Yinchuan

Yinchuan is the capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, which borders the grassland and deserts in the northern and western regions of China. The Yellow River lies east of Yichuan, and the name of the city literally means "Silver Valley", which refers to the fertility of land in an area that is generally dry and dusty. Yinchuan has a population of one million (about two million if one counts the residents of the surrounding rural areas). Ningxia being an autonomous region for many of China's Muslim minority people known as Hui, Yinchuan has a strong Islmic feel to it. The city is approximately 1,250 km (777 mi) west of Beijing and 680 km or 422 mi northwest of Xian.

Attractions

Map

  1. 108 Pagodas

    Situated 60 km south of Yinchuan, this is a group of 108 Tibetan-style pagodas. The towers, measured 2.5 m to 5 m in height, are arranged in 12 rows, by the numbers of 1, 3, 3,5, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13... to form a triangle that spreads down a hillside. There is no written record on the construction date of the pagodas, but archeologists believe they were constructed in either the Xixia period or the Yuan Dyansty (11th to 14th century).

  2. Baohu National Wetland Park

    Baohu Park (Baohu Gongyuan) is a national wetland park located in the southeastern part of Yinchuan, with an area of 82 hectares.

  3. Chengtiansi Tower

    The tower is part of the Chengtian Temple. The local pepole call it Xita, Western Tower, because it is located in the western part of old Yinchuan. The pagoda rises up to 65.5 m (211.6 ft), which makes half a meter taller than the famed Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian). The tower was originally constructed in 1050, by a prince of the Xixia Dynasty. The tower that stands today, however, is a reconstruction in 1820. Chengtian means "Follow the Heavenly Way".

  4. Drum Tower

    The Drum Tower of Yinchuan is located the heart of the city, at the intersection of Jiefang Street and Gulou Street. Measured 36 m (118 ft) in height, the tower was originally constructed in 1821. Officially it was a drum-and-bell tower, used to announce dawn and sunset as well as important ceremonies.

  5. Gunzhongkou Scenic Zone

    Gunzhongkou Scenic Zone is 35 km northwest of Yinchuan, close to the royal tombs of Xixia Kingdom. Located at the foot of the Helan Mountain Range, the area appeals with natural beauty as well as some historical sites. Among the latter, there are over a dozen Buddhst temples, Daoist shrines, and Islamic mosques, which were built over the centuries.

  6. Haibao Tower

    The precise date for the construction of this tower is uncertain. Some scholars speculate that it was originally erected in the 5th century. Over the century the tower suffered damages from disasters such as earthquake and was repaired or rebuilt a number of times. Standing 54 m (176.8 ft) in height, the tower is also known as Bei Ta ("Northern Tower"), which is in reference to the other notable historical building in Yinchuan, Chengtian Si Tower.

  7. Helan Mountain Rock Carvings

    Thousands of rock carvings that date back two thousand years are found in the Helan mountains west of Yinchuan. An area with a high concentration of the carvings on rocks and cliffs is Helankou, which is about 55 km northwest of Yinchuan. In a half-mile long stretch of a valley one finds several thousand ancient engravings that portrait animals and humans and depict scenes of life in the remote past.

  8. Mingcuihu National Wetland Park

    Mingcuihu National Wetland Park (Mingcuihu Guojia Shidi Gongyuan) is about 10 km southeast of Yinchuan and 3 km west of the Yellow River; it is over 6 square kilometers in area.

  9. Nanguan Great Mosque

    Nanguan Great Mosque (Nanguan Qingzhen Da Si) is the largest mosque in Yinchuan. A two-storied building with room for over a thousand worshipers to pray at the same time, the mosque was constructed in 1981 at a site where an old mosque stood, a location that is close to what used to be the southern gate - Nanguan - of old town Yinchuan.

  10. Royal Tombs of Xixia Kingdom

    Thirty kilometers west of Yinchuan, at the foot of the Helan Mountains, there are burial places of Xixia kings. The Xixia Dynasty was founded by a minority people who dominated this part of northwestern China back in the 11-13th century. In an area measured 53 square kilometers there scattered nine royal tombs, along with over 200 burial places for lesser royals and nobles. Although they cannot compare in scale to, for example, the Ming Tombs outside Beijing, the ruins of the tombs and their auxiliary structures stand as good testimony to what transpired in the region close one thousand years before.

  11. Ruins of the Great Wall at Sanguankou

    Sanguankou is located 40 km west of Yinchuan. This is an opening in the Helan mountain range which leads to Inner Mongolia to the west. In 16th century a section of the Great Wall was built here as part of the Ming Empire's frontier defense. "Sanguankou" literally means "Three Gates." The wall built here was mostly earthen. Of the three "gates," ruins of the first and the second can still be seen.

  12. Suyukou National Forest Park

    With a total area of 165 square kilometers, the Suyukou National Forest Park is located 40 km northwest of Yinchuan, adjacent to the Gunzhongkou Scenic Zone. With its green mountains and clear streams, the park is a good destination for retreats from urban bustles.

  13. Yuehai National Wetland Park

    Located on the low land through which the Yellow River flows though, Yinchuan has a number of wetland areas. Yuehai National Wetland Park (Yuehai Guojia Shidi Gongyuan) is located north of the city, about 20 square kilometers in area.

  14. Zhenbeibao Western Movie City

    Zhenbeibao Western Movie City (Zhenbeibao Xibu Ying Cheng) is an old-town-looking, movie-making set built in the desolate open field 30 km northwest of Yinchuan. Scenes from movies such as Red Sorghum were shot here. On the site there are ruins of two fortresses built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, which were part of the frontier defense back then.

Airport

Yinchuan Hedong Airport is 20 km southeast of the city center. Transportation: shuttle buses and taxis.