Why we suggest this tour itinerary?
People who stay in the over-noising modern city may long for a vacation that can free themselves in places such as unstirred ancient city, rich-in-Buddha-art grottos and famous temples, picturesque mysterious scared mountains in Shanxi Province, and meanwhile, to enjoy the stunning grasslands and the Gobi desert in the Inner Mongolia, explore the desert scenery and the oriental Pyramid (Xixia Regime Emperors Group Mausoleum) in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, two of Chinas most extraordinary places. In this itinerary, tourists can get acquaintance with antique Pingyao city, scared Buddhist Mountain - Mt. Wutai, the giant Yungang Grottos (all of these three places are the UNESCO World Heritage sites) and some other charming attractions which can make you indulge in the typical Chinese culture, art and folk custom. Beyond that, tourists can ride on horseback on Xilamuren Prairie, try activities and trips to the aobaos to visit traditional families to feel the warmth of Inner Mongolian people. You can also appreciate the Mongolian folk song and dance performance and campfire party, enjoy a windy night under a tapestry of shining stars, watch the sunrise of grassland in morning, ride camel in the desert and surf on the sand...
Main Tourist Attractions in the Itinerary:
In Shanxi Province:
Qiao Family Compound, Shuanglin Temple, Ancient Pingyao City.
Yungang Grottos, Huayan Temple.
In Inner Mongolia:
Dazhao Lamasery, Five-Pagoda Temple, Suiyuan General Office & Residence, Inner Mongolia Museum,
Xiangshawan Bay (Whistling Dune Bay), Genghis Kha’s Mausoleum.
South Lake Park to enjoy the vast limpid lake and reeds marshes
In Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region
Shapotou Desert Tour Area, “Oriental Pyramid”-Xixia Regime Emperors Group Mausoleum (or interpreted as Western Xia Tombs)
Experience in the Itinerary:
* To relax yourselves and know more ancient Chinese art and culture by visiting ancient local commercial tycoons architectures, Buddhist buildings, imposing Buddhist grottos, mysterious but graceful temples, well-protected typical ancient citizen houses and gardens in the dry north China.
* Visit the mysterious famous lamasery and pagoda in Hohhot,
* Enjoy the fresh air, unique scenery and brilliant sunset on the prairie,
* Appreciate the stunning scenery on the desert.
* Admire the renowned Genghis Kha’s Mausoleum to know the story of this hero.
* Explore the mystery of the Xixia Regime Emperors Group Mausoleum.
Some Important Tips for the Tour in Inner Mongolia:
1. In Inner Mongolia, the temperature by the daytime is hot, in evening or in morning is low, so please prepare more cloth.
2. The commodities in the Xilamuren Prairie Tourist Accommodation Area is kind of expensive. The Horse riding there is also not cheap.
3. Maybe the local guide will introduce you to take the roast sheep leg. This is the most famous local cuisine - but it is also not cheap. If you do not like, just tell to the guide clearly. It is no problem.
4. The sand in the Xiangshawai Desert (Whistling Dune Bay) is very very fine. No matter how careful you will be, it will get into everywhere on you. So please take care of your DC there.
More Info about Pingyao City, Mt. Wutai & Yungang Grottoes:
Ping Yao is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Han Chinese city, founded in the 14th century. Its urban fabric shows the evolution of architectural styles and town planning in Imperial China over five centuries. Of special interest are the imposing buildings associated with banking, for which Ping Yao was the major centre for the whole of China in the 19th and early 20th centuries. - from UNESCO website.
Pingyao Ancient City is an unbelievable melting pot. Buildings inside the Ancient City Wall, though taking on the same traditional looks, stand for sharply different contents. Exchange shops at Mingqing Street are to give you an active and ambitious Shanxi Commercial Group, which once dominated economy before modern China (before 1900). Among them is the famous Rishengchang Exchange Shop that you must visit. Astonishingly, These capitalistic banking companies lives in peace with feudal Government Office of Pingyao. Moreover, these companies have the Ancient Security Guard Company (Biaoju in Chinese) as their property supercargo. Youll find yourself amazed by such a relation and way of living together with varied minds in Pingyao!
More detail about Pingyao city at UNESCO World Heritage website: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/812
Mt. Wutai (UNESCO world heritage site):
With its five flat peaks, Mount Wutai is a sacred Buddhist mountain. It is seen as the global centre for the Bodhisattva of wisdom, Manjusri worship. Mount Wutai, literally, the five terrace mountain, is the highest in Northern China and is remarkable for its morphology of precipitous slopes with five open treeless peaks. Temples have been built on this site from the 1st century AD to the early 20th century. Now tourists mainly visit Taihuai Town which is in the middle of the 5 peaks and there are many well protected ancient temples.
Mt. Wutai was the first of the four mountains to be identified as the scared mountains of Buddhism in China. It was identified on the basis of a passage in the Avatamsaka Sutra, which describes the abodes of many bodhisattvas. In this chapter, the Bodhisattva of wisdom, Manjusri is said to reside on a "clear cold mountain" in the northeast. This served as charter for the mountains identity and its alternate name "Clear Cool Mountain"
The Bodhisattva is believed to frequently manifest himself on the mountain, taking the form of ordinary pilgrims, monks, or most often unusual five-colored clouds.
More detail about Mt.Wutai at UNESCO World Heritage website: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1279
More about Mt.Wutai at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Wutai
Located around 16 km to the west of Datong city, the Yungang Grottoes was built against a mountain and extend for about 1 km from east to west. The construction of the caves was started under the auspices of the noted monk Tan Yao in 453 during the Northern Wei Dynasty and took 50 years to complete. Some 40,000 people, including Buddhists from what is present-day Sri Lanka, contributed to the huge endeavor.
The 53 grottoes in Yungang include some 1,000 niches with about 51,000 statues - a treasure trove of grotto art that combines traditional Chinese art forms with foreign influence, particularly Greek and Indian. The Yungang Grottoes are also a treasure house of ancient Buddhist art, the largest of its kind in China. They are as famous as the Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang and Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, Gansu province.
The numerous niches set in the northern cliff of Wuzhou Mountain look like a honeycomb. The grottoes, a plethora of Buddhist statues, are composed of the following three parts: the early rock caves (five) in the west, which are mostly oval-shaped and planned on a large scale, with the main statue reaching a height of 17 meters; the grottoes in the middle, oblong in shape and in two chambers, with the main statue in the center and the walls, arches and roofs covered with Buddhist relief sculptures; the square grottoes, each with a pagoda-shaped central column, also excellently sculptured, reaching to the roof while the walls are carved with niches enshrining Buddhist statues.
More Detail about Yungang Grottoes on the UNESCO World Heritage Website: