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Hohhot Travel Guide
"Hohhot" in Mongolian means "Blue City", which is the capital of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region. Hohhot is the third closest provincial capital to Beijing, behind Tianjin and Shijiazhuang. It has a permanent population of 2.94 million, covering an area of 17,200 square kilometers.
Hohhot is located in the central part of Inner Mongolia. The distance between Hohhot and its main tourism destinations is:
From Hohhot to Beijing: 482 kilometers (9.7 hours' drive)
From Hohhot to Baotou: 185 kilometers (2.5 hours' drive)
From Hohhot to Hulun Buir grasslands: over 2,000 kilometers
From Hohhot to Ordos: 267 kilometers (about 4 hours' drive)
Grasslands near Hohhot
Xilamuren Grassland
Xilamuren Grassland is the nearest grassland to Hohhot. The distance between them is 90 kilometers, about an hour and a half's drive. People choose Xilamuren Grassland as a tourism destination because of its proximity to Hohhot.
Gegentala Grassland, located deep in the Ulanqab Prairie, is a distance of 140 kilometers away from Hohhot. It takes you about two hours' drive. There you can see many performances, such as horse racing, wrestling, archery, horse-riding performances and bonfire parties. Every year, from August 15th to 25th, the Nadam Fair is held in the city of Ulanqab.
Huitengxile Grassland
Huitengxile Grassland in Mongolian means "cold prairie", with an altitude of over 1,800 meters. It takes you three and a half hours to get there from Hohhot by car. Huitengxile Grassland is also called "yellow flowers ditch" due to its land being full of yellow flowers. Given that winds are strong there, it is known as the second largest wind power plant in Asia. This grassland has developed in recent years and is a highly regarded tourism destination. Due to its geography and strong winds, there is a great day-night temperature difference in Huitengxile Grassland.
Huitengxile Grassland may disappoint guests because the prairie is quite different from their imaginations. Although the grassland is endless, the grass there is not luxuriant and it looks more like a desert. You cannot see green lands, but blue lands instead. If rains are aplenty, the grass grows quickly. You can enjoy seeing a pure blue sky, white clouds, horses and sheep; although the horses are not as high in spirits as they appear to be when shown on TV and the sheep are not as beautiful as they are in pictures.
With the development of tourism, Mongolian etiquette there has become very commercial. Performances include horse riding, archery and wrestling. You can have a taste of pastorally handled meat without the smell; you can drink milky tea and liquors made with fresh milk; you can appreciate melodies from a Mongol stringed instrument. Mongolian singers may present you with a hada (a white scarf) and propose a toast. People who like horse riding can have a try. Usually the herdsmen will be beside you to ensure that you don't get hurt.
Gegentala takes priority among the three grasslands as it is more like a prairie both in size and in its meadows. The roads are smooth; although there are no highways there, the road condition is pretty good. It takes you two hours to get there. You can return for a day, or you can stay a night there and enjoy more beautiful views.
These three grasslands cannot compare to the Hulun Buir Grasslands, the Xilingol Grassland or the Horqin Grassland; however, they have become famous tourism attractions because of their locations near the capital of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region. It only takes you one or two days to enjoy the grassland sceneries without the need for much money. If you want to enjoy the genuine grasslands, you'd better visit the Hulun Buir Grasslands and the Xilingol Grassland.
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