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Inner Mongolia Ordos Travel

Ordos Travel Guide 2023

Ordos is located in the southwest of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, surrounded by the Yellow River in the west, north and east, and the Great Wall in the south. It is connected with the Loess Plateau and adjacent to Ningxia, Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces. This ancient and magical land is boosted with diverse landforms, including lush grasslands, undulating plateaus, as well as expansive deserts, sandy lands and oases combining golden sand and green plants. Besides the splendid natural scenery, the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan is located here, as well as the environmental Kangbashi New Area, the peculiar Ordos Museum, the grand mansion of living Buddha and the splendid Hetao culture await your exploration.

Why Visit Ordos, Inner Mongolia?

  • Kubuqi Desert - As the seventh largest desert in China, Kubuqi Desert is famous for its resonant sands and dunes. The Yemingsha Scenic Area and the famous Xiangshawan (Resonant Dune Day) Scenic Area are two top choices for visitors in Kubuqi Desert. Sand sliding, camel riding, desert motorcycling, desert camping and off-road driving, etc. are all well worth experiencing. And the best thing to try is a light desert hike. Spending half an hour climbing on and wandering along the golden dune peak, overlook in a distance and savor the shocked and moved emotions brought by the boundless desert.
  • Catch a Glimpse of the Glorious Life of Genghis Khan - When you come to Ordos, you can't miss exploring the past of Mongolian culture. Genghis Khan and his emperor are symbols of Mongolian culture. The real burial place of Kublai Khan has long been unknown. And the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan, as the cenotaph of the legendary emperor, has been the sacred place of the Mongolian people for hundreds of years. More than 60 fiestas are held here every year.
  • Explore Chilechuan in The Book of Songs - As one of the westerly grasslands in Inner Mongolia, Ordos Grassland is not as flourish as Hulunbuir Grassland, which has lush grass and fully covered meadows. But here is the "Chilechuan (敕勒川)" in The Book of Songs! Although the two thousand years of human grazing activities have made the place lose the beauty of "cattle and sheep are seen in the meadow when the wind blows", but still retain the magnificent and lofty sentiment of "the vast sky and the boundless earth".
  • Check out the Modern Present of Ordos - The modern development of Inner Mongolia can be seen in Kangbashi, a new district in Ordos. The perfect urban planning, clean and wide urban roads, urban buildings full of art, the world's largest music fountain... All make visitors linger in the city.
  • Admire the Model of Desert Greening - TIME has once praised that “China's Greening of the Vast Kubuqi Desert is a Model for Land Restoration Projects Everywhere...”. Pay a visit to the Qixing Lake Desert Scenic Area in Kubuqi Desert, the only word that comes to your mind will probably be - "Amazing". Located in the hinterland of the Kubuqi Desert, Qixing Lake is surrounded by sand mountains. On one side of the mountains is the boundless desert,. On the other side is the oasis with limpid lakes and emerald grass.

Top Attractions in Ordos, Inner Mongolia

Over two thirds of tourists who visit Ordos are aiming for the Kubuqi Desert. Some people may not understand what is interesting about the "harsh" desert tour. But there are many ways to have fun in the desert -- listen to the symphony of sand, enjoy the wonderful combination of golden sand and green plants, and see the unique scenery of desert lakes and oases. Of course, there are more than deserts here. Genghis Khan mausoleum is also in this area, as well as the Ordos Museum shaped like a giant black boulder, the largest music fountain in the world in Kangbashi District and the Ordos Grassland with a broad vision, etc. For more details about Top Attractions & Things to Do in Ordos >>

Ordos Travel Guide
Kubuqi Desert

Kubuqi Desert, the seventh largest desert in China, is a masterpiece of nature, which provides you with the most authentic desert scenery and complete desert entertainment.

Ordos Travel Guide
Yemingsha Scenic Area

As one of the hottest scenic areas in Kubuqi Desert, Yemingsha is suitable for adults, adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s the best place to try jeep-safari, desert camping, camel riding and sand sliding, etc.

Ordos Travel Guide
Xiangshawan Scenic Area

Xiangshawan is the most popular scenic area in Kubuqi Desert. It’s the earliest developed scenic area, so amusement facilities are complete, also known as the “Disneyland in the Desert”.

Ordos Travel Guide
Qixing Lake Scenic Area

Qixing lake scenic area is a demonstration area of desert greening and ecological. The scenic area combines diverse natural scenery of deserts, lakes and oases, making it a good destination for family travel and vacation.

Ordos Travel Guide
Mausoleum of Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan Mausoleum is a cenotaph of Genghis Khan. The scenic area is a must for understanding the culture and life journey of Genghis Khan. The biggest highlight here is the Genghis Khan Fiesta.

Ordos Travel Guide
Kangbashi District

Kangbashi District is the best place to explore the urban landscape of Inner Mongolia nowadays. The urban design is scientific and artistic. Highlights in the district include local museums, libraries, squares and theaters, etc.

Ordos Travel Guide
Kangbashi Fountain Suqare

Kangbashi Fountain Square is the world's largest square music fountain. It has created many miracles in the history of fountain construction. At the opening ceremony of the Asian Art Festival, it served as the first show, perfectly displaying the charm of "water".

Ordos Travel Guide
Ordos Museum

Shaped like a giant black boulder, the Ordos Museum is a comprehensive museum integrating the collection, display and research of history and culture in Ordos city. It is the landmark building of Ordos.

Ordos Travel Guide
Wulan Living Buddha Mansion

Wulan Living Buddha Mansion is a monastery building group integrating Mongolian, Tibetan and Han architectural styles. It’s the place where the 12th Wulan Living Buddha lives, studies and promotes Buddhism.

Ordos Travel Guide
Ordos Grassland

Ordos Grassland, located in Hangjin Banner, is a perfect place to feel the hospitality of the Mongolian people and appreciate the local customs and practices. Ordos Wedding, Zhama banquet and campfire party are unmissable highlights.

Ordos Travel Guide
Alzhai Grottoes

Being praised as the “Dunhuang on the Grassland”, there are hundreds of grottoes around Mount Sumerthuarzhai in the scenic area. Visitors may see elaborately carved Buddha statues and colorful murals here.

Ordos Travel Guide
Salawusu Scenic Area

Salawusu Desert Canyon, well known as "The Largest Desert Canyon in China", is a great place for photography. Besides the stunning natural scenery, it’s also the birthplace of the brilliant Hetao Civilization.

Featured Ordos Activities

There are a lot of things to do in ordos. You can have fun in the desert by trying sand sliding, camel riding, jeep-safari, camping and hiking; Explore local history by visiting museums and attractions with great historical significance; Watch the music fountain shows and enjoy the splendid night scenery of Kangbashi District...

Ordos Travel Guide

Jeep Safari

The golden sand dunes, which are tens of meters high, stretch long and boundless in Kubuqi Desert. The superior topographic conditions make it a perfect place to experience the exciting desert off-road driving.

Ordos Travel Guide

Desert Camping

Camp overnight in the desert would be the experience of a lifetime! When night falls, set up the camp and light up the fire at the hinterland of the desert. After the exciting bonfire party, you may enjoy the quietness and peace under the starry sky...

Ordos Travel Guide

Desert Hiking

Thanks to the unique bowstring shape and good location, Kubuqi Desert is one of the best deserts to hike through in China. There are hiking routes various from light hiking to deep hiking, which is suitable for hikers of all levels.

Ordos Travel Guide

Camel Riding

Riding a camel on golden dunes is an experience that you must try when visiting deserts. Sitting between the humps, listening to the camel bells, looking at the vast desert, you can't stop marveling at the vicissitudes of this world.

Ordos Travel Guide

Genghis Khan Culture Exploring

Want to learn more about the life journey of the great Mongolia emperor who unified Mobei and established the empire of Mongolia? Why not visit the Mongolia History and Culture Museum and Ordos Museum, etc to explore.

Ordos Travel Guide

Music Fountain Shows

If you are planning to stay overnight in Kangbashi District, don’t miss the show of the largest scale music fountain in the world. The fountain show starts at eight o’clock every night, a perfect display of the tension and rendering power of water.

Ordos Travel Guide

Naadam Festival

Every midsummer, many places in Ordos hold the grand Naadam Festival. During the festival, you may see Mongolian men and women gathered at the festival venue to compete fiercely in horse riding, archery and wrestling.

Ordos Weather & Best Time to Visit

Ordos Weather

Ordos has a typical temperate continental climate, with dry and cold winters and warm and humid summers. The coldest month is January (average temperature around -11°C) and July is the hottest month (average temperature around 23°C). The annual rainfall is different between the east and the west, ranging from 350mm to 270mm.

Best Time to Visit Ordos

Summer and autumn (from June to October) are good seasons to visit Ordos. But comparatively speaking, grasslands are more pleasant and cooler than deserts in summer, and autumn when the temperature goes down, the crispy and clear days are the best time to have fun in the deserts. For those historical and cultural sites in Ordos, they are suitable for visiting all year around.

Desert Dressing Tips: In summer and autumn, the sunlight is strong in the daytime and the temperature drops rapidly at night. So travelers are recommended to wear long sleeves and sweat absorption clothes when traveling in summer, and bring necessities like sun cream, sand-proof mask, lip balms, sunglasses and topees, etc. In autumn, you need to add extra clothes during the night to prevent yourself from catching a cold. Repellent and pills for carsick, etc. are also essentials for visiting deserts.

Know more details about Ordos Weather, Temperature & Best Time to Visit >>

Ordos Transportation: How to Get to/around Ordos

Ordos Travel Guide Ordos Travel Guide Ordos Travel Guide Ordos Travel Guide Ordos Travel Guide Ordos Travel Guide

Get to Ordos

Ordos, located in the central west of Inner Mongolia, boards Baotou in the north and Hohhot in the east. It’s about 270 km away from Hohhot downtown, about 100 km away from the city center of Baotou and over 1330 km away from Hulunbuir. Ordos is connected with other hot destinations in Inner Mongolia and China by (bullet) train, air and highway. However, most tourist would not take Ordos as their first stop in Inner Mongolia, and they would choose to transfer from Hohhot - the capital or Hulunbuir - the most popular tourist destination in Inner Mongolia.

Hohhot to Ordos

Taking bullet trains and driving are 2 most common ways to get to Ordos from Hohhot. If you just want to visit highlights in downtown areas, the most convenient and time-saving way to transfer between two cities is by bullet trains, which only takes 1.5-2 hours and there are over 5 runs every day. However, there are many attractions between Hohhot and Ordos and far away from the urban area, such as Huitengxile Grassland, Kubuqi Desert (Yemingsha, Xiangshawan...), Mausoleum of Genghis Khan and Ordos Grassland, etc. In this cases, booking private car services, driving while playing becomes a better way to explore all unmissable sites in the central area of Inner Mongolia. Check more about How to Get from Hohhot to Ordos >>

Hulunbuir to Ordos

There is no direct train or flight connecting Ordos with Hulunbuir (Hailar). So those who would like to visit Kubuqi Desert or the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan before/after exploring Hulunbuir can make a transfer at Hohhot. There are over 15 direct flights from Hohhot Baita Airport to Hulunbuir Dongshan International Airport every day, which takes about 2.5 hours. Then you can take cars or (bullet) trains to reach Ordos.

Get around Ordos

There are 2 major urban districts in Ordos, Kangbashi District (康巴什区) and Dongsheng District (东胜区). The distance between the center area of the two districts is about 28 km, which takes 40-60 minutes by taxi/car. For accommodation, most people would choose to stay in Dongsheng District - the old downtown center of Ordos, which is about 180 km (driving distance) to Yemingsha, 60 km (driving distance) to Xiangshawan and 60 km (driving distance) to Genghis Khan Mausoleum Scenic Area.

Ordos to Kubuqi Desert (Yemingsha Scenic Area)

The only way to get to Yemingsha Scenic Area from Ordos is by booking a private car service beforehand. The driving distance between Yemingsha Scenic Area and Dongsheng District is about 180 km, which takes around 2.5 hours. Jeep-safari is the most popular way to get around and explore the scenic area. Besides, you may also try camel riding, sand sliding, ziplining and camping in the scenic area.

Ordos to Genghis Khan Mausoleum Tourist Area

Dongsheng District in Ordos is about 60 km north from Genghis Khan Mausoleum Tourist Area, which takes at least 1 hour to get there by car/taxi. For budget independent travelers, you may also take a coach/tourist bus at Dongsheng Bus Station or Ordos Square to reach the scenic area. The whole journey takes about 1.5-2 hours.

To check more transfer info, please see How to Get to and around Ordos >>

Ordos Accommodation & Where to Stay in & around Ordos

Ordos Travel Guide

There are all kinds of hotels for you to choose from in Dongsheng District and Kangbashi District in Ordos, from luxury hotels to economic hotels and hostels with a good environment and living conditions. Besides, you may also find economy hotels, hostels and other special accommodation (desert resorts, grassland yurts and camps, etc.) in and around scenic areas such as Kubuqi Desert (Xiangshawan, Yemingsha, Qixing Lake...), Genghis Khan Mausoleum Tourist Area and Ordos Grassland, etc. Feel free to tell your needs and requirements to our professional travel consultants. Check more detailed information about Ordos Accommodation: Where to Stay in Ordos & Recommended Hotels >>

Useful Ordos Maps

As one of the major cities in central Inner Mongolia, Ordos boosts rich and diverse tourism resources from natural and city landscapes to historical and cultural sites. To help you have a better and clearer understanding of the location, distribution, highlights and transfer information of Ordos, we here collect the useful Ordos China Map, Ordos Provincial Map, Ordos Attractions Map, etc. all maps are in English and downloadable for your travel! Check all the latest Ordos Maps 2023!

Ordos Travel Guide

Ordos China Map

Ordos Travel Guide

Ordos Attractions Map

Ordos Travel Guide

Ordos Districts Map

Other Destinations in Inner Mongolia

If you want to keep travelling before/after Ordos, there are some awesome destinations in Inner Mongolia for your exploration. You can pay a visit to the capital of Inner Mongolia - Hohhot, the most beautiful grassland in Hulunbuir, majestic Badain Jaran Desert, and the antique Wudangzhao temple in Baotou, etc. Check more about Top Cities and Destinations in Inner Mongolia >>

Other Popular Destinations in China

China is vast and diverse. You can choose your favorite destination among more than 70 tourist destinations and regions. The following are 4 popular destinations you may be interested in. Check all destinations in China.

Ordos Travel Guide

Chinese Name: 鄂尔多斯

Chinese Pinyin: è ěr duō sī

English IPA: /'ɔːdəʊ/

Population: 2.15 million

Language: Mandarin & Mongolian

Tel Code: 0477

Zip Code: 017000

Time Zone: (UTC+8)

Plan Your Ordos Tour

There are two biggest highlights in Ordos, one is Kubuqi Desert, the other is the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan. It usually takes about 2 days to explore the beauty of nature and culture in the two sites. For those who are interested in desert camping, riding and hiking can spend 2 and more days in Kubuqi Desert. Before or after your desert tour, you make take 0.5 days to explore the Kangbashi District in Ordos, visit Genghis Khan Sculpture Square, Mongol Chess Square and Kangbashi Gallery of Culture and Art, etc.

For first-time visitors to Inner Mongolia, you are recommended to spend 4-6 days visiting Ordos together with Baotou and Hohhot, enjoy all the highlights in the central area of Inner Mongolia, like the famous Buddhist temples (Dazhao, Wudangzhao and Meidaizhao, etc.), vast grasslands (Huitengxile Grasslands, Xilamuren Grassland, etc.), and wild Kubuqi Desert.

Feel not enough? You can spend 4~6 days more in Hulunbuir meeting the most beautiful grassland in China and more authentic wetlands and forests and Russian flavored villages, 4~5 days more in Xilingol discovering the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site - Site of Xanadu, 4~5 days more in Chifeng savoring the fantastic nature colors. Do you have your own preferences about Ordos, Inner Mongolia travel? Please feel free to tell us your likes and let our experienced travel consultant customize a tour for you!

Besides, it is also a good idea to travel Hohhot with other popular destinations in China, such as Beijing, Datong, Shanghai, Xian, Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, etc. All our tours can be customized according to your interests, group size, needs, travel time, budget, etc. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us for a personal Inner Mongolia tour 2023/2024!

Check more about How to Plan an Inner Mongolia Tour >>

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6 Days Inner Mongolia Bests Discovery Tour

Hohhot / Ulanqab / Huitengxile Grassland / Hohhot / Baotou / Yemingsha of Kubuqi Desert / Ordos

Cenotaph Part of Mausoleum of Genghis Khan
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Yemingsha Desert Off-road Driving Experience
6 Days Inner Mongolia Best Desert & Grassland Tour (Hohhot to Hulunbuir)

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Yemingsha Desert Off-road Driving Experience
4 Days Huitengxile Grassland & Kubuqi Desert Tour from Hohhot

Hohhot / Huitengxile Grassland / Yemingsha of Kubuqi Desert / Ordos

Overnight Camping at Kubuqi Desert
2 Days Best Kubuqi Desert Tour to Yemingsha

Hohhot / Yemingsha of Kubuqi Desert / Ordos


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