Travel in Inner Mongolia

This page is a work in progress. More content and photos to come. In the mean time, enjoy what’s here and leave comments about what you’d like to know about or with corrections to information here.

 

This page is hard for me to create for many reasons. First, Inner Mongolia is big so creating concise information is difficult. Secondly, what I know well is Hohhot. Although we do travel from time to time, when we do, I am almost always holding a child and my main concern is feeding little bellies and trying to maintain some kind of normalcy for the little ones. It’s difficult to wield a camera and pay attention to details with a baby or toddler on your lap. Lastly, the thing that makes this difficult is the nature of the names of places in Inner Mongolia. Almost every location has a Chinese and a Mongolian name as well as an English rendering of both of those. Then there’s the fact that the entire qi/banner or meng/league may have the same name as a specific city/town/county seat. So, someone may say I’m going to Ordos and mean a small town in Ordos Meng/League or they may mean the city of Ordos. Oh, and there’s another confusing aspect. Mongolians orient toward the south, so many banners are named “right” or “left” banner, but left is east and right is west, which is the opposite of how it will appear looking at a map.

Jurisdictions

1. Inner Mongolia has 12 Mengs or Leagues. Some of these have been renamed as cities, which I think means they have the jurisdictional/administrative rights of a city, but the area is the size of a league and includes other towns/villages, not just the city center itself, although the city government presides over the whole area. (If someone has more accurate information about this system, please leave a comment)!

Here they are in rough order from west to east.

阿拉善盟 (a la shan meng) (Alxa) This is the western-most area of Inner Mongolia. It’s famous for China’s space program, deserts, and some kind of unique tree.

巴彦淖尔市 (Bāyànnào’ěr Shì) (Bayannur) (also called Lin He)

乌海市 (wu hai shi) This is a heavily Han area, so I’m not sure if there is a Mongolian rendering of the name

鄂尔多斯市 (e er duo si shi) (Ordos/Erdos) This is a very developed part of the province with lots of money from the rare-earth minerals, mining and cashmere industry. Genghis Khan Mausoleum, Singing Sands Desert, Dong Sheng City, and the famous “Ghost Town” of Kangbashi are located here.

包头市 (bao tou shi) There’s quite a debate about which city, Hohhot or Baotou, is bigger which is more populated, which is better, etc. I think most agree that Baotou was a planned city and therefore has better infrastructure, especially as far as roadways and traffic flow are concerned. I haven’t spent a great deal of time there myself, but I know there are some nice parks.

呼和浩特市 (hehuhaote shi) (Hohhot) Hohhot is the cultural and educational center of province. You can find more information about Hohhot on the blog and all other pages of this site.

乌兰察布市 (wu lan cha bu shi) (Ulanqab) (also called Jining)

锡林郭勒盟 (xi lin guo le meng) (Xilingol) (city is Xilinhot or xilinhaote)

赤峰市 (chifeng shi) Chi Feng

通辽市 (tongliao shi)Tong Liao

兴安盟 (xing an meng) (Hinggan) (Ulanhot)

呼伦贝尔市(hulunbeier shi) (Hailar City)

2. Here is a list of Inner Mongolia’s Qis/Banners or Xians. It is from 2007 and was created by a friend of my husband’s for a project he was working on at the time. Some of these jurisdictions may have changed. I will edit it as I have time, but here it is in rough form. The Mongolian is also not accurate in some places and I will edit that as I have time also. Highlighted text will link to previous postings about that place.

Chinese name pin yin Mongolian name
1 额济纳旗 E JI NA QI E JI NE HOSHO
2 阿拉善右旗 A LA SHAN YOU QI A LA SHA BARON HOSHO
3 阿拉善左旗 A LA SHAN ZUO QI A LA SHA ZHUN HOSHO
4 乌拉特后旗 WU LA TE HOU QI WO RAD IN HOIT HOSHO
5 乌拉特中旗 WU LA TE ZHONG QI WO RAD IN DOMD HOSHO
6 磴口县 DENG KOU XIAN DENG KOU XIAN
7 杭锦后旗 HANG JIN HOU QI
8 临河 LIN  HE LIN  HE
9 五原 WU  YUAN WU  YUAN
10 乌拉特前旗 WU LA TE QIAN WO RAD IN  EMNET
11 杭锦旗 HANG JIN QI
12 额托克旗 E TUO KE QI O TOG HOSHO
13 额托克前旗 E TUO KE QIAN QI O TOG IN EMNET HOSHO
14 乌审旗 WU SHEN QI WU XIN HOSHO
15 伊金霍洛旗 YI JIN HUO LUO QI E JIN HORO HOSHO
16 东胜 DONG SHENG DONG SHENG
17 达拉特旗 DA LA TE QI DA  LAID HOSHO
18 准格尔旗 ZHUN GE ER QI ZHUN GAR HOSHO
19 土默特右旗 TU MO TE YOU QI TU MED BARON HOSHO
20 包头 BAO TOU BAO GE TU
21 固阳县 GU YANG XIAN GU YANG XIAN
22 达尔罕茂明安联合旗 DA ER HAN MAO MING AN LIAN HE QI DAR HAN MO MING GAN HOLBOT HOSHO
23 武川县 WU CHUAN XIAN WU QUAN XIAN
24 土默特左旗 TU MO TE ZUO QI TU MED ZHUN HOSHO
25 呼和浩特 HU HE HAO TAO HUHOT
26 托克托县 TUO KE TUO XIAN TAO HE DE HE XIAN
27 和林格尔县 HE LIN GE ER XIAN HAO RIN GER XIAN
28 清水河县 QING SHUI HE XIAN QING SHUI HE XIAN
29 凉城县 LIANG CHENG XIAN LIANG CHENG XIAN
30 卓资县 ZHUO ZI XIAN ZHUO ZI XIAN
31 察哈尔右翼中旗 CHA HA ER YOU YI ZHONG QI CHA HAR BARON GRON DOMD HOSHO
32 察哈尔右翼后旗 CHA HA ER YOU YI HOU QI CHA HAR BARON GRON HOIT HOSHO
33 商都县 SHANG DOU XIAN SHANGD XIAN
34 集宁 JI NING JI NING
35 兴和县 XING HE XIAN XING HE XIAN
36 丰镇县 FENG ZHEN XIAN FENG ZHEN XIAN
37 四子王旗 SI ZI WANG QI DUR BEN WANG IN HOSHO
38 苏尼特右旗 SU NI TE YOU QI SU NID BARON HOSHO
39 二连浩特市 ER LIAN HAO TE SHI E REN HOT
40 镶黄旗 XIANG HUANG QI XO LON XIR HOSHO
41 化德县 HUA DE XIAN HUA DE XIAN
42 苏尼特左旗 SU NI TE ZUO QI SU NID ZHUN HOSHO
43 正镶白旗 ZHENG XIANG BAI QI XO LON CHA GAN HOSHO
44 太扑寺旗 TAI BU SI QI TAI BUS HOSHO
45 阿巴嘎旗 A BA GA QI A BAG HOSHO
46 正蓝旗 ZHENG LAN QI XO LUN HU HE HOSHO
47 多伦旗 DUO LUN QI DUO LUN QI
48 克什克腾旗 KE SHEN KE DENG QI HE XIK TEN HOSHO
49 锡林浩特 XI LIN HAO TE QI XI LIN HOT
50 东乌珠穆沁旗 DONG WU ZHU MU QIN ZHUN WU ZHUM QIN HOSHO
51 西乌珠穆沁旗 XI WU ZHU MU QIN BARON WU ZHUM QIN HOSHO
52 林西县 LIN XI XIAN LIN XI XIAN
53 巴林右旗 BA LIN YOU QI BA RIN BARON HOSHO
54 巴林左旗 BA LIN ZUO QI BA RIN ZHUN HOSHO
55 阿鲁科尔沁旗 A LU KE ER QIN QI AR HOR QIN HOSHO
56 翁牛特旗 WENG NIU TE QI ONG NOD HOSHO
57 赤峰 CHI FENG CHI FENG
58 哈喇沁旗 HA LA QIN QI HAR QIN HOSHO
59 宁城县 NING CHENG XIAN NING CHENG XIAN
60 敖汉旗 AO HAN QI OO HAN HOSHO
61 奈曼旗 NAI MAN QI NAI MAN HOSHO
62 库伦旗 KU LUN QI KU LUN HOSHO
63 科尔沁左翼后旗 KE ER QIN ZUO YI HOU QI HOR QIN ZHUN GARON HOIT HOSHO
64 通辽 TONG LIAO TONG LIAO
65 科尔沁左翼中旗 KE ER QIN ZUO YI ZHONG QI HOR QIN ZHUN GARON DOMD HOSHO
66 开鲁县 KAI LU KAI LU XIAN
67 扎鲁特旗 ZHA LU TE QI ZHA ROD HOSHO
68 科尔沁右翼中旗   KE ER QIN YOU YI ZHONG   QI HOR QIN BARON GARON DOMD HOSHO
69 突泉县 TU QUAN XIAN TU QUAN XIAN
70 科尔沁右翼前旗 KE ER QIN YOU YI QIAN QI HOR QIN BARON GARON EMNET HOSHO
71 扎赉特旗 ZHA LAI TE QI ZHA LAID HOSHO
72 阿尔山市 A ER SHAN SHI AR SHAN HOT
73 扎兰屯市 ZHA LAN TUN SHI ZHAN LAN TUN HOT
74 新巴尔虎左旗 XIN BA ER HU ZUO QI XIN BARG ZHUN HOSHO
75 新巴尔虎右旗 XIN BA ER HU YOU QI XIN BARG BARON HOSHO
76 鄂温克族自治旗 E WEN KE ZU ZI ZHI XIAN E WENK IN WORTEN ZHA SA HOSHO
77 海拉尔 HAI LA ER HAI  LAR
78 牙克石市 YA KE SHI SHI YAK XI HOT
79 阿荣旗 A RONG QI A RONG HOSHO
80 嫩江县 NEN JIANG XIAN NEN JIANG XIAN
81 鄂伦春自治县 E LUN CHUN ZI ZHI XIAN ORQIN WORTEN ZHA SA HO XIAN
82 银河市 YIN HE SHI YIN HE SHI
83 额尔古纳市 E ER GU NA SHI ER GU NE HOT
84 霍林郭勒市 huo lin guo le ho lin gole

Links to other travel posts

crossing the border into Mongolia

Hohhot to Erlian to Mongolia, updated

Welcome, Travelers!

Xanadu

Baotou-Xilamuren-Singing Sands Desert-Genghis Khan Mausoleum

 

9 comments

  1. Aline says:

    Me and 4 more friends are going to Inner Mongolia from May 31st to June 3rd/4th.
    We’d like to know if you could offer us a trip package, including transportation, guide, hotel/yurt and so on.

    See below the itinerary we prepared and feel free to give us your comments and suggestions.

    Day 1 – 31st May

    11am Pick up at huhhot airport in the morning

    Lunch 12:30-13:30 PM local food

    Get to Xilamuren grassland family, enjoy activities, such as horse ridding, motorcycle etc.

    Dinner 19:00-20:00 at family home

    At night stay in the grassland, Live in a modern yurt.

    We are 5. Can 3 people sleep in one yurt?

    Day 2 – 1st june

    Start 8:00 AM Drive to qin greatwall (3 hours), the oldest greatwall in china

    Wudang lamzery temple and then drive to baotou. (1hour30min) .

    Night live in baotou hotel.

    Day3 – 2nd june

    Get to kubuqi gobi desert (less tourist area)( 1h30min) along visit yellow river ; From desert we use jeep enter deep desert do camel ridding (30min), a time sandsliding and use jeep back to start point

    Lunch near town 1:30-14:30

    Night live in a hotel in Ordos

    Day 4 – 3rd june

    Visit kangbashi district at ordos (everybody)

    Then use 4 hour driving back to huhhot finish the trip (Aline)

    Go to Genghis Khan mausoleum (Door ticket RMB 210/p) (Others)

    Night live in a hotel in Ordos

    We also would like to go to Resonant Sand George. In which day can we include it?

    Day 5 – 4th june

    Use 4 hour driving back to huhhot (the other 4)

    Head to the Inner Mongolia Museum and Dazhao Temple.

    • weibaili says:

      Sorry Aline, I’m not a travel agent, just a mom who loves Hohhot and tries to share the information I know about the city. I can’t really help with making travel arrangements for you, other than offering my suggestions. If you speak Chinese, you can contact many travel agencies and see what they can tell you, but few of them will speak English. It’s my understanding that most of them operate by having partnerships with specific locations so if you have a set plan for what you want to do, it may be best to try to make arrangements on your own or you will not be satisfied when they take you to the tourist traps they contract with.
      I can suggest some drivers you can contact, but I don’t know any who speak English.
      As far as airport transportation there is a bus for 10 RMB you can take into town that is very convenient.

  2. Leti says:

    Hello Aline, I am also going to be in Hohhot those days.
    We could try to meet up! In the end, we are all there for the same reason 🙂

  3. Steve says:

    Hey Aline,
    I’ll be traveling in Inner Mongolia (starting with Hohhot) later this month. Can you give some driver recommendations? I can speak Chinese.
    Thanks

    • weibaili says:

      I can give some recommendations if you can let me know what size vehicle you need. (car, van, bus?)

      • Steve says:

        We prefer to ride in cars if possible.

        Is the Nadaam Festival worth going to? We were planning on going to one, but it sounds like there are “fake” ones and “authentic” ones, and it’s impossible to distinguish them on the tour websites. (We also like to avoid tours whenever possible)

        • weibaili says:

          If you go to a legitimate Nadaam Fair, they are worth going to. Sometimes registration to compete in the events is closed, but sometimes it is open to everyone which means if you’re adventurous enough, you can even compete. If you don’t happen to be Asian, be prepared to become an attraction at the Nadaam fair yourself. There will be no blending in and observing. You will be surrounded, photographed, pointed at, and stared at.
          I know there is one on July 18th in Zheng Lan Qi.
          I don’t have the numbers for many car drivers, but I have a few good van drivers, and perhaps they can give you numbers for their friends who have cars.
          Here is one: 13654816128 Mr. Wang
          I’m not in China at the moment, so I don’t have all my numbers here with me.

          • Steve says:

            Thanks! We’ll give him a call! (I’m rather used to being a spectacle after living here for a couple years and now returning for a two month vacation).

            We were originally going to come in for a Nadaam festival on the 18th, but the hostel we were going to stay at said that it was a fake one and to come for the festival on the 21st instead. After spending 670¥ to change our plane tickets, they told us that we couldn’t go because my wife is Han Chinese! (They said it would be dangerous for her and cited the events in Xinjiang, but I think that is bogus)

            Hopefully Mr. Wang can find a legitimate festival that we can both attend, otherwise we’ll create an alternative itinerary (we’re open to suggestions for a two-three day trip).

            Thanks again for all your help!

  4. weibaili says:

    Steve,
    Although there are still tensions between Han and Mongol, I don’t think it would be in any way dangerous for her (or you) to attend a Naadam. The local Mongols may not make her feel especially welcomed, but I don’t think there’s any reason to be concerned about safety.
    Some alternate 2-3 day trips would be to go to Xanadu (old Khan palace) in Zheng Lan Qi, to the Genghis Khan Masoleum and Singing Sands Desert in Ordos. There’s also a place in Orods called Engebei that has some fun attractions and is a de-desertification ecological research area. There are also some great places just on the outskirts of Hohhot you could take 2-3 days exploring, coming back in to the city each night (Zhao He/Xilamuren Grasslands, Golf/Skiing Resort and hiking Da Qing mountains, Zhao Jun Temple, and Bai Ta as a few suggestions).

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