Around the city

Getting Here

Hohhot has an airport with a growing number of flights.  It’s pretty convenient to travel to many of China’s other large cities.  If there isn’t a direct flight, the are numerous flights a day to Beijing and from there you can connect to just about anywhere.  There is one international flight to Ulanbatar.
I’ve also heard a direct flight to Taiwan has begun (Jan 2014)
Discounted tickets can be found on ctrip, elong and qunar.
There are two train stations in Hohhot with a third one in the works in the coming years.  The rail system can get you to/from pretty much anywhere you want to go in China.
There are also 2 long-distance bus stations. Buses go to a few relatively close large cities outside Inner Mongolia, but you can travel by bus to almost anywhere within the province.  A recent change (Nov 2012) is that you must present the passport numbers for every individual buying a bus ticket.  This means one friend can’t go to buy all the tickets unless he/she also takes the passports numbers for the whole group.
Airport transportation
Taxis are available from the airport and a somewhat recent change is that they no longer overcharge. They now have to use their meter. There is also an airport bus. Tickets are 10 RMB. It goes to the city square, but makes stops along XIn Hua as passengers request.

Getting Around Once You Arrive

There are 5 main options for getting around the city once you’re here:  taxi, bus, private car, bicycle/electric bike, and your feet!
The traffic in Hohhot is TERRIBLE.  Be prepared for it to take longer that you anticipated to get anywhere.
Taxis start at 8 RMB but it is often difficult to find one.  This is especially true when the weather is bad and they are in higher demand.  Often taxis who are already carrying a passenger will stop and ask where you are going and will pick you up also if it’s in the same direction.  In the case that you share a taxi generally both parties pay the full fare (no discount for riding together).  Be advised that very few taxi drivers speak English.
Buses are 1 RMB except for a few buses that are free as part of a new “green” initiative.  They are crowded especially at peak hours.  Because the buses often get held up at the same intersection, they often end up all together.  (Meaning 3 of the same number arrive at the same time and then not again for half an hour or so instead of coming 10-15 minutes apart).
Xin Hua at peak driving time

Xin Hua at peak driving time

The number of citizens who own private cars is increasing rapidly.  Some private cars will pull over and take you to your destination as a taxi would.  They will charge more than a registered taxi (probably about 20 RMB).
Traffic at non-peak hours

Traffic at non-peak hours

You can also rent a car (with driver) at most travel agencies.  If you have a Chinese Driver’s License you can rent a car to drive yourself.  Prices depend on type of car, distance, and time. A small to mid-seized sedan is about 150 RMB/day (if driving yourself) but requires a large deposit.
Bicycles and electric bikes are extremely common and arguably the best way to get around.  They’re no fun when it’s freezing or raining, but at least you’re making progress to your destination and not waiting on the street for a bus or taxi.  Also, because of traffic they are generally actually faster than the other options.  A decent bike can be purchased for a few hundred RMB and a decent electric bike for 1500-3000 RMB.
There are many bike shops along Zhong Shan Lu (pictured here)

There are many bike shops along Zhong Shan Lu (pictured here)

If you don’t like any of the above options, you can always choose to walk!
According to the City Planning Exhibition Hall tour, a subway is in the works to begin construction in 2014 and will take 3-4 years to complete.
Hohhot bus routes in Chinese. We hope to get the routes up in pin yin or English in the future.
search for a bus route here Must search in Chinese, but the directions have been highly accurate each time I’ve used it.

Learning the City

Hohhot has 4 districts, 3 development zones, and some suburbs/outlying counties that are often considered when defining Hohhot’s boundaries.  We’ll refer to the city districts and development zones often on this site.  Below is a list of them.
Districts:
新城区 Xin Cheng Qu (New City) district is basically the north and northeast side of the city.
回民区 Hui Min Qu The Hui Min District is roughly the northwest side of the city.
赛罕区 Sai Han District is the city’s newest created district and is the southeast part.
玉泉区 Yu Quan District is also referred to as the Old City.  It is located in the southwest part of Hohhot.
Development Zones:
如意开发区 Ru Yi Development Zone is on the east side of the city not far from the airport.
金桥开发区 Jin Qiao Development Zone is on the far south side of the city.  Much of this area is still under construction.
金川开发区 Jin Chuan Development Zone is on the far west side of the city.  China’s two largest dairies’ headquarters are here. (Yili and Meng Niu)

The video below is from November 2012. It shows a 360 view of Hohhot starting just south of the Exhibition Hall, looking north, then moves east, south, west, and back to north.

Links to Previous Posts that may be helpful for learning the city:

Learning the City Part One

Learning the City Part Two

Learning the City Part Three

Learning the City Part Four

Learning the City Part Five

Learning the City Part Six

Changes to Hohhot’s Intersections Jan 2014

Mo Er Cheng-Victory City Mall

New Airport

Rental Bikes

more on public rental bikes

new flights

Locations of imported grocery stores

top ten tourist attractions-my picks

kids’ activities

Useful Addresses and Phone Numbers

More Public Office Addresses

Aertai Park

Biking Rules

renting a car

transportation posts

Ten Strange Things about Hohhot

Hohhot’s Postal Codes

Date Ideas

 


 

3 comments

  1. Cassondra says:

    I’ve heard there is a direct flight from Hohhot to Ulaanbaatar. Does anyone have any details, price, cost, times, etc.?

    • weibaili says:

      There is, but finding it is difficult. (I mean finding a way to book. It won’t show up on most online searches). Just today I heard someone contacted a travel agent who told them the flight was suspended since March. However, someone else said his company continues to book him the ticket when he travels there. I know that it doesn’t fly every day, just a few days a week. Aero Mongolia has an office here on Xin Hua on the north side of the road just across from New Century Square located in the corner of a building between the JinJiang Inn and the French Restaurant. I heard today that Tianjin Airlines also has one sometimes. It’s also pretty pricy, about $700 USD, I think.

    • weibaili says:

      Oh Yeah, you can ask your tutor, Wen Yan. Her husband travels there often. His company books his flights, but he should have the contact information and know the schedule.

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