3 Day Tour to Inner Mongolia Grasslands and Desert

Highlights:

  • Experience the life of a native Mongolian by camping out at a traditional grassland village. At the campsite you’ll experience traditional Mongolian sports and entertainment, while spending the night in a Mongolian hut (also known as a “ger”)
  • Venture out to the exotic Mongolian desert, and there you’ll get t0 encounter camels while also taking in the almost dream-like quality of your surroundings
  • During this trip you’ll have your own travel-guide, who is a native of the area. This will ensure that your trip is a safe, informative, and enjoyable, experience

(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1 Beijing-Hohhot (by train)

From Beijing you will take a train to Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, and upon arrival you will be met by your English-speaking travel guide. As the capital of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Hohhot, which means Green City in Mongolian, is the political, economic and cultural center of the region. It lies in the middle of the southern part of the Tumote Plain, facing the Yellow River in the south and backed by the rolling Yinshan Mountains in the north.
With distinctive ethnic features, Hohhot is a city rich in famous and interesting historical sites.

After your arrival in Hohhot you will be taken to your hotel, and for the evening you will be staying at the Queli Hotel.

Day 2 Hohhot-Inner Mongolia Grassland at Xilamuren (B, L, D)

Following breakfast we’ll pay a visit to the Dazhao Lamasery, otherwise known as the Lama Temple. During the period of Emperor Longqing in Ming Dynasty from 1567 to 1572, Aletanhan, a lead of Tumote Mongolia, was conferred as the Shunyi Emperor of the Mongolian. Owing to the special honor, he decided to enlarge Guihua, the old city of Hohhot and Hongci Temple, an old Buddhist temple. Because the statue of Sakyamuni in the temple was made of silver entirely, so the Hongci Temple is also called the Silver Buddha Temple. In the center of the main hall, the sliver statue of Sakyamuni, which stands 2.55 meters high, is worshipped. Before the statue there are a couple of gold wooden huge pillars, each engraved with a dragon. In front of the hall there are a couple of hollow stone powerful lions cast in 1627. Besides, there are other buildings in the temple, like passing hall, east and west side halls, the nine-room building and so on. Just in front of the temple, there is a well whose water tastes cool and fresh, and it wins the reputation as the best spring in the region.

After our visit to the lamasery we’ll make the 1.5 hr drive to the Xilamuren grassland. Xilamuren, which means "yellow water" in Mongolian, is also known as Zhaohe. Xilamuren Grassland is the nearest grassland camp to Hohhot and the earliest one in Inner Mongolia. The grassland has rolling hills and lush green grass. On the riverside of Xilamuren lies a Lama temple which was built in 1769 in the Qing Dynasty. This Lama temple had been used as a temporary abode for the Six Living Buddha in the Xilizhao Temple to spend summers. The main hall, gateway and the east and west wing-rooms remain intact up to now.

During the Nadam Fair held in each summer, the whole grassland is throbbing with excitement and full of activities. Tourists can experience a great many activities, such as living in a yurt, a campfire party, singing and dancing, watching camel racing, horse racing, and wrestling. You can even take part in some of the competitions you are interested in; perhaps a big surprise is waiting for you!

During your time at Xilamuren you will engage in some traditional Mongolian activities and past times, including archery, Mongolian-style-wrestling, horse riding, and traditional arts and crafts. In the evening you’ll be treated to a performance of Mongolian dancing, and for the night you’ll be sleeping in a traditional Mongolian tent, otherwise known as a “ger”.

Day 3 Xilamuren Grassland-Xiangshawan Desert-departure (B, L, D)

After watching the sunrise over the grassland, we’ll make our way to the Mongolian desert area of Xiangshawan. The area is marked by its amazing desert landscape and the whispering sand dunes. Besides, there are also the sand lake and the oasis, etc. The sand dunes stretch as far as the eye can see and form a magnificent landscape. Recently, scholars proposed scientific principles to explore its cause of formation. However, no substantial progress was achieved.

At Xiangshawan you’ll get to try your hand at camel riding, while also admiring the magnificent desert view. In the late afternoon you’ll be taken to the train station, where you will ride a sleeper train back to Beijing, ending your time in Inner Mongolia.