Ningxia Travel Guide

Ningxia Travel Guide

Ningxia Map

Ningxia Facts

Chinese Name: 宁夏回族自治区 (níng xià huí zú zì zhì qū)
Abbreviation: Ning
Population: 6,946,600
Area: 66,400 square kilometers (25,637 square miles)
Location: in the northwest of China
Administrative Division: 5 cities (Yinchuan, Shizuishan, Wuzhong, Guyuan, Zhongwei); 22 counties and county-level cities
GDP (2019): CNY 374.848 billion (USD 54.334 billion)
Nationalities: Han, Hui, Uygur, Dongxiang, Kazak, Salar, Bonan

Home to the Largest Hui Community in China

Ningxia can be found on the map in northwest China and in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. It is bordered by Gansu to the south, Shaanxi to the east, and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to the north, and it is one of the five ethnic minority autonomous regions in China.

The Hui population accounts for about one-third of the total population of the autonomous region. Mosques of all sizes are everywhere in Ningxia and Eid al Fitr is regarded as the most important festival.

Known as a green and beautiful land in northwestern China, Ningxia was involved in a part of the ancient Silk Road, being a platform for trade and cultural exchanges between China's central regions and northwestern areas. Ningxia tourism mainly consists of natural reserves, majestic desert scenery, attractions along or around the Yellow River and relics of the mysterious Western Xia Dynasty (1038 - 1227). 

Cities in Ningxia



Ningxia, a region as culturally rich as the entire area south of the Yangtze River, continues to be admired for its resplendent cultural heritage garnered from the long river of history. During the time of the Tang and Han Dynasties (206 BC - 907 AD) Ningxia was the main place for trade and transportation between the eastern and western regions of ancient China. Ruins of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty can be found in its east region.

Yinchuan City Center
Yinchuan City Center

What to See

A unique landscape, unique local customs and habits, and ancient history, all add up to make Ningxia an interesting tourist area for those wishing to discover a rich and diverse region.

Yinchuan City (also called 'Phoenix City') is the capital of the region situated in the remote northwest of China. The 1000-year-old city is a famous cultural city beyond the Great Wall. The old sector of Yinchuan City to the west is green and peaceful, and contains all the places of interest. It includes the 1500-year-old Haibao Pagoda; the famous Buddhist architecture from the West Xia Kingdom Pagoda of Chengtian Temple; and the Western Xia Imperial Tombs known as the 'Pyramids of China'. One can also find there the mystic Helan Mountain Rock Painting, created by the ancient nomads who dwelled in the regions of the Helan Mountains in northwest Ningxia. They used a bold and descriptive chiseling and drawing technique, to which they added dazzling colors, to depict the history of a splendid Chinese civilization.

West Xia Imperial Tombs
West Xia Imperial Tombs
Camel riding in desert, Yinchuan
Camel riding in desert, Yinchuan
Liupan Mountain is located in south Ningxia. This is an area famous for its picturesque scenery and it certainly lives up to its reputation as the 'green islet'.

Sand Lake Scenic Resort is the national tourist trump card for those looking for a place with a lake, sand dunes, reeds, birds and fish. During the May-September period, the lake becomes a veritable paradise for a dozen or so varieties of precious bird species, such as swans, white and grey cranes, black storks, and wild geese.
Sand Lake, Yinchuan, Ningxia
Sand Lake, Yinchuan
Shapotou, Yinchuan
Shapotou, Yinchuan
Shapotou on the southern rim of the Tengger Desert: There one will find the Desert Research Centre, established in 1956 to find ways of preventing the sands from encroaching onto the railways, and one of China's four singing sand dunes. Sliding down the sand dune gives one the ethereal feeling of descending from the sky. The peculiar geological structure of the place causes the sand to emit a resonance that reverberates like the tolling of a huge bell or the beating of a big drum. Limpid water flows gently in a knee-deep stream at the foot of the dune.

Ningxia is the home of Chinese Muslems. When you go, please be respectful of the unique local customs and habits of the Hui people.

- Last updated on Aug. 07, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on Ningxia Travel
Asked by Maer from PHILIPPINES | Aug. 07, 2023 02:37Reply
Im planning to visit Ningxia from Philippines. is there a direct flight?
Answers (1)
Answered by Selena | Aug. 07, 2023 22:46

As I know, there is no direct flight at present and you need to transfer in some cities like Guangzhou, Shanghai or Chengdu.
Asked by Mara from UNITED STATES | Mar. 22, 2023 08:03Reply
What are the main agricultural products of NingXia?
Answers (1)
Answered by Bruce | Mar. 23, 2023 18:48

Corn, wheat, rice, potato, sunflower and soybean. Ningxia is also famous for planting Chinese wolfberry.
Asked by Rosni from MALAYSIA | Oct. 03, 2019 05:35Reply
I plan to go to Ningxia from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Is there a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur?
Answers (1)
Answered by Peter from UNITED KINGDOM | Oct. 10, 2019 20:55

No, there isn't. You have to transit in Guangzhou/Shanghai/Hong Kong.
Asked by Beatrice from ITALY | Jul. 17, 2019 19:55Reply
What could be a possible itinerary for 4 days trip in Ningxia?
Focusing more on natural landscape and less city.
thanks a lot!
Answers (1)
Answered by Manny from USA | Jul. 23, 2019 01:27

Day 1: Helan Mountain
Day 2: Liupan Mountain
Day 3: Shapotou to visit Desert Research Center
Day 4: Sand Lake Scenic Resort is a great place with a lake, sand dunes, reeds, birds and fish.
Asked by Janez from SLOVENIA | Dec. 17, 2018 12:15Reply
I plan to visit Ningxia starting from Yinchuan. Before Ningxia I plan to explore Inner Mongolia
And stay there for a night or two in new Ordos city. Now, I know about two or even more direct plane connections, but I usually prefer trains or buses. As I can see, there is no practical connection between Ordos and Yinchuan by train, so I am thinking about taking a bus, but I cannot find a timetable. Please, do you know whether the buses operate on this route?

Answers (5)
Answered by Genevieve from RUSSIA | Dec. 21, 2018 01:19

There are two buses from Yinchuan to Ordos. One is from South Coach Station. It departs at 08:00.
The other is from the Tourist Coach Station. The schedule is also 08:00. Hope helpful!
Answered by Janez from SLOVENIA | Dec. 22, 2018 14:48

Thanks a lot, but do you know the timetables and places of buses departing from Ordos to Yinchuan?
Answered by Genevieve | Dec. 23, 2018 19:24

Yes, there are only two buses. One is from Ordos South Coach Station at 08:00. One is at Ordos Tourists Coach Station at 08:00.
Answered by Janez from SLOVENIA | Dec. 24, 2018 08:21

Thanks a lot again. This detail was very important for my overall trip plan. One more question, please. Do you know how much time the buses take to reach Yinchuan from Ordos and what is the price?
Answered by Genevieve | Dec. 26, 2018 17:47

The ticket fare is CNY136 per person. In general, the duration is 6-7 hours.
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