Archive for public services

Changes in Hohhot

The post below, shared from Hohhot’s daily news service, does a really great job of highlighting just how quickly Hohhot has changed in recent years. The full article is posted below in Chinese, but I’ll do my best to share the highlights. If it doesn’t display correctly, try this link.

The first kind of change mentioned is the increase in population. Here’s the rundown:

2015 3.05 million

2010 2.86 million

2000 2.43 million

1990 1.91 million

1964 1.11 million

1953 790,000


Next, there has been tremendous economic change. In 2014, Hohhot’s urban residents’ per capita disposable income increased by 8.5%.


Next, as evidenced by rush hour traffic every single day, is the increase in the number of private vehicles. The number of registered vehicles in Hohhot as of February 26, 2015 was 801,746 which according to the article means that on average every household has a car.

In 2006, there were 4.5 vehicles for every 100 households and in 2000 the number was just one car for 100 households.


If you’re following along with the embedded article’s photos and graphics, we’re now at the pictures of folks leaving work (by bicycle) in the 1950s followed by what getting off work time looks like today on Hohhot’s streets.
Next, the article has pictures of buses and highlights some of the changes to Hohhot’s public transportation. The first picture is Hohhot’s first bus for its first bus route in 1954, when the city was called Gui Sui, before it became known as Hohhot. (more on this topic in a future post). The next picture shows 4 buses that drove the Number 3 Route. The next picture shows that in 2012, double decker buses had been added and the city had 102 bus routes. Then in 2013, double length buses were added to Hohhot’s two free bus routes as part of a green initiative.

Public transportation continued to improve in 2015 with plans for high speed trains and two lines of a subway to be complete in 2020.

Also, the high-speed portion of the second ring road was scheduled to be completed in July 2015. (I don’t think it’s all finished, but I heard that the portion between Jin Qiao and Jin Chuan is finished and that it now takes just 20 minutes to drive between the two).

The fourth change mentioned under the public transportation heading is how much Hohhot’s airport has changed. There’s a picture of the airport in 1958 and then a present-day photo. (You can read about Hohhot’s plans for an even newer airport here). 


You can keep scrolling down for even more contrasting then-and-now pictures of Hohhot. (famous places, universities, and city scenes)


What has changed the most since you arrived in Hohhot? Leave us a comment with your thoughts.

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Hohhot’s Subway

I’m sure you’ve heard that Hohhot is expected to begin construction on a subway system. The article below gives more details of where the city is in the construction process.

Survey work began on May 30 and official construction is set to begin in August 2015. The entire plan will include five lines, but two will be constructed with the first phase. Lines 1 and 2 are expected to be ready for use in 2020.

See the full article below for more details and for maps of the anticipated lines.


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Hohhot’s Water Shortage

I’ll embed the full article below, but here is a link to an article from earlier in the month about the shortage in Hohhot drinking water supply. According the the headline, the shortage is already very severe and that everyday 200,000 tons of water from the Yellow River is being added to the drinking water supply.

The article explains the process of cleaning the water from the heavily polluted river and assures the public it is safe to drink.

The article ends with some small ways we can all conserve water. The author’s suggestions are:

  • rinse your rice first, use that water to wash your face, then wash your feet, then wash your socks, then use that water to flush the toilet.
  • wash your clothes, then use that water to mop the floor, then flush the toilet (first picture)
  • take a shower with your kid (second picture)
  • use rain water to wash your car (third picture)

What do you think? Is it scary to think about Yellow River water being put into the city water supply? Is water conservation already a habit? If not, will you implement any of the strategies above?
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weird water

I hope today we are back to posts that are useful and helpful to you. Or that at least I’m in a better mood.
Today I wanted to write about a strange occurrence regarding water, bleach, and a spray bottle. In order to more efficiently clean up after my daughter’s potty training accidents, I put some bleach and water in a spray bottle.
For the first couple of days, everything was fine and normal. However, a few days in to using it, the water would be discolored when in sprayed out. At first, just tan but now really dark brown (see photos below). But, the water in the spray bottle is still clear.
It isn’t a big deal. I’ve dumped it out and moved on. But I really, really, really wanted to know why. Something in the water? Some kind of reaction with the plastic bottle? cause for grater concern about our water or not that big of a deal?

I asked a few smart friends on wechat and the best answer came back from Dave, who lived here briefly a few years back but now is an engineer with the agency that governs Oklahoma’s water.
IMG_20150529_202756 IMG_20150529_202808
So above you have the clear water in the spray bottle, and the brown water on the floor when it sprays out.
The reason (according to my knowledgeable friend Dave): iron and manganese. These two elements are commonly found in ground and surface water and if not removed in treatment process they go into the public water supply. When mixed with an oxidant like bleach, they basically turn to rust. (Iron turns red, manganese turns black). Thus the source of my nasty brown water.

Dave also tells me iron and manganese are unregulated in the USA and that the EPA says it won’t harm us. Therefore, it means the water is “most likely safe.”

I haven’t found a source to verify this information, but I’ve heard that Hohhot’s water comes from two sources: wells and the Yellow River and each xiao qu’s water comes from one of those sources. I’ve written a bit more about my thoughts on the water situation here.

The good news for me is that Dave tells me these elements are more likely to be in well water which means it is more probable that our water source is a well instead of the Yellow River. (If those truly are the sources of Hohhot’s water).

What are your thoughts about Hohhot’s water situation? What precautions do you take? Leave us a comment.


Ten Hohhot News Items

There’s a news article that seems to be popular among my local friends so I thought I would share the highlights here with you, lovely readers. The article lists ten recent news items related to Hohhot. I’ll post the article in full below, but I’ll do my best to translate the headlines for you.

ONE: another expressway will open in late July in Hohhot. It will be have be 80 km of six lanes without signal lights

TWO: Subway lines one and two will be ready in 2020 according to the Metro Planning National Development and Reform Commission

THREE: Hohhot ranked 45th out of 289 cities in sustainable competitiveness

FOUR: A new landmark in Hohhot-A new bus station transport hub in the East will be ready in October

FIVE: Train service from Hohhot to Shenzhen began on May 20th (schedule included in Chinese article below)

SIX: The whole country will have a day of vacation on September 3

SEVEN: Pensions of retired personnel in Inner Mongolia increased by an average of about 10%

EIGHT: Decided! Civil Service salary will increase by 300 yuan per capita by the end of June

NINE: Good news! The education requirements for employment are being relaxed (I’m not entirely sure about my translation of this one).

TEN: A new flower garden will open in Hohhot at the end of May and entrance is free!

Read the full articles below:

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more useful public service phone numbers

This rather handy, very thorough list of service numbers was hanging in my friend’s apartment complex. I snapped a picture and have translated it below. These numbers more than likely won’t have English-speaking service, but I hope I’ve at least saved you the step of finding the number.



China Mobile


China Unicom


China Telecommunications






China Natural Gas




Water something


Electric Hotline


Electric Company Service number


Public Heating Company


Weather forecast


Local telephone directory


Post Office Service


Taxation Services Hotline


Telecommunications transactions


Airport hotline


City public transportation hotline


Train station hotline




 If this list doesn’t have the number you’re looking for, try one of these previous posts:

Government Offices

Public Services



What a day!

  1. If you have public heating, it probably turned off today. Hope you’re staying warm.
  2. There was an earthquake in Alxa today, but apparently could be felt in Hohhot. We didn’t feel it at our house. Who felt it?   Here’s an article about it.

  3. THE WIND! Oh my, the wind. I m glad today that my primary role is that of stay-at-home-mom so that I didn’t have to get out.
  4. I think most of the north side of the city was without water for most of the day. (Ours still hasn’t turned back on). I know near Gong Da, Meng Zhuan, Tuan Jie Xiao Qu, and Ming Du Feng Jing Xiao Qu were all affected, and I assume the areas between them were too. I’ve heard reports of power being out for part of the day too.
  5. I’m slowly working on getting all the broken links fixed and getting the photos to display. By the end of the day we should also have a new forum up. (Here’s to hoping that this one will display correctly)!
  6. The air quality number for today is the highest (worst) I’ve ever seen. If you have an air purifier, today would be a good day to put it to use.

That’s all the news I know. What’s happening in your part of the city?

There’s a New Way to Buy Train Tickets!

Hohhot is putting in 10 new automatic train ticket dispensers. You will no longer have to fight the long lines at the train station or hope one of the few service centers will be open.

This link has a map and description of the locations as well as a picture of one of the machines.

This link is Xinhua’s article about the new machines.

Have you used one yet? Let us know about it in the comments.

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no electricity?

Hohhot’s Power Company has issued a notice about stopping electric service to certain locations on certain days. Here is the notice in its entirety and below is my rough translation of areas.

Nov 17, 8:00-5:30

Hui Xin Yuan, traffic lights, and something called “call valve technology” will be affected

Nov 18, 8:00-5:00 area near Hai Dong Lu

Shu Guang Middle School, Xin Cheng District Police Station and Court

Nov 19, 8:00-5:30 area near Racetrack

San He Cun Xiao Qu, Yuan Tai Han Xiao Qu, and others

Nov 19, 7:30-5:30, area near Ru Yi

East Shore Development

Nov 20, 8:00-4:00, area around Xin Hua

Red Banner Milk Factory

Nov 20, 8:00-4:00

Meng Da Bin Guan, traffic lights, Ying Bing Jiu Dian, Meng Da Bin Guan

Nov 21, 7:30-5:30, near Xing An Road

Yuan Yi Suo, Urban Construction Vocational School, Jia You Real Estate


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