A wild weekend in Inner Mongolia(1)
2007-04-12 14:52:23 [ Big Normal Small ]     Comment
Next to Tibet, Inner Mongolia is one of China's most extraordinary places. You'll be fascinated by the mystique of its stunning grasslands, the Gobi desert, the energetic Naadam festival and the Mongolian way of li. The province is near Beijing, and you can easily go there and enjoy diverse cultures.

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Escaping the city on weekends is part of Beijing life. If you are tired of mountains, hot springs and historic sites, why not head a little further north to Inner Mongolia, where you can enjoy a travel experience not found in other Chinese provinces.

Inner Mongolia is suitable for travel in all four seasons. In summer, you head there to escape the hot weather and enjoy a windy night on the grasslands under a tapestry of shining stars. In the autumn, the leaves turn red and yellow and you can see the region's may "painted" forests. For more adventurous travelers, head there in winter to see snow-covered sand dunes and experience cold da with temperatures always 20 degrees Centigrade below zero. And if you're crazy, go in spring and lean what a real sandstorm is.

All jokes aside, the best seasons to visit are early spring and autumn, especially if bound for the desert, because summer is too hot and winter is too cold.

If your dream is a crazy weekend, far from Beijing, with lots of opportunities for cool photos and a low price-tag, Beijing Today's route to the Resonant Sand Gorge (Xiangshawan), a desert of echoing sands in Inner Mongolia, could be one ofyour best choices.

Day 1: Beijing - Baotou (12-14 hours by train)

There are more than five trains from Beijing to Baotou everyday. If you plan to leave on Friday evening, and want a nice train, take K263 from Beijing railway station to East Baotou station. The train leaves at 8pm and arrives at 8am the next day, with sleeper tickets under 200 yuan. Baotou has two railway stations, but the east one is more convenient because it is just opposite the Donghe bus station.


To get to the Resonant Sand Gorge, there are two buses from the Donghe station to choose from. One is from Baotou to Yimeng, and you can ask the driver stop in Wayao village, about 5,000 meters from the Gorge, and then walk or taxi to your destination. Another line is from Baotou to Daqi, where you can take a taxi from Daqi to the Gorge for about 50 yuan. Taking a taxi from Baotou directly to the George costs about 200 yuan, and a single bus ticket is about 25 yuan.

The Resonant Sand Gorge is located 50km south of Baotou, and it will take you less than two hours to get there.

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