Although I have been to 26 countries, my first travel collaboration and 27th country to visit was with the mighty ‘land of the dragons’ – China. A tour arranged by Asia Travel Promotion Limited and Emirates. We were off to explore Ningxia – the paradise beyond the Great Wall!
Ningxia, the paradise beyond the Great Wall
My prestigious invite to visit Ningxia, China came in to explore the autonomous region for 5 days. Ningxia Region is a pearl lying on the Northwestern part of China, located in the area of the upper-middle stream of the Yellow River.
The discovery of the Shui Dong Gou Remains in Lingwu (a satellite city of Yinchuan) was an evidence showing that human started living here since 30,000 years ago. There is huge mountain, wide plain, endless river, yellow desert and a lot of natural beauty. The complicated landscapes and various natural sceneries show to the world like a magnificent picture.
China Visa applications in Dubai are now accepted only through VFS at the Wafi Mall. I got my visa in 3 days for approx AED 350. It’s AED 470 for urgent.
Emirates have a direct flight from Dubai to Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia. It takes about 8 hours. Glad to have gotten a free upgrade by Emirates and I had the smoothest flight!
Xifujing Hotel – Being perfectly located in Xinhua Street, the city’s dynamic district with central commercial status. It was also a 5-minute walk to the Pedestrian precinct of the city. You can read about it more on here – Xifujing Hotel
Sites to visit
As the special location of Ningxia which lies across the inland and pasture areas, as well as the intersection place of Yellow River cultures and Silk Road cultures, you could find the interaction of different cultures. The historic Yellow River cultures, the string Islamic cultures, the unique Western Xia cultures, and the different natural views create many featured tourist attractions. “Two Mountains and the River” (Helan Mountain, Liupan Mountain, Yellow River); “Two ‘Sand’ and the Mausoleum”(Sand Lake, Shapotou, Western Xia Mausoleum) ; and “Two Cultures and the Scenery” (Western Xia Culture, Islamic Culture, Abundant resources beyond the Great Wall) are the iconic features of Ningxia. There are currently around 100 tourist spots in Ningxia, of which 3 of them are National 5A Tourist Attractions and 9 of them are National 4A Tourist Attractions.
Sand Lake, Shizuishan
Sand lake is all-round and diversified. The various sceneries include clear lake, sand hill, reed forests, a great number of birds and wildlife. And other than sight-seeing; tourists could enjoy a number of different activities there, including the jet skis, zorbing balls, climbing tower, boating in the reed marshes, observing birds and flowers, riding camels with bells, swimming, riding in the sky, motor-boating on desert, cable skiing, water-skiers, water plane ride and parasailing. Some of the activities of sand are unique in Ningxia, which even raises the attractiveness of the tourist site.
Activities & Pricing
Entry Fee：RMB $60
Entry Fee + boat ticket：RMB $110 (non-peak season)
Muslim Village, Wuzhong
Mu Min Village is inhabited principally by the Hui people, it’s called” longevity village”. The Hui people are a Chinese ethnic group, which is composed predominantly of adherents of the Muslim faith. As an Intangible Cultural Heritage, Mu Min Village reveals the lifestyle of Hui people, including agricultural system, architectural style, and traditional customs. Almost all the houses in Mu Min Village are equipped with minaret tops and they’re decorated with green glazed tiles. In addition, you will visit the chief of the village and learn how to make 饊 子 (fried dough twist) from a local family.
Activities & Pricing
- Entry Fee (non-peak season)：RMB $65
- Sightseeing Bus 電瓶車+ Sheepskin Raft one way 羊皮筏子漂流：RMB $105
Package (Cable Car +Sand Slide)：RMB $50
Rock Paintings of Helan Mountain
Helan Mountain is also on the list of the major historical and cultural sites protected at the national level in China. There are many different ethnic groups living in the areas around Helan Mountain in old times; they lived here and left the paintings. The attraction ranges 250km from north to south and these paintings record the historic living of the nomads in 3,000-10,000 years ago, from herd, wars, and worship; to entertainment, sexual intercourse. In the present, China is the country with the most cliff paintings, and among those, Helan Mountain in Ningxia contains the most intensive ones.
Activities & Pricing
- Entry Fee ：RMB $60
- Sight-seeing bus: RMB$70
Food in Ningxia will be on another post and it’s a treat for all the Halal eaters! I had a great experience exploring Ningxia for 5 days and the various spots it has to offer. The raw beauty of this place has made China a special place for me and I wish to be back to explore more of China.
I would highly suggest you take a local tour agency with an English speaking guide if you’re visiting Ningxia or any nearby states.
Local Tour Agency Suggestions
- Ningxia China International Travel Service 宁夏中国国际旅行社-宁夏国旅
- China Travel Service of Ningxia, LTD 寧夏中國旅行社
- Ningxia New Cultural International Travel Service 寧夏新文化國際旅行社
- Ningxia Zhongxin International Travel Service 寧夏中信國際旅行社有限公司