Saturday, May 8, 2010

Yinchuan Nights

For the May holiday, I continued my exploration of the Chinese Wild West with a trip to Yinchuan in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The night train arrived in the early morning hours in this city with about one million inhabitants. The spring was beginning to feel warmer and it was already possible to be outside with a short leeved shirt all during daylight hours. The first day was dedicated to exploring the city, enjoying local cuisine like in the evening at the Xianhelou, where the dumplings were prepared near the entrance of the restaurants by the staff. On Sunday, I went accross the border into Inner Mongolia to visit the town of Bayanhot where the buddhist temple of Yanfu Si combined elements of Tibetan and Mogolian architecture. There were very few tourists there and I may have been the only foreigner in town at the time of the visit. Bayanhot lays at the edge of the Tenger Desert and on the way from Yinchuan it is possible to visit the Great Wall at Sanguankou on the border between the two provinces. On Monday I went with HaoFengGuang Ningxia Yinchuan Travel Co. to visit the tombs of the Western Xia, the Western Film Studio, a farm specialising in wolfberries and the Sand Lake, to see the best Ningxia has to offer. I arrived just in time to have dinner in town before leaving by night train back home.

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