Ningxia Travel Guide

Ningxia Map, Ningxia Travel GuideThe land of fish and rice in northern China

The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, with Yinchuan as its capital city, is located in northwest China, on the upper reaches of the Yellow River. As one of China's five autonomous regions inhabited by minority groups, it borders Shaanxi Province in the east, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the north, and Gansu Province in the south.

Climate

The region is 1,200 km from the sea and has a continental climate with average summer temperatures rising to between 17 and 24°C in July and average winter temperatures dropping to between -7 and -10°C in January. Seasonal extreme temperatures can reach 39°C in summer and -30°C in winter. The diurnal temperature variation in summer is 17°C. Annual rainfall averages from 190 to 700 millimeters, with more rain falling in the south of the region.

History and culture

As far back as 2,000 years ago, the people in this area had dug canals to divert the water onto farmland. Irrigation canals crisscross the fertile soil of the Yinchuan Plain, where watermelon and other fruit is grown. The Plain is noted for having "lush southern-type fields in the northern frontier" and "a land teeming with fish and rice." Some of the largest deposits of coal and gypsum in China are found in the area.

People

Ningxia is the home of the Hui, There are 1,829,700 people of the Hui ethnic group, accounting for 34.1 percent of Ningxia's total population, or one-fifth of China's Hui population. As a stop along the legendary Silk Road, the Hui were converted to the Muslim religion by Islamic traders. Han Chinese make up 65.36 percent of the population in the autonomous region. In addition, there are another 33 ethnic minority groups. Most of the Huis live in Tongxin, Guyuan, Xiji, Haiyuan, and Jingyuan counties as well as Wuzhong City and Lingwu County in the area irrigated with water diverted from the Huanghe River.

Travel suggestions

Mausoleums of the Western Xia Kingdom, Ningxia Travel GuidePlaces of interest in the area are the Ming Dynasty Great Wall at the Sanguan Pass, Mausoleums of the Western Xia Kingdom (sometimes called the Chinese Pyramids), the Haibao Pagoda, the Nanguan Muslim Mosque, the Chengtian Temple, and 108 towers in the Qingtong Gorge.

One of Ningxia's main tourist spots is the famous Mausoleums of the Western Xia Kingdom whose site is located 30 km west of Yinchuan. The remnants of nine Western Xia emperors' tombs and two hundred other tombs lie within a 50-km area. Other famous sites in Ningxia include Helan Shan, the mysterious 108 pagodas, the twin pagodas of Baisikou and the desert research outpost at Shapatou.

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