Xilingol Attractions: 10 Best Things to Do in Xilingol League

Xilingol, or Xilin Gol or Xilinguole (Chinese: 锡林郭勒盟), is a secluded league of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in north China. It is a large league with groups of stunning grasslands, mountains, volcanic landscapes, lakes and also temple clusters and other historical relics. The most stand out attractions include the UNESCO World Heritage Site - The Site of Xanadu, Wulagai Grassland… Here is the full list of Top 10 Xilingol Attractions for you to know better about Xilingol and to better plan your Xilingol tour!

Xilingol Attractions

No.1: Site of Xanadu - UNESCO World Heritage & Ancient Capital Ruin

Xilingol Attractions

The Palace City of Site of Xanadu

Xilingol Attractions

Da'an Pavilion

  • Type: Historical Relics, Heritage, UNESCO World Heritage, Ancient Imperial City
  • Best Time to Visit: all year around, especially in July and August when the beautiful wild flowers of Jinlianchuan Grassland it is located in is in blossom.
  • Location: Wuyi Pasture, Shangdu Town, Zhenglan Banner, Xilin Gol League, Inner Mongolia (内蒙古自治区锡林郭勒盟正蓝旗上都镇五一牧场)

The Site of Xanadu (元上都) is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the entire Inner Mongolia. It is located in the Jinlianchuan Grassland in Zhenglan Banner in the south part of Xilingol League. The Site of Xanadu was the first and main capital of Yuan (1271-1368), the empire with the largest territory in history. Marco Polo once visited here, and in his book he described The Site of Xanadu as a breathtaking marble palace painted with gold and decorated with carved birds, animals, flowers and trees, showing excellent and delectable craftsmanship. The used splendid palace was destroyed in the war. However, the ruins of the palace, the statues of the Great Khan and the rich relics unearthed from this sacred site always continuously tell visitors the glory in the past.

While visiting the Site of Xanadu, visitors will also be welcomed by spectacular grassland sceneries. The grassland, namely Jinlianchuan Grassland, is famed a lot for the beautiful golden wild flowers blossoming in summer, especially in July and August.

No.2: Ujimqin Grassland - Most Popular Tourist Site in Xilingol

Xilingol Attractions

Bok Performance at The Mongol Khan City

Xilingol Attractions

The Mongol Khan City

  • Type: Grassland, Nature, Cultural Site
  • Best Time to Visit: May to September
  • Location: West Ujimqin Banner, Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia (内蒙古自治区锡林郭勒盟西乌珠穆沁旗)

Ujimqin Grassland is actually a vast land made up of several beautiful grasslands, including the one in West Ujimqin Banner and also in East Ujimqin Banner. However, when it comes to Ujimqin Grassland, it usually refers to the West Ujimqin Grassland (西乌珠穆沁草原), because the east one is more famous for Wulagai Grassland. West Ujimqin Grassland is about 2.5 hours and 166 kilometers away from Xilin Hot. It has almost all the features of grassland in China, including the meadow grassland, forest grassland, classic grassland, sparse forest steppe, desert forest, etc. If you want to admire different types of grasslands in one short trip, then go to West Ujimqin Grassland.

Besides the grassland, West Ujimqin Grassland is also popular for the Mongol Khan City, which was once a film site but now a great place to savor Mongolian culture and history. The nearby Banla Mountain and Genghis Khan Observation Mountain are also popular to get panorama views of the vast grassland.

No.3: Wulagai Grassland - The Grassland on the Sky’s Edge

Xilingol Attractions

Wulagai Grassland

Xilingol Attractions

Bulinquan Scenic Area in Wulagai Grassland

  • Type: Grassland, Nature, Film Location
  • Best Time to Visit: May to September
  • Location: East Ujimqin Banner, Xilin Gol League, Inner Mongolia (内蒙古自治区锡林郭勒盟东乌珠穆沁旗)

Wulagai Grassland (乌拉盖草原), or called Ulagai Grassland, is located in the northeast area of Xilingol League, a little bit far from Xiin Hot - the center area of Xilingol. However, the distant distance from the city center and human activities also implies the primitive nomadic lifestyle and natural scenery. The grassland there is believed to be the best and most beautiful of the whole Xilingol Grassland cluster. The most beautiful summer ranch in Inner Mongolia, Nailingol (乃林郭勒), which is a natural meadowland for the nomads to bring their sheep, cattle and horses to graze beside the river there every summer, is also one of the major highlights of the Wulagai Grassland. Under the blue skies and white clouds, the rays of sunshine dance in the endless prairie with lush grasses and colorful flowers, forming amazing natural picture. The rolling hills in a distance make the picture more grand and spectacular. Besides the landscape, the famous film, namely the Totem of Wolf, was also shot in this epic grassland. Wulagai Grassland and thus attracts many prairie lovers and film fans to come.

No.4: Xilingol Grassland Nature Reserve - The Closest Grassland to Xilin Hot

Xilingol Attractions

Xilingol Grassland Nature Reserve

Xilingol Attractions

Beautiful Nine Turns Tourist Area (锡林九曲)

  • Type: Grassland, Nature, Nature Reserve
  • Best Time to Visit: June to September
  • Location: Xilin Hot City, Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia (内蒙古自治区锡林郭勒盟锡林浩特市)

In 1987, the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program added Xilingol Grassland Nature Reserve (锡林郭勒草原自然保护区) into the International Biosphere Network. During the past years, the Xilingol Grassland Nature Reserve was a paradise for all types of animals like goats and swans than human beings, while nowadays it welcomes more visitors to come. About 18 kilometers southeast of the Xilin Hot City is the popular Nine Turns Tourist Area (锡林九曲), where the zigzag Xilin River, leisurely sheep and cattle and lovely Mongolian yurts decorates the emerald grassland, creating amazing scenery for photographers to bring up their cameras.

No.5: Xilingol Grassland Volcanic Geopark - Gorgeous Volcanic Landscape in the Grassland

Xilingol Attractions

Xilingol Attractions


  • Type: Volcanic Geopark, Natural Park, Geological Park
  • Best Time to Visit: all year around
  • Location: Xilin Hot City, Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia (内蒙古自治区锡林郭勒盟锡林浩特市)

Have you ever seen the volcanoes in the grassland? Xilingol can show you such amazing views. Xilingol Grassland Volcanic Geopark, which is very close to the grassland area of Xilingol Grassland Nature Reserve, offers otherworldly lava platform volcanic landform landscape. Visitors here will meet with volcanic products of different periods distributed in the endless prairie. There are over 100 volcanoes of different types, making Xilingol Grassland Volcanic Geopark one of the volcanoes clusters with the largest number of volcanic cones in the continental region.

The whole volcanic geopark has two separate areas, including the Pingdingshan Area and Gezishan Area, while Pingdingshan, which means mountains with flat heads, is more popular. Visitors who travel to the nature resort or have further plan to visit the Site of Xanadu in the south can add such an amazing site into the trip.

No.6: Hunshadake Sandy Land - The Closest Sand Resource from Beijing

Xilingol Attractions

Hunshadake Sandy Land

Xilingol Attractions

Hunshadake Sandy Land Hiking

  • Type: Desert, Sandy Land, Nature
  • Best Time to Visit: all year around, especially in summer and autumn
  • Location: Abaga Banner, Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia (内蒙古自治区锡林郭勒盟阿巴嘎旗)

Hushadake sandy Land (浑善达克沙地) is one of the members of the Top 10 Deserts in China. As its name implies, it is a sandy land than a desert. However, it is not a big matter for sand lovers to have fun. Located in the south region of Xilingol League, Hunshadake Sandy Land enjoys a close direct distance (180 kilometers) to Beijing, which makes it become Beijing’s closest sand resource. Desert and forest meet here and form a unique landscape of golden and green. On a bright day with clear sky, the golden sandy land decorated with lush brushes, yellow birch trees and rose willow will certainly leave you a gorgeous image in your head. The more appealing things are the interesting sand activities. You can ride a motorbike or jeep car to travel across the sandy land. Also, you can try sand sliding, etc. Let the sands kiss your face and indulge in the exciting speed.

No.7: Duolun Lake - Natural Beauty No Inferior to Jiuzhaigou Valley in Autumn

Xilingol Attractions

Duolun Lake

Xilingol Attractions

Duolun Lake

  • Type: Lake, Nature, Photography Site
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer and Autumn
  • Location: Dahekou Village, Duolun County, Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia (内蒙古自治区锡林郭勒盟多伦县大河口乡)

Duolun Lake (多伦湖) was formerly the largest water conservancy project. Nowadays, it is more attractive as an emerald embedded in between the mountains and grasslands than a reservoir. The most beautiful time of Duolun Lake is considered to be autumn. In 2008, Duolun Lake, together with Jiuzhaigou Valley, was entitled as the two most beautiful autumn landscapes in China. In addition to autumn, summer is also good, because you will be welcomed with lush green.

At Hulun Lake, you can climb along the great wall up to the upper location to get a panorama view of the lake and surroundings. Also, you can enjoy horse riding, rafting, boating, swimming, fishing, etc. There is also a road built around the lake, where you can enjoy biking. Every July or August, there will also be a biking race held there.

No.8: Beizi Temple - One of Four Most Important Temples in Inner Mongolia

Xilingol Attractions

Beizi Temple

Xilingol Attractions

Beizi Temple

  • Type: Temple, Pagoda, Historical Site, Cultural Site, Buddhist Temple
  • Best Time to Visit: all year around
  • Location: Xilin Hot City, Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia (内蒙古自治区锡林郭勒盟锡林浩特市)

Beizi Temple (贝子庙) is also known as Chongshan Temple (崇善寺). It is located in the south slope of in the north of Xilin Hot City in Xilingol league. Beizi Temple is one of the Four Most Important Temples in Inner Mongolia. It was firstly built in 1742, and till now, it has a relatively long history of about 280 years. The temple cluster is in huge size and in elegant flavor. And the architectures is a combination of Mongolia and China styles. As you approaching the open group in front of the temple, you will be welcomed by prayer flags waving in the wind, and then the solemn atmosphere begins to unfold. Take your time to stroll around the pagoda cluster and you will find that you almost forget that you are in Inner Mongolia instead of in Beijing, Datong or other cities.

No.9: Gurostai Ecological Reserve - Primitive Beauty is Calling

Xilingol Attractions

Gurostai Ecological Reserve Driving Road

Xilingol Attractions

Gurostai Ecological Reserve in Autumn

  • Type: Nature, Mountains, Grassland, Forest
  • Best Time to Visit: summer, autumn
  • Location: West Ujimqin Banner, Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia (内蒙古自治区锡林郭勒盟西乌珠穆沁旗)

Gurostai Ecological Reserve (古若斯台生态保护区) is a large area composed of grasslands, mountains, forests, valleys and rivers. There is no specific edge of this ecological reserve and West Ujimqin Grassland. It is named after the mountain of the same name - Gurostai Mountain, which is the highest peak of the whole Xilingol. Banla Mountain, which stands in a unique shape of half of the mountain, belongs here. You can hike up to the mountain and stand at the cliff to make magical photos and get perfect views of the broad grassland. The White Birch Forest is stunning in autumn, when the leaves turn into beautiful golden. The forests spread the grassland. And where the forest meets the grassland, beauty opens.

No.10: Imperial Horse Garden - Once a Riyal Horse Farm

Xilingol Attractions

Collections in the Museum at Imperial Horse Garden

Xilingol Attractions

The Entrance of Imperial Horse Garden

  • Type: Horse Farm
  • Best Time to Visit: all year around, especially from June to August
  • Location: Gongbao Laga Sumu, Taipusi Banner, Xilinguole League, Inner Mongolia (锡林郭勒盟太仆寺旗贡宝拉格苏木)

Xilingol is reputed as the “Horse Capital in China”, and the Imperial Horse Garden (御马苑) is the place you can get the answer why it is so called. In history, the Imperial Horse Garden was the royal horse farm. The officials will pick the best horses here and then bring to Beijing to the royal families. Nowadays, the Imperial Horse Garden is no longer the royal farm, however, it is a fantastic tourist site to trace the royal horse culture. Visitors here will meet with world-class ferghana horses and appreciate exciting equestrian sports and shows.

The Taipisi Imperial Horse Garden is close to Zhangbei County of Hubei Province. If you driving from Beijing, it will be a good place to make a stop in the early journey.

How to Plan a Xilingol Tour?

Usually, you can spend 4~7 days around to explore Xilingol. The tour usually starts from Xilin Hot, the league center of Xilingol. During the trip, you can spend 4~5 days to visit the highlights near Xilin Hot (like Xilingol Grassland Volcanic Geopark), in Left Ujumuqin Banner (like The Mongol Khan City and Ujumuqin Grassland), in East Ujumuqin Banner (Wulagai Grassland). Adding 1~2 days to visit Site of Xanadu - the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Jinlianchuan Grassland in Zhenglan Banner is also popular.

☛ 5 Days Primitive Inner Mongolia Tour to Xilingol (Xilingol)

If you have more days in Inner Mongolia, you can transfer to Hohhot, and spend 2~3 days visiting the amazing nearby deserts, Buddhist temples, museums and more essences around Baotou, Ulanqab and Ordos. Besides, you can spend 3~5 days in Chifeng visiting the splendid Hexigten Global Geopark and more wonderful lakes, prairies, etc.

☛ 5 Days Classic Inner Mongolia Tour (Hohhot / Huitengxile Grassland / Kubuqi Desert / Ordos)

☛ 6 Days Inner Mongolia Bests Discovery Tour (Hohhot / Ulanqab / Huitengxile Grassland / Baotou / Kubuqi Desert / Ordos)

☛ 6 Days Inner Mongolia Authentic Nature & Dynasties Culture Tour from Chengde (Xilingol - Chifeng)

Have more days and want more wonders? You can extend your trip to Hulunbuir, Arxan, Greater Khingan, Badain Jaran, Ejina, etc. Also, it is a great idea to travel to more popular destinations in China, such as Chengde, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Guilin, Silk Road, Tibet, Yangtze River, etc. You can contact us to customize a Xilingol tour with more personal experiences based on your interests, needs and budget!

☛ 5 Days Best Hulunbuir Tour with Grassland Exploration (Hulunbuir)

☛ 9 Days Hulunbuir In-depth Tour with Arxan UNESCO Global Geopark (Hailar - Ergun - Manzhouli - Arxan - Hailar)

☛ 5 Days Zhangye Danxia Badain Jaran Desert Geography Miracle Tour

Travel Xilingol with China Discovery

Looking for a Xilingol tour but feel hard to arrange your day by day itinerary and site to site transportation? Travel with us China Discovery and let our experienced travel consultant help you. We know Xilingol and Xilingol Grassland much and we have helped numerous visitors to enjoy a tour there. If you go with us, we will customize an Xilingol Tour for you! Your guide will accompany you all the way and show you the best viewing and photography spots. And your driver will take you to cross the grassland along the driving road in the middle of the grassland.

The tour is tailor-made according to your interests, budget, group size and every special need! If you are interested, please feel free to contact us!

Xilingol Map Local Private Transfer Service

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