Xilamuren Grassland

Xilamuren Grassland, located in Baotou City of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, is a famous tourist summer resort. It is also known as "Zhaohe" because there is a Puhui Temple (普会寺) near the Xilamuren River. Puhui Temple is a lamasery built in the 34th year of the Qianlong Emperor's reign (1769 in the Qing Dynasty), which served as the temporary abode where the Six Living Buddhas at Xilituozhao Palace would spend their summers in meditation. The distance is about 90 kilometers from Xilamuren Grassland to the downtown area of Hohhot, the capital city of Inner Mongolia. It takes you no more than 1.5 hours' drive if you take the express highway.

Meaning "yellow river" in Mongolian, the Xilamuren Grassland is the earliest grassland to have been developed as a tourism attraction in Inner Mongolia. Xilamuren Grassland covers an area of 1,000 square kilometers, with an altitude of 1,700 meters. It is a typical plateau of grassland with a chain of undulating hills around it. However, the Xilamuren Grassland has sparse grass and is suffering from severe desertification because of over grazing and tourism development in recent years. Xilamuren Grassland lies very close to Hohhot; therefore, local tourist buses, non-local self-driving travel cars and tourists from all directions gather there. If you want to visit a better grassland, we recommended that you go to the Hulunbuir Grassland.


Mornings and evenings are very cool while the average temperature from July to August is 18°C  to 21°C in the Xilamuren Grassland. There is a saying which reflects the climatic changes in the Xilamuren Grassland: "People wear cotton-padded jackets in the morning while they wear gauze clothing at noon. People eat watermelons beside the fireplace at night". There is a great daytime to night-time temperature difference there. You may feel like you are visiting in cool autumn when you are actually there during a summer night.

Best Traveling Season: The best time to visit the Xilamuren Grassland is from June to September. In spring, it is windy. In autumn and winter, it is cold. In summer, it is cool and the grass looks like a carpet. Therefore, summer is the best season for you to visit.

As there is such a great temperature difference between daytime and night-time, you'd better take your coat and trousers with you when you visit the grassland. At the same time, owning to its changing climate, you'd better get a raincoat ready. Inner Mongolia is located in the plateau area which has long periods of sunshine and strong sunlight. Therefore, you'd better be prepared with a sunhat, sunglasses and sun blocking cream.

Festival Activities

Nadam Fair

Nadam Fair is held in late July every year in the Xilamuren Grassland, which shows off the brilliant Mongolian culture in the following aspects: singing and dancing, sports, athletics, dresses and diets. Among them, horse racing, wrestling and archery are the "Three Manly Sports" for the Mongolians. Tourists can enjoy the brave Mongolians' excellent performances there or they can distinguish themselves in the performances.

Aobao Activity

Aobao Activity is usually held between late May and early June. Aobao means "duizi" in Mongolian, which is a conical stage shaped by stones with prayer flagpoles (or religious flagpoles) and branches standing upright on it. When the fiesta is finished, traditional activities are performed, such as horse riding, wrestling and so on.

Nearby  Attractions

Sounding Sand Bay

Sounding Sand Bay, close to the Xilamuren Grassland, is the "King of Sounding Sand" in China. When the weather is sunny, dry grains of sand will give out a rumbling sound due to great friction, which is quite shocking. Sounding Sand Bay blends the cultural essence of the Mongolian grasslands and deserts, and presents its own characteristic style. Tourists can take a cable car to view the landscapes of the deserts; they can also ride camels and experience the culture of Silk Road.

Entrance Ticket: 80 RMB for an adult, 40 RMB for a child

Transportation Guide: Please set out from Hohhot and drive towards the north. You will pass Wuchuan County from where you need to drive for just over an hour to get there.

Questions and Answers About Xilamuren Grassland

Kenneth 2013-05-06
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Hi, could i enquire on the means to arrive at the grassland once i reach hohot railway station? I will be taking a train over from shanghai.
Dear Kenneth, You could take a bus to Zhaohe (召河)from bus station which is near the railway station. It takes about 2 hours and it is about 90 km. The cost is about CNY25/US$4 per person. You will arrive at Xilamuren grassland. Lussie Lu replied on 2013-05-06
Hi Lussie, thanks for the directions. As for accomodations in the xilamuren grasslands, what is the norm of visiting tourists? I am considering the options of staying for a night, and from forums i read that you could stay with the locals or rent a tent for the night. guest replied on 2013-05-19
Hi, there are some local hostels around the scinc spot, the condition is simple and they might not know English. You also could rent a tent, but I think it's tired for you to stay in a rent. I suggest you book a 1-2 days tour with travel agency from Hohot, they will arrange the transport, accomodation and English speak guide for you. Lussie Lu replied on 2013-05-20
chong 2012-08-07
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After arriving Zhaohe, is it easy to go around the tourists places on my own ? Must I join a tour or I can see the place on my own ? Is end Sept a good time to visit ? What Time is the last bus return to Hohhot ? If I wish to go to Datong after that by bus, must I return to Hotbot first ?
Hi Chong, Zhaohe is in the promote area, transportation there is not convenient. There is rarely English sign and most people there can not understand English. You’d better join a tour. July to September is the best time to visit the Xilamuren Grassland, but the grass may turn to wilt at the end of September. Sorry, I can not search any information about the bus from Zhaohe to Huhhot, you’d better ask Zhaohe bus station. Yes, you may return to Hohhot first, and then transfer to Datong. You can take a coach bus or a train from Huhhot to Datong. Click here to search train schedule: http://www.chinahighlights.com/china-trains/ Alice Cai replied on 2012-08-07
Edward Nieh 2011-06-23
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Thanks again Lussie! Once I am in Zhaohe, do I need to hire a car there to go around the grassland? Or do I just hire a car to take me to the gate of the grassland, and there will be official transportation within the park to ride? Thank you for your help :)
Hi Edward Nieh Our travel advisor Lussie Lu(http://www.chinahighlights.com/community/user/21125/) had contacted you. Thanks for your support. Nero Hou replied on 2011-06-26
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I updated this article on January 9, 2014
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