The term Inner-Mongolia refers to the autonomous region in northern China, which was granted autonomous status in 1947, while “Outer-Mongolia” refers to the bordering country of Mongolia.
Inner-Mongolia also shares a border with Russia to the north east and eight other Chinese provinces.
If you were to include all Chinese provinces and autonomous regions, Inner-Mongolia is the third largest.
Nearly 80% of people living in Inner-Mongolia are Han Chinese and Mongolians makes up the second largest ethnic group at around 16%.
Various other ethnic groups inhabit the region, such as the Manchu, Hui, and Daur.
While Han Chinese is still the dominant ethnic group, Mongolian is still an official language alongside Mandarin.
This means almost all signs and menus will be written in both languages.
Due to the size of Inner-Mongolia, climates can differ quite a bit throughout the region, so be sure to do research specific to the time of year and your exact location before you set off on your journey.
Keep in mind, temperatures in certain parts can be as low as – 5 C in the winter and as high as 30 C in the summer.
A good central starting point for your travels could be Hohhot, the capital city with an international airport.
Check out the fascinating Tibetan Buddhist temple, Da Zhao, also called the “Immeasurable Temple” in Chinese.
Next, make your way to the beautiful Indian-influenced Wuta Pagoda, also named the Five Pagoda Temple because of its five structural tiers.
From Hohhot, you can head west to Bayanhot, which is home to the famous Alashan Museum, showcasing Mongolian and Alashan cultures.
While you are in Bayanhot, another must see site is the Qinwang Fu.
This restored Qing-era palace will take you back into time and its splendor and uniqueness will make you question some of modern China’s boring, but practical architectural designs.
If you choose to continue westward, you can explore the world renown Gobi Desert in Ejina and scamper across the stunning Badain Jaran Desert, where you will be impressed by the desert lakes, temples and sand dunes.
For history lovers, the Genghis Khan Mausoleum located southwest of Hohhot in Ordos could be a stopping point for you.
Although Genghis Kahn’s burial point remains one of history’s mysteries, the mausoleum is home to many of his personal artifacts.
Last, but not least, make your way approximately 100 kms north of Hohhot to the Xilamuren Grasslands.
You will be under the care of beautiful blue skies with the seemingly endless grasslands enticing your imagination to run far away.
Go horseback riding, spend the night in a Mongolian yurt, and take part in colorful cultural activities during one of Inner-Mongolia’s summer festivals.