Doing a homestay is a popular way to experience the local life while visiting China. Guests can stay in a yurt, out in the desert while helping their hosts cook traditional meals. Sometimes there will be children to play with and depending on your host; there could be music and stories as well. Staying in a yurt certainly, makes for a better story than lounging in a hotel all day.
The Hulunbuir Grasslands
Both the birthplace of Genghis Khan and the best-preserved prairie in the country, these grasslands should be on the top of your list. Charming is the best way to describe it as this huge stretch of land is full of traditional yurt homes, herds of animals, a lake full of fish and tons of wildflowers. It’s a great destination for horseback riding as well as campfire parties.
Resonant Sand Gorge
Image source John Howie
This huge sand slope is about 400 meters wide, with smooth sand that is almost pristine. Tons of tourists visit this area as there are so many activities to be had. Go horseback riding, sand sliding, camel riding, trekking, or attend a campfire party late into the evening. There is also a desert ‘lake’ that Mongolians tend to visit according to custom.
Genghis Khan Mausoleum
This gorgeous palace is definitely a place you want to visit if you’re interested in history. In fact, this site is considered sacred by the locals as Khan is viewed as a hero by the local people. He is most well known for leading his people to be members of a strong society and for making large contributions and efforts towards the founding of the Yuan Dynasty. This mausoleum was built in 1954 and while it doesn’t hold his body, (no one knows where his body was buried) it holds clothing that was buried in his memory.
Image source China Motor Rider
This Lama Monastery is the largest and the best kept in the province. It’s quite impressive and self-sufficient as it has its own jail, armory, court, and is allowed the rights to politics and religion. It was built in true Tibetan style, featuring three Buddha living residences, six halls, and a funeral hall. The monastery is also full of murals, collections of historical and cultural artifacts and more than 1,000 Buddhist statues.
The town itself is small, but it packs a punch when it comes to culture. Civilization here is a mix of Chinese, Russian, and Mongolian, so the culture is quite unique. It gets a whole lot of action too as it’s China’s largest land port and sees plenty of goods crossing between China and Russia. Just walking through the streets yields plenty of Russian architecture, restaurants, decorations and entertainment. It’s truly a melting pot and one of the most culturally diverse places you will come across while traveling in China.
Nature lovers are going to get pretty excited over this stunning landscape. Aside from the mountain range around it, there are mineral springs, thick forest, volcanic lakes, and grassland. The mountain itself is considered a national park that is home to 12 ethnic groups. Most visitors take the hour hike up the mountain until reaching the Heavenly Lake. The views below and at eye level are all equally gorgeous. And, an added perk for those who love a good soak are the 48 natural hot springs that are surrounded by natural scenery. You can’t get much more relaxed than that.
Located in the capital of Inner Mongolia, this temple was built during the Ming Dynasty in 1579. One of its most famous aspects is the silver statue of Sakyamuni which is over 2 meters high. With dainty architectural features and a whole collection of Buddhist scriptures, this temple is a great asset to the cultural collection of Inner Mongolia.
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