Xilingol (Xilinguole) Travel Guide
Xilingol League Facts
Chinese Name: 锡林郭勒盟 (xī lín guō lè méng)
Area: 203,000 square kilometers (78,379 square miles)
Location: in the central area of Inner Mongolia, north China
Administrative Division: 1 county (Duolun); 9 banners: (Abag Banner, Sunite Left Banne, Sunite Right Banner, East Ujimqin Banner, West Ujimqin Banner, Taibus Banner, Xianghuang Banner, Zhengxiangbai Banner, Zhenglan Banner); 2 county-level cities: (Xilinhot, Erenhot)
Area Code: 0479
Zip Code: 026000
GDP (2019): CNY 79.859 billion (USD 11.575 billion)
Nationalities: Han, Mongol, Hui, Man, Chaoxian, Daur, Ewenke
Famous for Magnificent Grassland Scenery
Situated in the central region of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xilingol, also known as Xilinguole, is bounded to the north by Mongolia and Zhangjiakou and Chengde of Hebei Province to the south. Within Inner Mongolia, it borders Ulanqab to the west, Chifeng, Hinggan and Tongliao to the east. Xilinguole, literally means the river on the vast grassland in Mongolian, famous for its magnificent grassland scenery. Blue sky, white clouds, winding rivers through grasslands and white yurts make up an impressive and spectacular picture. Many tourism projects have been developed to offer a wonderful travel experience such as riding horse or camel, herding sheep, watching costume performances and experiencing local life. If you have enough time, you can plan a border tour. The Xilinguole Grassland is also one of China’s most beautiful grasslands whose high-quality forage raises many cattle, sheep and horses, so Xilinguole is also a major livestock product base.
Xilingol Attractions - Things to Do
Xilingol is the nearest pasturing area to the Beijing and Tianjin areas. Grand grasslands, relics of dinosaur and ancient residence of Kublai are main attractive scenic spots in Xilingol.
Xilingol Grassland is the most representative grassland in a temperate climatic zone in China. It is a national grassland nature reserve, being a fabulous destination to ride on horseback freely and experience the country life of a nomad.
Xilingol was a homeland for dinosaurs hundreds of millions of years ago. Dinosaur National Park in Erenhot City is a national 4A level scenic spot famous for its abundant and rare dinosaur fossils. Nowadays, this park establishes a special exhibition museum in order to display the relics of dinosaurs. Besides, the largest and most intact dinosaur fossil was discovered in Sunite You Qi. This well-known source of dinosaur fossils is the desolate area 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) northeast of Erenhot.
The Site of Xanadu was the capital of the Mongol Empire in the early Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). First established in 1256, the prominent position of Xanadu in history is as famous as the ancient city of Pompeii in Italy. In 2012, this place was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
How to Get to/around Xilingol
Xilinhot Airport is situated in the western part of the city of Xilinhot, operating daily flights to Beijing, Hohhot and Halaer (center area of Hulunbeier City) as well as some provisional tourist flights to other big cities.
Erenhot Saiwusu International Airport is located near Saiwusu Town, Erenhot City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, about 27 kilometers (17 miles) southeast of Erenhot City and 32 kilometers (20 miles) from the Mongolian border. The airport has opened flights to/from Beijing, Ulanqab and Hohhot.
The four railways in Xilinguole stretch to the capital city of Inner Mongolia and to almost all the vital towns inside the league, connecting the railway system in Outer Mongolia. There are also three national highways and eight provincial highways that make up the backbone of its road transportation.
Xilinhaote Bus Station is the transportation hub of Xilingol. It is located on Nadamu Da Jie. Near the railway station at the junction of provincial highways No.101 and 207, the western station mainly operates buses to places inside Inner Mongolia.
See more Beijing to Erlian Train, Erlian to Ulaanbaatar Train
When to Go: Recently, sandstorms have occurred more frequently in spring and autumn. Therefore, June to August is the best season to visit Xilingol.
Xilingol Travel Tips
History: Early in the Shang Dynasty (16th -11th century BC), nomad tribes moved to this area. It was always inhabited by ethnic minorities from Northern China and was governed by regimes established by these minorities. The Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC) founded shires to administer the region temporarily. As the secondary capital of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), Xinlingol was an important central city at that time.
Physical Features: Its terrain slopes downward from the south to the north. Low mountains and hills in the southern and eastern regions of Xilingol are offshoots of the western extension of the Daxing'anling Mountains and the eastern extension of the Yishan Mountains. The land is flat in the northern and western regions with some hills and lava mesas scattered around.
Special Local Products: Mongolia mushroom, Russian olive, mutton, beef
Food and Drink: People living in the pasture area of Inner Mongolia like eating mutton and dairy. For drinks, they like Mongolian milk tea, yoghurt and koumiss (fermented milk).
What city do you recommend? Are horse-riding and sleeping in a yurt still possible?
I am looking for an authentic experience, I don't know if that helps, but I can speak Chinese.
Thank you very much in advance for your advice.
You can go to see beautiful poplar forest, Juyan Lake,and Strange Forest at Ejina Banner, and the grassland at Xilingol. Horse riding and sleeping in a yurt are still available then. It helps a lot if you can speak Chinese.
Have a nice trip!