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Grassland and Desert Adventure in Inner Mongolia

Owing to its special geological condition, Inner Mongolia features a harsh eco-environment. In recent decades, the greenhouse effect and unscientific exploitation have aggravated drought, desertification, and soil erosion. The decertified land and the potential ones cover 60 percent of the regional area and are increasing 670,000 hectares per year.

The desertification and alkalization of grasslands have brought frequent sandstorms. The deterioration of water conservation capacity of the Greater Hinggan Mountains has resulted in floods in the Songhua and Liaohe river valleys. Each year 300 million tons of soil are washed away in the Yellow and western Liaohe rivers, or 30,000 hectares of land lost. As a result, rivers are choked with silt that stops their flow.

Highlights:

• You’ll be able to take part in the traditional activities of Mongolian nomads like wrestling, archery, and shooting, all set against the epic scenery of the Huitengxile Grasslands
• Spend the night in an authentic Inner Mongolian hut (called a yurt), and catch the gorgeous sunrise the next morning on the plains
• Experience the stunning and vast desert of Kubuqit at the Resonant Sand Gorge, and take part in exciting cultural activities like sand gliding and camel riding, while being able to experience the sunset that evening

ITINERARY

Day 1 Beijing-Hohhot (by train)

You will take the night train K89 (21:00-07:31) from Beijing to Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia province. On the train you will stay on the soft sleeper compartment, so you will travel and sleep in comfort on your train ride.

Day 2 Hohhot- Huitenxile Grassland (B,L,D, by car)

When you arrive in Hohhot early that morning, you’ll be met by your English-speaking guide. After breakfast, you’ll be taken to the Huitengxile Grassland, which will take a few hours. The Huitengxile Grassland area is the perfect spot to indulge in some of the traditional activities of the region. After lunch, we’ll get started. Lying over 1800 meters above the sea level, it stretches over 100 kilometers from east to west, 99 lakes dotted by 99 lakes. You’ll enjoy a wide variety of entertainment including horse riding, camel riding, shooting, archery, Mongolian wrestling, climbing the Aobao Mountain in order to make a sacrifice to the local deities. You will also visit a local herdsmen’s house, tasting the ethnic flavor of milk food like milk tea, hare’s milk wine and so on.

For the night, you will stay in a traditional Mongolian nomadic hut, which is referred to as a yurt. This will give you an even better idea what traditional nomadic life is like in these parts, and it is guaranteed to be far more unique and interesting experience than the normal hotel!

 Day 3 Grassland-Kubuqi Desert-Baotou-Beijing (B,L,D, by air)

You will rise early in your yurt in order to catch the majestic sunrise over the grassland, and you’ll be able to roam among the blue skies and the tranquil and untouched flowers of the plains. After breakfast, we’ll drive to the Kubuqi desert in order to reach the captivating Resonant Sand Gorge. The splendid Kubuqi Desert means bowstring in the Inner Mongolian dialect. It lies to the south of the Yellow River like a long band extending about 400 kilometers from east to west. The desert is 50 kilometers wide in the west, 15-20 kilometers wide in the east and covers an area of 16,756 sq. kilometers, making it is the seventh largest desert in China.

The Resonant Sand Gorge is situated at the north edge of the Kubuqi Desert, 3 kilometers away from the 210 state highway and 44 kilometers from Baotou in the north. It is more a place of natural beauty than of historical importance. Backed by the Kubuqi Desert, the dunes assume a crescent shape with a height of 110 meters and gradient of 45 degrees. It received its name from the echoing "Shhhh" that the sand makes as you step on the surface. It's said that the noise of sliding sand, after which the place is named, was thought by Marco Polo to be demons seeking to lure travelers to their death.

To many, the most exciting experience at Resonant Sand Gorge might be riding a camel. The camel walks like a pendulum, and takes tourists deeper into the vast desert, in order to escape from hustle and bustle of city life. Other exciting activities you will be able to take part in include sand sliding and paragliding, all of which take place in the desert. For the evening, you’ll be able to watch the beautiful sunset over the winding sand dunes.

Afterwards, you will be driven to the Inner Mongolian city of Batou, where you’ll be taken to the airport. You will have a night flight back to Beijing, thus ending your adventure on the plains and desert of Inner Mongolia.

“B” for breakfast, “L” for Lunch, “D” for dinner.

 

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