At the top of the China Map, there is a narrow strip stretching across the northeast, east, north and northwest of China, with a total length of more than 2,400 kilometers. This is Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (内蒙古自治区), the province with the widest cross-longitude in China. Not to mention the majestic Daqing Mountain, Helan Mountain and the surging Yellow River; let alone the vast forests, the idyllic lakes, the boundless wonders of the desert; Just look at the scenery of the spacious grasslands with yurts, sheep, cattle and flowers decorated is enough to make you sigh and linger. Inner Mongolia is also the birthplace of northern nomadic culture, Genghis Khan culture, the Yuan Dynasty...
Let’s explore Inner Mongolia points of interest and feel the enthusiasm of the Mongolians together! Check this list of Top 20 Inner Mongolia Tourist Attractions and plan your own Inner Mongolia Tours in 2023!
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Amazing Hulunbuir Grassland & Morigele River
Hulunbuir Grassland (呼伦贝尔大草原) is the most abundant grassland pasture in China, with the purest blue sky, white clouds and the best quality grazing. It is a great place for grassland photography. Besides the dream-like scenery, you can also ride horses, watch wrestling, horse racing and archery, try the "Roast Whole Lamb Banquet" and experience the unique customs of the nomadic people. Morigele River winding through the grassland is the most beautiful part of Hulunbuir Grassland and also the best place to take amazing photos. Besides, there are also Mongolian tribes like Golden Horde Mongolian Tribe and “The Largest Lake in Inner Mongolia” - Hulun Lake worth exploring. The best time to visit Hulunbuir Grassland from June to September every year. In July and August, when the grasslands are in its utmost luxuriance, the Naadam Fair will be held (usually lasts for 5 days or so).
Recommended Hulunbuir Grassland Tours:
Wind Plant in Huitengxile
Yellow Flowers Valley
With an average altitude of 2100m, an area of over 600 square meters and a vegetation coverage rate of 80% ~ 95%, Huitengxile Grassland (辉腾锡勒草原) is one of the best preserved typical alpine meadow grasslands in the world. The Huitengxile Grassland is dotted with numerous natural lakes, known as "Ninety-nine Springs". Due to the stability, persistence and high-quality of wind energy in the region, several large-scale wind power plants have been built here. So once you enter Huitengxile Grassland, you may feel like stepping into the fairy tale world of Miyazaki Hayao. On the endless prairie, there are rolling hills like a whole wavy green carpet which is decorated with yellow flowers, lakes as mirrors and windmill like snowflakes.
Huitengxile is Mongolia language, meaning “cold mountain ridges” in Chinese. Summer in Huitengxile Grassland is cool, with an average maximum temperature of 18 °C. It is known as the best grassland summer resort. Every year from May to September, flowers are everywhere, turning Huitengxile Grassland into a sea of flowers.
Recommended Huitengxile Grassland Tours:
Riding Horses on the Grassland
Recommended Xilamuren Grassland Tour:
Colorful Lakes in Badain Jaran Desert
Badain Jaran Desert (巴丹吉林沙漠), the most beautiful sand sea in China, always giving people endless reverie. Everywhere of this magical land is revealing the marvel and greatness of nature. Dune peaks (Bilutu Peak) rising into the sky, resonant sand (Baori Taolegai) singing through the clouds, colorful and bizarre lakes dotted all over the boundless desert, the sweet and refreshing divine springs (Yinderitu) and breathtaking temple (Badain Jaran Temple), all together constitute the unique and charming landscape of Badain Jaran Desert. The "Five Wonders" of Badain Jaran attracts tens of thousands of tourists from home and abroad every year.
Outlook of Inner Mongolia Museum
Inner Mongolia Museum
The Inner Mongolia Museum (内蒙古博物院) is located in the center of Hohhot. It is the only comprehensive museum at the autonomous region level and the earliest museum established in ethnic minority areas in China. The building of the exhibition hall of Inner Mongolia Museum is unique in shape and has great ethnic characteristics. There is a sculpture of a galloping horse on the roof, which symbolizes the auspiciousness and prosperity of Inner Mongolia. It is one of the landmark buildings of the autonomous region. The exhibition hall of the museum has four floors, of which the second, third and fourth floors are used for exhibition. At present, there are four basic displays in the museum, which are "Palaeontological Fossils of Inner Mongolia", "Historical Relics of Inner Mongolia", "Ethnic Relics of Inner Mongolia" and "Revolutionary Relics of Inner Mongolia".
Recommended Inner Mongolia Museum Tours:
Get around Kubuqi Desert by Jeep
Camel Riding at Xiangshawan
Located in the north of the Ordos Plateau in Inner Mongolia and the east of Baotou City, Kubuqi Desert (库布齐沙漠) is the seventh largest desert in China. The shape of Kubuqi Desert is like a curved bow. The superior shape and location make it one of the best deserts to hike through in China. In recent years, it has been extremely popular in the “Desert Trekking Circle” and “Outdoor Sports Circle”. There are about 3 relatively mature hiking routes in Kubuqi Desert. With the help of a professional local hiking guide and supply team, even first-time hikers have a chance to cross the desert. Some scenic spots also provide light hiking routes (several hours~half a day) and camping experience for tourists, which can meet the needs of all kinds of outdoor lovers. Scenic spots in the Kubuqi Desert are scattered. Most scenic spots provide desert amusement activities like sand sliding, camel riding, desert off-road and desert motorcycle etc. The most recommended places to visit in Kubuqi Desert are Yemingsha Scenic Area (夜鸣沙), Xiangshawan Scenic Area (响沙湾) and Qixing Lake Scenic Area (七星湖).
The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan
Mongolian History and Culture Museum
The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan (成吉思汗陵) is located on the Gandeli Grassland of Ejin Horo Banner in Ordos, about 70 km away from Dongsheng District. As "secret burials" are popular among the Mongols, the true location of Genghis Khan's tomb has always been a mystery. The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan, which is often mentioned today, is a cenotaph built to memorize the Great Mongolia King - Genghis Khan. It went through several migrations. In 1954, the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan was moved from the Tar Monastery in Huangzhong County back to its former place, Yijin Horo Banner. The scenic area is situated on the grassland and surrounded by emerald green in summer. Nowadays, the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan has become a major tourist attraction in Inner Mongolia and the best place to explore the history of Inner Mongolia and get a deeper understanding of Genghis Culture.
The Genghis Khan Fiesta (成吉思汗祭祀大典) held in Genghis Khan Mausoleum is the most solemn and sacrificial activity of the Mongolian nationality. Generally, it is divided into weekly, monthly and seasonal sacrifices, all have fixed dates. Special ceremonies are held more than 60 times a year. The most grand and solemn Spring Sacrificial Ceremony falls on the twenty first day of the third month on the lunar calendar.
Recommended Genghis Khan Mausoleum Tour:
Tuofengling Tianchi in Summer
Azalea Flowers Blossom in Arshan Mountain
The Arshan National Forest Park (阿尔山国家森林公园) is located at the southwest ridge of the Greater Khingan Mountains. Here not only has the first peak of the Greater Khingan Mountains - Teermei Peak (1378 meters above sea level), but also Darbin Lake, the first lake of the Greater Khingan Mountains. Known as "God's Feet", the Tuofengling Tianchi (驼峰岭天池) is the essence of Arshan and the best place to take photos of the stunning natural scenery. It's an elevated lake that formed after a volcanic eruption, the surface of the water nearly 1300 meters above sea level.
Arshan National Forest Park belongs to the plateau continental climate zone. Winter is long and cold, but there is beautiful winter wonder “the rime”, natural hot springs and challenging alpine ski resorts. Summer is short and cool in Arshan, making it a natural oxygen bar and a good place for tourism and escaping summer heat.
Recommended Arxan, Hulunbuir Tour:
Ergun Wetland in Summer
Eerguna Wetland in Autumn
The Ergun Wetland (额尔古纳湿地) is the largest and best preserved wetland in China, which is favored by photography lovers. There are open shrub meadows in the scenic area, stretching as far as the eye can see. The scenic area is also rich in wildlife and is one of the world's most important breeding grounds for red-crowned cranes. The main peak, about 720 meters above sea level, offers a panoramic view of the wetlands. One of the most representative landscapes is the island in the middle of a lake shaped like a leaf. Standing at the top of the mountain, you can overlook the winding Genhe River and Ergun City. The houses with blue and pink roofs are interluded, sparkling under the setting sun.
Yufo Palace in Dazhao
Dazhao (大召) is the earliest Buddhist temple in Hohhot. Dazhao adopts the architectural form of the temples in mainland China, which mainly has the Gate to the Monastery, the Hall of Heavenly King and temples. Sutra Hall and Buddhist Hall are connected together, collectively called "the Great Hall". The Silver Buddha Dordenma, Dragon Carvings and Buddhist murals are the three unmissable unique in the temple. After entering the gate, go along the central axis, you can easily tour the whole temple. If you are interested in the Buddhist culture of Inner Mongolia, after visiting Dazhao, you can also visit the nearby Xiliuzhao (席力图召) and Five-pagoda Temple (五塔寺), etc.
Recommended Dazhao, Hohhot Tour:
Visit Wudangzhao in Summer
Colored Stone Drawings in Wudangzhao
Formerly named Badagar Temple, which means "white lotus flower" in Tibetan, Wudangzhao (五当召) is the largest temple of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. It was first built in the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty by the first Living Buddha Rob Sangalatuo, and rebuilt in the 14th year of Emperor Qianlong's reign and gradually expanded to its present scale. Together with the Potala Palace in Tibet, the Ta’er Lamasery in Qinghai Province and the Labrang Monastery in Gansu Province, they are known as the four famous monasteries of Lamaism in China. The buildings of Wudangzhao show a strong Tibetan Buddhism style. The exterior walls of all buildings are white, square and tidy. The number and rank of the cultural relics collected in Wudangzhao rank at the forefront of the collection in the autonomous region, and some of them are even rare in China.
Recommended Wudangzhao Tour:
Located in the center of Ejin Banner - Ejin Oasis, Ejina Populus Euphratica Forest (额济纳胡杨林) is adjacent to Dalaihubu town, the government residence of Ejin Banner, to the west, and Juyan Lake to the north, with a total area of over 26,000 square kilometers. This is the hometown of populus euphratica and the residence of the desert. Populus euphrasum is known as the "Hero Tree" because of the saying that "a euphrates poplar can live for one thousand years, stand still for one thousand years after its death and won’t decay for one thousand years after its collapse". From Yidaoqiao (一道桥) to Badaoqiao (八道桥), different poplar landscapes are distributed in the protection area, which is a paradise for photographers. From late September to middle October, about 20 days in total is the best time to visit Ejina Poplar Forest. Don’t miss the most dazzling golden autumn scenery in China.
Recommended Ejina Populus Euphratica Forest Tour:
Ordos Museum & Ordos Library in Kangbashi
Ordos Genghis Khan Statue Square
Kangbashi Tourist Area (康巴什旅游区) is located in the central and southern part of the Ordos Plateau. It is the seat of the city government of Ordos and the political, cultural, scientific and technological, educational and financial center of Ordos. Kangbashi District has a beautiful environment and pleasant scenery. It is a new type of northern grassland tourism city and a city that won the China Environmental Art Award. Attractions in Kangbashi mainly include interesting squares like Kangbashi Fountain Square, Genghis Khan Sculpture Square, Mongol Chess Square and amazing architectures like
Manzhouli Matryoshka Square
The Manzhouli Matryoshka Square (满洲里俄罗斯套娃广场) is the only plaza themed by matryoshka dolls in China. The highlight of the square is the world's largest Matryoshka with a height of 30 meters. Manzhouli Matryoshka Plaza is an important part of the China-Russia Border Tourism Zone. It is a large theme park with Russian style. There are six functional areas in the scenic area: Matryoshka World, Joy Zone, Matryoshka Theater, Russian Folk Experience Hall, Russian and Mongolian Performance Theater, and Extreme Paradise. There are Russian circus, fantasy ballets, mysterious and magical water curtain performance showing in the scenic area. You may also find the world's largest matryosh-themed hotel and amusement facilities here.
Recommended Manzhouli Tour:
Shiwei Russian Town
Beautiful Wooden House in Shiwei Town
Shiwei Town (室韦镇) is located on the northern border of China, inlaid at the northern foot of the Great Khingan Mountains, the northern end of Hulunbuir Grassland, along the Ergun River, and separated from the Russian town - Oroqi only by a river. In 2005, Shiwei Russian Town was rated as one of the "ten most charming towns in China" by CCTV. Here you can visit the ancient Russian-style dwellings, feel the customs of the Russian ethnic group, and understand the formation, history and development of the Russian Ethnic Minority in China. There is also beautiful natural scenery here, fresh wild flowers surround the wooden
Recommended Russian Ethnic Minority, Hulunbuir Tour:
Ulan Butong Grassland in Summer
Ulan Butong Photography in Autumn
Ulan Butong Grassland (乌兰布统草原) is located in the southern part of Hexigten Banner. It faces Saihanba Forest Farm in Weichang County, Hebei Province across the river. Ulan Butong Grassland is just about 300 km away from Beijing, the capital of China. Ulan Butong Grassland is a part of the Mulan Paddock (木兰围场) in the Qing Dynasty. It is famous in the world because Emperor Kangxi once commanded the Qing army to fight against Galdan here. Moreover, it has become a famous film and television location base at home and abroad for its charming European-style grassland scenery. The scenic area is located in the intersecting zone hills and plains, where the forest and grassland are combined harmonically, which has both the elegant beauty of the south and the vigorous charm of the north. The beautiful scenery throughout the year attracts tens of thousands of artists to come here. It’s the dreamland for photographers, the oil painting model for artists and the “Open Studio” for directors.
Recommended Ulan Butong Tours:
The Mongol Khan Tourist Area on Xilingol Grassland
Located in Xilinhot League, Xilingol Grassland (锡林郭勒草原) covers an area of 179,600 square kilometers and is one of the four major grasslands in China. Xilingol Grassland is not only one of the birthplaces of the Mongolian nationality, but also the place where Genghis Khan and his descendants started and went towards the Central Plains of China and the world. Xilingol Grassland has not only beautiful grassland scenery, but also primitive ethnic customs, numerous cultural relics, a profound history and culture and a pleasant climate. Every year, from May to September when the flowers bloom, it is the best time to visit the grassland.
Recommended Xilingol Grassland Tour:
Shapotou Desert in Tengger
The Moon Lake in Tengger Desert
Panoramic View of Site of Xanadu in Summer
Site of Xanadu on Jinlianchuan Grassland
The Site of Xanadu (元上都遗址) is located on the north bank of the Shandian River about 20 km east of Shangdu Town, Zhenglan Banner, Xilinhot City. It was built in 1256 and was determined as the capital by Kublai Khan, the founding emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, when he succeeded the Mongolian khanate. Later, when the Yuan Dynasty made Beijing its capital, it became the secondary capital of the Yuan Dynasty. The ruins of the Site of Xanadu are square in shape. Standing on the platform outside the city, you may still distinguish the layout of the old residences. With a perimeter of about 9 km, Shangdu City is divided into three parts: the Outer City, the Inner City and the Imperial City, among which The Imperial City is the most important part of the whole building group. It was the summer residence of emperors and their empresses. The Inner and Outer cities were the residences of the officials. The recommended time to visit the site is summer when the ground is overgrown with weeds. It is easier to identify the site in its entirety.
Recommended Site of Xanadu Tour:
Arshihaty Stone Forest
Hexigten Global Geopark (中国克什克腾世界地质公园) is located in Hexigten Banner, Chifeng City. It is a large-scale comprehensive geopark composed of Quaternary glacial remains, granite landforms, plateau lakes, rivers, volcanic landforms, sandy land, grassland, hot springs and plateau wetlands. There are not only the largest, most completed and best preserved Quaternary glacial landforms in eastern China, but also the unique “Stone Forest” in Inner Mongolia. The park covers an area of over 1,300 square kilometers and is composed of 9 scenic areas. Highlights include Dalinor Lake (达里诺尔湖), Huanggangliang National Forest Park (黄岗梁国家森林公园), Qingshan Moulins Park (青山冰臼公园), Arshihaty Stone Forest (阿斯哈图石林), Silamuliun Grand Canyon (西拉沐伦大峡谷) and Gongal Grassland (贡格尔草原), etc.
Recommended Hexigten Global Geopark Tour:
Inner Mongolia is so large and abundant with diverse natural and cultural highlights, so, you can hardly discover all the bests in one single visit. It takes 3 days to more than 1 month for various needs. And your itinerary can be decided based on your trip length, interests and a major area.
Classic Inner Mongolia - Middle Part (Hohhot, Baotou, Ordos...)
A classic Inner Mongolia tour usually starts from the capital Hohhot. Planning 3 days is popular for Hohhot city highlights with nearby grassland (Huitengxile or Xilamuren). 1-2 days to Kubuqi Desert in Ordos is also favored. And a 5-6 days trip to Hohhot, a grassland, Baotou and Ordos are the favorite one among travelers to enjoy grassland, desert, Genghis Khan culture, Tibetan Buddhism and culture in one go.
Authentic Grassland & Forest Views - East Part (Hulunbuir, Arxan...)
Interested in the best grassland? Plan 4-5 days to Hulunbuir to catch Hulunbuir Grassland and all fabulous primitive nature and nomadic tribe culture bests in Hailar, Ergun, Genhe and Manzhouli. Adding 2 more days to Arxan Forest Park is hot. A middle and east Inner Mongolia trip to Hohhot, Baotou, Ordos and Hulunbuir takes about 6 days.
Wild Desert & Golden Populus - West Part (Badain Jaran, Ejina...)
If you want to discover China’s most beautiful desert, plan 2-4 days trip to Badain Jaran Desert! Besides, Ejina Populus Euphratica Forest is quite hot for a 2-3 days’ photography tour in autumn. If you want a longer vacation, plan as many other visitors to discover Badain Jaran with nearby hot and convenient places like Xining, Zhangye, Dunhuang, Jiayuguan... It usually needs 7 days for a Xining Zhangye Badain Jaran trip.
Besides, it is also a great idea to extend to more popular destinations in China to appreciate more wonderful nature, culture, history and food of this vast country, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Yunnan, etc.
Have your own ideas of where and what to discover in Inner Mongolia? We China Discovery offers many popular and valuable private Inner Mongolia tour packages taking you to enjoy wonderful exploration of the best highlights of Hohhot, Hulunbuir, Ordos, Baotou, Badain Jaran, Ejina, etc. And our professional travel team with experienced travel expert, local English-speaking travel guide and driver and non-smoking comfortable licensed private vehicle will help you throughout the trip from the planning, navigation, hotel arrangement and scenic spot visiting. So you will have the much better travel experience in the large and beautiful Inner Mongolia. You can check our tour packages to get some inspiration. All tours can be tailor-made according to your group size, time, physical condition, plan, interests, budget and any other special need! Please feel free to contact us to customize your own Inner Mongolia trip or if you need any help!
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