Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Inner Mongolia in 3 days and 4 nights

While P and M were probably soundly asleep on their flight back C and me took a flight to Hohhot. We had a couple of hours wait in Beijing, so after exploring the airport we had some tea in the tea house:


But finally we arrived at Hohhot, were picked up by the Shangri-la staff and transported to our hotel where we had booked the 3-days and 4-nights Grassland package.
By then it was quite late and we knew that we had to leave early in the morning, so we went straight to bed. Which we found out later was a good idea because we had a long and exciting day ahead of us.
A driver picked us up early and brought us to the 'Singing Sand Ravins' (Xiangshawan sand dunes, 响沙湾沙漠) which is a magnificent landscape with sand dunes as far as your eyes can see. In case you are interested where it actually is, have a look at the google map below:

(c) google maps
This is a satellite view of the area. As you can see the Chinese used the spectacular landscape and attached a tourist entertainment park to it.

(c) google maps
On our way I noticed how differently Mongolians transported their horses. Ours are treated as they would get a complete nervous break down when on the road, whereas these horses actually looked quite content.

Mongolian Script:

We are closing in, please note that this is not a triple-A tourist attraction and not a quadruple one, but a quintuple; yes, a not less than 5-tuple A-star tourist attraction:

And here we are, a whole day of fun in the desert:

A cable car brings you up to the 30m high top of the sand dunes:

Alternatively you can try to climb the dune, as you can see this alternative has its drawbacks:

Very modern facilities:

I really loved C's  'sand socks'! But when the hot sand burnt my bare feet in my sandals, I wished I had taken a pair, too:

We were confronted with curious instructions (I'm still wondering what they meant us to do or maybe it was giving directions to the joy sand, or...or...)

Leftovers from a Chinese picnic:

We had a camel ride (did I mention that I love camels!):

I didn't love the nose pins, though :(  they didn't need those in Dubai.

Look at those soft hair! I want to cuddle my very own camel!

We admired sand art in the sand sculpture garden,

inclusive sand art long gone,

saw the first yurts from a ride on the desert train,

and slided down the dune.

Time went by really quickly and we had to rejoin our driver who was waiting with a nice vegan lunch packet for us.


  1. Those sand socks are a necessity, but hilariously funny. Those super sand sculptures are wonderful.

  2. And I so regretted not having taken a pair of them! The sand ruined my sandals and I actually got a blister from the hot sand!

  3. Hi, I'm so lucky to have come across your blog. My friends and I are planning to visit Beijing, Inner Mongolia and Datong in October with Tour beijing. However, to avoid the National Holidays (Oct 1 - 7) we have decided to visit Inner Mongolia first, then Datong and lastly Beijing, so that we can enjoy the autumn foliage in Beijing (mid-Oct best time).
    Was your travel to Inner Mongolia 3D/4N on Oct 4-7 as posted in your blog? I have checked many informations and most tour agency recommended to travel to Inner Mongolia by late Sept. Since you have been there, I truly appreciate your advice. Thank you.

  4. Hi Josephine,
    we were in Inner Mongolia in August, since we came back in September, I started writing up our holiday experiences at the end of Sept/beginning of October; hence the late date. Sorry I can't help you with any advice concerning National holidays :(