How many foreigners in Hohhot?

I get asked this question often, and generally I find most people are surprised by my answer and think it’s too high. How I arrived at my answer of a few thousand is detailed over on the expat life page but recently I’ve had two encounters that confirmed by guesses.
We had to go to the main gong an ju/PSB for our new daughter’s visa. While we were there, there were literally HUNDREDS of passports stacked up on the desk waiting to be processed. Granted, we were there the same as Nei Da brought a group of students, but for one day it was a TALL stack of passports.

We also recently had to get our health screening for our soon-to-be-processed work visas and residence permits. We asked the nice lady at the blood drawing station how many foreigners they see a year and she answered “hao ji qian” or several thousand. And the only foreigners who do the health screenings are those with residence permits so her answer of “several thousand” doesn’t include anyone that here on any kind of short term visa (tourist, business, etc).

Both of these situations confirmed how me that my guess is reasonable.

What do you think? Is my guess of several thousand too high, too low, or accurate?


  1. Preston says:

    I think you’re just about right with the guess for permanent residents, especially since it’s almost impossible to spot how many Koreans/Japanese/Mongolians there are. Not that it really helps, but when we went down to get married in March, we counted 20+ foreign marriages registered in their book in the last 8-12 months if I remember correctly.

    If the count were to be every single foreigner that sets foot in Hohhot (including tourists) every year, I bet you’d wind up right around 10,000.

  2. Nate Lin says:

    I’m so happy to see that more and more foreigners in Hohhot

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